The purpose of the weekly status report template is to create alignment between multiple parties. A well written weekly status reports communicates everything that is important over the past week, and easily helps the stakeholders determine whether things are going on as scheduled. If your current weekly status report is not accomplishing that, you are doing it wrong!
Another way of looking at this is to think of “Progress, Plan, Problem” approach — PPP. This means identifying what’s planned, specifying the progress made, and asking the hard questions of why things fail when the first 2 objectives are not met.
There’s 2 dimensions to the weekly status report, which are: planned versus unplanned and done versus not done. With these 2 simple dimensions, we can create a 2 dimensional views that easily helps us communicate the status of weekly tasks. When you take these dimensions and visualize it, you have the follow matrix:
- Planned / Done These are items / tasks that were planned last week, and executed exactly as planned. Good job! Lets reward somebody and sing some praises!
- Planned / Not Done – These are items / tasks that were planned for this week, but were not executed. The questions to asks are: What happened? Why? Who was responsible? What are the next steps?
- Unplanned / Done – These are items / tasks that were not planned, but were finished. This is not necessarily a good thing! Why was this worked on if it wasn’t planned? Who’s responsible? This might be hinting at early prioritization problems…
- Unplanned / Not Done – These are really the unknown unknowns catch all bucket. Obviously, things that are unplanned and not done is exactly doing things as planned…
Putting this into practice, you can use a software like Priority Matrix to easily track these weekly status reports. In fact, taking it a step further means that perhaps you should track these tasks and action items in real-time, but that’s for a different day. You can try Priority Matrix for project management and get the weekly status template for free here.
Watch a Video About the Weekly Status Reports Template