Google has over 13 million pages that describe project status reports. If you read all of them, you’d find a lot of discussions on the purpose of status reporting, key components and numerous templates. I’ll save you the time reading 13 million pages and provide three useful formats to include in your project or program status report deck. The key to these formats is to use visual reports to convey status rather than reading lengthy missive on this week’s project status.
My unscientific observation is people skim rather than read an entire status report or presentation. I’m sure you’ve had the experience where an executive, customer or key stakeholder skims through the first few pages of your meticulously wordsmithed presentation only to stop at the one key slide that holds their interest. The entire purpose of the status report is to inform the project stakeholders of project progress and have a conversation about scope, resource and timeline concerns. Having a conversation using paragraphs of text is difficult for both the presenter and the audience. Visual formats help make the conversation easier.