Overview with tools, software, best practices and alternatives
What is a Status Update Report?
A status update report is a kind of report that provides a summary of the status of a project, a team, or a company.
Who does Status Update Reports?
Team members do a status update report, in which they mainly include their accomplishments or achievements, plans or goals, and problems.
Why do people do Status Update Reports?
Members of a business team make status update reports to provide inform their teammates and superiors on the new things that they have done. In addition, writing reports facilitates communication within the team.
How to do a Status Update Report
Generally, a status update report includes the name of the one who prepared it as well as the date when it was made. These can be included in the report per se as well as in the subject line, it the report is to be submitted through e-mail. A header can also be put at the top for easy tracking.
Additional details are included in Status update reports such as the project or assignment title, the start and stop dates, as well as the name of the people who have participated on it.
Status update reports contain three major information: the accomplishments, the plans, and the problems.
The accomplishments include the things that the team has done for a specific period of time. Usually, it is bulleted in order to maintain simplicity while showing the entries in a chronological order. The plans or goals come next to the accomplishments. These present the next actions the team is going to take in order to achieve a level of success. The problems are also included in the status update report and they can be the existing problems or the foreseen problems. Existing problems should be reported so that the team can think of ways on how they can resolve the problems. Reporting of potential problems is also essential as this lets the entre team brainstorm for strategies to prevent or counter the foreseeable threat.
After finishing the content of the status update report, it should be proofread for errors. After that, revisions can be carried out to present a complete and accurate report.
Advantages of doing Status Update Reports
Status update reports connect the team members with each other. It serves as the diary of each team members, where they can document their achievements, plans, and problems, concerning the team or the task at hand. As a communication tool, a status update report lets members and leaders become aware of the team’s progress as well as the work status.
Member recognition can be based on the status update reports team members submit. As the achievements are indicated in the report, it will be easier for the team leader, manager, or supervisor to identify the top performers from the team.
Planning, implementation, and evaluation can be also based in a status update report. Since the report contains information on what have been done, what to do, and what the problems are, it would be easier for the team to construct a plan of action, a course of strategies, as well as evaluation of outcomes.
Problems, whether actual and potential, can be resolved and prevented with status update reports. Since problems are included in the report, the team members can talk about ways to solve actual conflicts and prevent potential conflicts. After solving the problem as a team, group discussions will empower the team members individually, making them competent should they encounter the same problem again.
Disadvantages of doing Status Update Reports
Reports can be tedious a times because one needs to report things daily, weekly, or monthly, along with the other responsibilities in the workplace. Some team members may think that preparing a report “consumes” their time, as the report content can be just discussed during the team meetings. Other members may also view report writing as routinary, since they will be doing this from time to time. Worse, team members may be struck by laziness, rendering them not able to complete the task.
Best practices for doing Status Update Reports
It is important to label the things that have been done, by using headings such as “Accomplishment,” “Completed tasks,” “Complete Action Items,” or “Done.” Timing can also be included since the information presents achievements. Specifications can be in terms of time periods such as weekly, monthly, or quarterly. Active verbs are strong words to start sentences, such as completed, defined, solved, designed, organized, improved, fixed, and filed. Using bullets or numbering is also helpful in entering the accomplishments in the status update report.
Ideal plans and goals stick to the SMART Principle; they should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. It is also important to estimate the amount to time needed to accomplish a plan, since it will be the basis of the plan’s efficiency. In addition, any schedules that have been given previously can be included in the status update report.
In entering items for the “Problem” section, actual and potential problems can be considered. Some reports specify that a particular problem can be handled by the team members themselves, without requiring further assistance of supervisors. This way, they get informed about the situation, enabling them to monitor the situation closely. In addition, the supervisor will not complain to the team that he was not informed about the problem.
Overall, 3 to 6 single sentence bullets are enough for a brief weekly report.
How Teamreporter helps at doing Status Update Reports
Teamreporter is an application designed to utilize scheduled report mails within the team. It is conducive for up to four members and only takes less than a minute to register.
It helps in sending status update reports since it notifies the team members through e-mail, requesting them to enter information such as accomplishments, problems, and plans. In addition the application asks team members to include information on the day’s progress, conflicts, and other important events. After gathering the replies from the team members, Teamreporter will generate a summary of the team’s status and will send it the following day. In addition, the entire team will receive information on the team progress and issues, enabling the team to plan for its resolution or counter.
Teamreporter’s easy and automated system enables it to produce updates and send them to the team members, making it a fast and reliable communication to within the team. Also, through sharing each member’s progress, problems, and plans, Teamreporter will help the team become more efficient. Moreover, the application suits all workflows and work environments, making it a very flexible tool for business.
Alternatives to Status Update Reports
Status update reports are great tools of information and communication within the team. It allows all team members to be at par with it other in terms of achievements, planning, and problem solving.
Aside from status update reports, actual team meetings can serve as alternative to facilitate communication within the team. Face to face meetings enable team members to discuss in real time the team’s achievements, conflicts, and plans.
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