Overview with tools, software, best practices and alternatives
What is a Weekly Update?
A weekly update is a report format that contains information and update that cover the events that have transpired within the week. Done on regular basis, there can be a total of four weekly reports in one month.
Who is doing a Weekly Update?
The team members can be all assigned to write a weekly update, in which they can include complete and accurate information about their experiences, particularly their achievements, plans, and problems. The secretary of the team can also be tasked to do the weekly update.
Why are people doing Weekly Updates?
People write weekly updates for some reasons.
Business teams do weekly updates to facilitate effective communication within the team. Effective communication is vital to every team, allowing the team members perform well to achieve their goals. Weekly updates connect the team together, enabling them to deal with any problems or issues that may arise.
Weekly updates also reveal important information to the team such as achievements, plans, and goals. Also, business teams can also include the team’s observations and assessment, which helps the team formulate their plans, develop strategies and actions, and evaluate their actions.
The information in the report also helps the entire team analyze the trends in their performance, draw strong conclusions, make inferences, and make crucial decisions. In addition, people can add new and correctional information in the weekly update, reducing the queries, clarifications, and amendments in the report.
How to do a Weekly Update / Ways to do a Weekly Update
In writing a weekly update, the team has to include factual data. The team cannot afford to include fabricated information in the report as it can adversely affect the team’s performance and reputation in the long run. Ethically, lies in a report can lead to the fall of the team and the company as lying to the company is lying to the people.
The team can include new information in the weekly update so as to update the team on what is new. In addition, the team may include corrected information to an error in the previous report. This way, the team will be able to analyze information better, draw appropriate conclusions, and make relevant inferences. Also, queries and clarifications will be minimized if an erroneous data has been corrected. This will also lead to decreased amendment in the report or the team’s internal operating procedures.
Completeness and accuracy of information are still the best characteristics of a good weekly report. Every important detail from Monday to Friday should be included, especially those with high priority. Complete and accurate reports help the team to formulate concrete plans, develop effective strategies, and list down relevant actions.
For paper-based weekly updates, teams should file them in a report binder. The manner of filing them should be in chronological order, so as to maintain the timeliness and organization of the reports. For weekly updates that are in computers, team members should organize them in folders for easy access if ever the team needs them as reference.
Advantages of doing Weekly Updates
Writing weekly updates benefits the team in a number of ways.
Weekly updates provide the team important and relevant information about the status and progress of the team and the project. The updates also help the team decipher whether they meet their goals or not, or if they are close to getting their goals. Team members will be able to know what is happening to the project and their teammates. For team leaders, they will be able to gauge the performance of their subordinates. They will be able to identify top performers in the team, as well as those who need further assistance.
Generating weekly updates will inform the team on the most important news about the team and the project. The information includes accomplishments, problems, assessment, plans, strategies, actions, evaluations, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Including complete and accurate information about these aspects will help the team prioritize issues and make decisions for the team.
Disadvantages of doing Weekly Updates
While writing weekly updates has a number of benefits, it also presents some disadvantages.
Weekly updates are not as fresh and new as daily updates. Daily updates always present significant information on a daily basis while a weekly report does not. Weekly updates collate major information on events that happened within the week. The updates present less information; however, they are prone to having missing and inaccurate data. Thus, teams may miss important information about the team’s activities within the week.
While weekly updates are to be done on a weekly basis, there are time in which the team members are already pre-occupied with the regular duties and responsibilities. Adding a weekly update to their task may compromise the time intended for their normal tasks. Team members have to write a complete and accurate weekly report, instead of preparing for the task for the next day. This may lower the quality of the team’s output on its other responsibilities.
Best practices for doing Weekly Updates
Weekly updates help the whole team in reaching their goals by giving members updated information on a weekly basis.
To create a good weekly update, the team may write down important events that happened within the day. Information like achievements, conflicts, assessment, plans, and strategies can be written down on a small notebook. Also, the team’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats can also be added in the report. It is a good thing to write these things down on a small notebook or notepad, in order to remember them when it is time to write a report. Also, this method will help the team members prevent missing crucial data on the report.
Weekly updates should have organized flow of data. It can be helpful if there are sub-headings in the report. For instance, the team may add the days of the week as headings of the report. This is to lead the readers to what happened on a daily basis, though the report covers the events that transpired within the week. Including the days when the events happened will also help the team trace past events and plot future events. A coherent weekly report is also easy to comprehend in the part of the readers, letting them effectively assimilate the message a team member wants to convey.
A weekly update should not be too short, since a very brief report may lack information or contain inaccurate data. Very short updates are also prone to queries and clarifications, leading to amendments of reports. The update should not also be too long as the reader may find it boring to read. A very lengthy report is also less absorbed by the readers due to information overload. The content of the report should be detailed enough, but not wordy.
How Teamreporter helps at doing Weekly Updates
Teamreporter is a business application that uses scheduled report mails as replacement to status meetings, reducing the number of meetings a team has within a specific timeframe. Teamreporter is free to use for teams with up to four members and signing up just takes up to less than a minute.
Teamreporter is flexible to the team as the users can modify the questions in its system. In addition, the team members can also change the schedule of the report mails. Teamreporter can also be used in conjunction with the team’s other applications. More than that, the list of recipients can also be adjusted for easier access of contacts. This feature of Teamreporter allows the business team to do their tasks without affecting their normal workflow and environment.
Teamreporter’s automated and easy to use interface is another asset that helps the team in their project. Team reporter can send e-mail notifications to the team members, asking pertinent information about the project, such as accomplishments, problems, and plans. The members will reply to the application and based on the replies, Teamreporter will generate a summary, which will be sent to the members the following day.
Team leaders can use Teamreporter in tracking the performance of the team and the team members, giving them an oversight of the team’s performance. In addition, team leaders will be able to identify team players within the group, as well as those who need further assistance. Teamreporter can also give essential information to team leaders about the status of the project, allowing them to inculcate essential points, which can be helpful when they train the team.
Overall, Teamreporter is an essential communication and reporting tool to a team, allowing them to become more functional and productive.
Alternatives to Weekly Updates
Weekly updates serve as a regular means of communication to the business team and they assist the team with their future plans and actions to attain their goals.
Possible options to weekly updates are daily and monthly updates. Daily updates provide fresher information than weekly reports, allowing the team to adjust its goals and strategies on a daily basis. Weekly reports are more regular than monthly reports and also enable team members to provide more complete and more accurate information.
Weekly updates can be presented in both paper and electronic format. The paper format can be easily filed in the team’s workplace and is readily available in case of power interruption. However, the disadvantage is that the report in paper format is prone to being destroyed by flood or fire. Electronic updates can be sent via e-mail and applications and they can be easily sent to the team. However, power interruption, as well as poor and absent internet connection, is the main problem in this format.
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