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How often and when is the best time to update stakeholders on the project status report?

By Celine Chua (Prince 2, PMP)
Email: CelineChua2212@gmail.com

May 31, 2019

How regular to do project status report is important because it helps you keep all stakeholders in the loop and aligned on how your project is progressing; track all those essential metrics (like budget, costs, and deliverables); allows you keeping your finger on the pulse of the project and identifies areas that need greater attention before they compound into bigger problems.

How often for a project manager to update project status report? It depends on a few factors like:

For example, if the project budget is exceeded 1 million and high risk, it is best to update the status to all stakeholders every week. For smaller budget project, you may opt for fortnightly update if it is not complex.

The best time to share project status update to stakeholders is on Tuesday. Here are the reasons:

  1. Issues or problems happened over the weekend - Monday is the first work day after a long weekend; project manager could be busy addressing these issues or problems, and working on follow up action plan.
  2. Project activities review - Project manager could use Monday to hold weekly meeting with project team, track the actual progress against planned activities; and discuss the moving forward plan. Update the project status report in the meeting once you obtain team member buy-in. (I will discuss about the effective project review meeting in my next article)
  3. Resource availability – While reviewing the project activities, project manager could align the resources against the upcoming activities for the week. For example: re-align resources due to issues and problems (sick leave, bugs fixes, unplanned system down time etc)

Once project manager has updated overall status, adjusted project schedule, budget and scope during the review meeting, then project manager could hold a short meetings (15 - 30 minutes) with project sponsor separately to obtain feedback and moving forward plan. Include the feedback in the project status report before share it with all stakeholders on Tuesday. This is how you gain project sponsor involvement and support your project. (I will discuss more about gaining key stakeholders involvement and support in separate article)

Related links for project status report guideline: