Project status update template guide for project managers

22 FEB 2021 | 5 min read.

When working on a project for a client, it’s a good idea to send updates to the client to keep them informed about project progress (in a lot of cases, it’s probably a requirement). The quality of updates you provide will go a long way in ensuring a happy customer, but it does raise some important questions. In this article, we’ll dive into those questions to help you build a great project update.

How often should you update a client on a project’s progress?

This will largely depend on the length and scope of the project. In most cases, it’s safe to assume that your client is really excited about the project you’re delivering. In some cases, it might even be the most important thing going on for that client at that time. With this in mind, we believe it would be really difficult to keep a client “too updated”.

Think back to that thing you purchased online that you were really excited about - suddenly, those notifications or updates about the order being shipped or where it is in transit (that you would typically ignore or not put much thought into for more mundane purchases) became something you were excited about and actively checked for!

Sure, the analogy is a bit of a stretch, but it gives insight into your client’s attitude towards project updates. Being involved in the process of delivering your projects or product day-to-day makes it easy to forget how excited your client is. When in doubt about a schedule or cadence for project updates, keep this in mind.

Start by considering “weekly updates” - depending on the project, you may want to make updates more or less frequently. Just remember to stick to the schedule you decide on (even if the schedule isn’t communicated to the clients), if you’re using Checc for communicating with your clients, they will look forward to seeing the big, green update bubble!

How much detail should you provide in a project update

This goes hand-in-hand with update frequency. You should aim for updates no longer than a few hundred words, that favor photos, screenshots or videos over walls of text. An important thing to keep in mind is if you’re not using Checc for your client updates, be sure not to attach large files to your emails as this could cause issues for your client on the receiving end.

Only give them the detail that’s relevant to the end product. There’s no need to get exceedingly technical. Keep it outcome focused.

What format or template should I use for a project update?

Keep it simple! Whilst it can be tempting to provide updates in a structure-heavy template, we’d argue that a brief, well-written, text-based update will always feel more thoughtful and personal.

An update can begin with an introduction, giving an overview of progress since the last update and state your sentiment about the project’s overall progress, and then go into a list of points for the update. These individual points are a great place to introduce images.

You can end your update by reminding the client of anything you are waiting on them for, which may block project progress. In Checc, you can reference an issue number.

Summing up

With these important considerations in mind, you’ll be on your way to providing great project updates that help to keep your clients happy. If you’d like to do some more reading, we'll have an article up soon which explores the benefits of client updates, and why they are just as valuable to the health of the project team, as they are to the client.

If you’re dealing with Clients on a project basis, consider using Checc - it was built specifically for that purpose! Checc makes project-based client communication easy, and it’s free!