You hear it a lot now (erm, LinkedIn), but the cliche is true — communication can either make or break a company, relationship or a project.
Companies moving to remote-first setting has increased the importance of clear communication, and most well-functioning teams are proponents of overcommunication.
When it comes to client and project communication, it's critical to write clear and concise project status updates and do it frequently. Whether you use email, Slack, or some other channel, the basic principles are the same, and these examples can help you get started.
So if you're looking for project status update email samples (or need some help with your first or next status email), here are our tips.
Reports can get quite boring, thus we created a smart email template to do the heavy lifting. Try it out yourself below:
How to write project status report in email
To write your status report in email, follow these basic steps:
- Gather the information you need to provide to the reader, such as any data, updates from the team, reports from software, or other hard facts that showcase your progress.
- Find the template that fits your needs, or create one.
- Think about your audience and the goal of sending this email. Depending on who is reading the content, you may want to use different wording or ask additional questions.
- Create a basic email outline to help you stay on track.
Draft and edit the email. Be sure to send it at the same time each week or on other agreed-upon timeframes to ensure that your recipient always knows what to expect at each stage.
A project status email update provides someone with insight into where the project stands. Reporting on the status is often necessary at various project stages, not just at the beginning or end. The rule of thumb is to send project status updates weekly or biweekly, but your schedule might vary.
We recommend that you are transparent in your reports. If you make mistakes or if progress has been slow, it's most often best to be upfront about what has happened and why.
Try to address issues early and let your clients or employer know if you encounter problems. A project status report is often the best way to be proactive about this.
The amount of detail that goes into these reports depends on the project goals and objectives and any communication standards established at the start.
In short, you need to provide project status emails throughout the project that communicate:
- what's being done
- what you accomplished
- what complications are in play, and
- what the next steps are
Here are a few tips for creating your email status update or report for the project you're working on completing for a client or employer.
Project status email format
The format for the project status email should be specific to your goals and what's expected. It should include:
- The name of the report or project
- The client or the team's name
- The vision of the project
- The status of the project
- The completed tasks thus far
- What you have learned
- Tasks that are going to be completed soon
- Any challenges, issues, or roadblocks
- Milestones and when they've been achieved (as well as any upcoming dates)
With that in mind, you should work to create a simple introduction, a timeline of the project, any budget factors, links and attachments that communicate the details of accomplishments, a summary of where the project stands, and any questions. Be sure to encourage the client to ask any questions as well.
Subject line for project status emails
Your subject line for the project update should be clear and concise. You don't need to pack it full of information – save the good stuff for what's inside.
We encourage you to include a week number or a date in the subject line. This helps the recipients stay on top of what's happening (and also helps you check whether you have remembered to send a report in a give week).
Here are some examples:
- Weekly update for (Project name) [Week number/Date]
- (Project name) update with questions [Week number/Date]
- Project report and request for meeting [Week number/Date]
How to end a project status email
The end of the project status email should include any details necessary to the project. These are the action steps you want the reader to take. That way, they can easily see what they are supposed to be doing. Make it visually easy to see this information, but keep it direct and include one task per line.
To avoid confusion, address a specific person when writing out tasks that should be completed. Here's an example:
For a formal email, you'll want to use terms like:
- Kind regards
How to ask about project status in email
Asking for project status in an email is a bit different. If you are the manager or the client and need more information about where the project stands, write an email that gets right to the point and asks those questions.
Your goal should be to be professional and polite in the content you create. You want people to communicate openly with you so you know where the project stands at any given time.
Try to stress the importance of clear communication but remember that new habits take time to develop. Give kudos when your team members send good reports.
You could highlight good reports in your weekly meetings or internal communication channels. This can motivate your team to improve the quality of subsequent status reports and updates.
Try to ask questions in the proper manner. For example, instead of saying, "Can I get an update on the project?" try something different. "I'm checking in with you to determine how the project is progressing. I want to help in any way that I can. Could you update me on where we stand and if any challenges need to be addressed?"
When sending updates like this, you want to be sure you are being clear about your needs and not creating any roadblocks. You don't want the receiver to shut down and not communicate or think you are being aggressive or hard to work with.
Project status email examples
Here are a few project status email examples to help you. Remember that these are just a guide. Update them as you need to.
Take a look at the project status email sample that is best suited for your specific needs below and apply it as a tool to help you flesh out your email.
9 project status email samples
Remember that I don't know the context or nature of your project. Thus I encourage you not just to copy these templates and samples but make them your own before sending them to the person you need to.
1. Project status update email sample
Use the project status update email sample as a way to communicate the current status of your project to anyone that is involved in it. This project status update email sample is versatile enough to be used in any way that works for you.
2. Project status report email sample
A project status report usually provides more information about the project, how things have progressed, and what has been accomplished so far. Don't fall for the trap of leaving bits of information out.
Because of your hands-on work on the project, you often have the best information about the project's progress and current status. Even though it might feel redundant, it's important to repeat what has been accomplished and how your goals are progressing to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Oversommunicating in your project reports is not a bad idea. We all forget things, so make it easy for others to stay on top of the progress with a detailed report.
3. Project status email to manager sample
A project status email to a boss or manager may differ slightly from one to a client or customer. The following sample email to a manager is a basic idea of what to communicate. Be sure to update it to fit your communication style with your boss. Of all status updates, those to a manager must be quite clear but not over-the-top formal.
4. Project status email to client sample
When communicating directly with your client, you want to be sure not to hide any details and not overwhelm them. Often, the client does not know the whole process of accomplishing your work and might expect the final project to be delivered in a way that's not feasible.
An email to the client about project status should give them peace of mind that the project is going smoothly, and if it isn't, the assurance that problems are addressed accordingly. Here's how to write an email to a client sharing the status of the project.
5. Weekly project status email sample
Sending a weekly project status report email is one of the best ways to keep those involved in the know of what's happening and the project moving forward. It can feel tedious to do this, so you want to keep it short and to the point but still detailed and informative.
With a consistent weekly report you can establish clear communication habits with your client or manager that will help you stand out as a person who gets things done and can manager projects.
Sometimes, a list-like format of updates makes it easy for the manager or other receiver to get a glance at what's happening. Here is a weekly project status email template to follow.
6. Sample follow-up email on project status
If you are the person that has issued the project and you have not heard back from your employee or provider about it, you may get a bit worried.
A follow-up email on project status can give insight into what's happening. Don't be afraid to reach out for clarification and more of the information you need, especially when you have deadlines to meet.
At the same time, you want to be sure you are being professional in these communications. This follow-up project status email sample can help you with that process.
7. Project final status email sample
The final status email is often near the project's wrap-up when you are likely to be sending the project soon or completing the objectives. This is a good way for you to communicate positively to encourage repeat business or to help ensure everyone is on the same page. Here's a project final status email with a thank you sample to guide you.
8. Sample email to check status of project
This project status update request email sample is to the point. It ensures that the person receiving it is fully aware of your expectations and needs.
9. Project status meeting email invitation sample
In some situations, you may need to set up a meeting to discuss the project. This is not always due to a bad situation, but when there's a need for more information than an email can offer. Here's a way to communicate that positively.
Project status email templates
If you need something quick to get started, check out these project status report templates that you can use just to fill in the blanks and get information to your client quickly.
Don't forget to check out Flowrite's smart template, that turns words into ready-to-send project status reports.
Project status report template email
Project status update email template
Status update email template by Flowrite
Let's face it. Sometimes you will have to do so much reporting that it feels like you don't have time to do any work itself. It's those moments and projects when Flowrite can really help.
With Flowrite, you can increase the efficiency of communications with your clients or managers while saving time for the real work, like this:
Our smart template turns words into ready-to-send reports.
When writing a project status email, try make them clear and simple, but lean on the side of overcommunicating instead of leaving things off the email.
Unless the client or manager needs a full list of the tasks accomplished, outline just what's needed to keep the project moving.
It’s no rocket science, but nonetheless a crucial part of any client or managerial relationships in project work. So the next time you send a project status report email make sure to use these tips and samples, and let us know how it goes!
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