Issuing regular updates is a vital part of any project. If you don’t do this then how are others expected to know what is really going on? However, the problem is that this can rapidly turn into a boring, repetitive task that you pay little attention to.

This can cause major issues later on if the recipients stop reading the reports or fail to understand them. After all, these updates are only useful if they carry out their main job of informing interested parties of what is going on, as you will learn on a PRINCE 2 course.

So, how can you make these updates more impressive and effective at the same time?

Keep It Brief

The last thing anything wants is a long, waffling project update that takes ages to read. Even if the project is really complicated, you should be able to sum up the current status concisely without too many problems.

In most cases, just one or two sheets of paper will be enough for this. If there is too much going on to fit in this format then perhaps the project has become too unwieldy and you need to split it up into a number of sub-projects.

Don’t Miss Anything Out

Despite the previous point encouraging you to keep this update brief, you should resist the temptation to miss anything out. Since you are the project manager who has carried out their PRINCE2 Course, everyone else is looking to you to inform them of what is going on.

If you miss out anything then it is almost certain to come back to haunt you, no matter how insignificant it might appear at the time. Everything that goes on here is included for a reason, so what areas should be sure to cover?

A good project update will cover the current status, milestone progress, risks and issues. Each of these elements is crucial to understanding whether the piece of work is on track or not. You might also add in a couple of lines covering the most important points from the last week.

Use a Template

Issuing a project update doesn’t have to be a time-consuming task every week. The simplest approach is to set up a template that you simply amend each week to reflect the current situation.

Of course, the big risk in this case is that you may neglect to change a certain field to reflect a change. You need to be certain that you have revised it fully and changed anything that is different from last week.

The people who read this report will be pleased to see you follow a fixed template that is easy to read. They will get into the habit of skimming through it each week to find the parts that are of particular interest to them.

Mention It at Project Meetings

It can be a smart move to write up this report not long before your weekly project meeting. As well as giving you a reminder to get it done each week, this will also give you the chance to run through it at the meeting.

If you include this as a recurring agenda point then you will be helping to make sure that no one misses out on your updates by accident. In most meetings, it will probably only take you a few seconds to confirm the current details.

The weekly project update report might not seem particularly important or interesting but if you let it slip then it could prove to be a disaster. Stick to these tips and you will feel more comfortable about where you stand, as will everyone else involved. A certified PRINCE2 course is the best way to learn these tips and tricks.

Author's Bio: 

Marina Pal is a renowned author and social media enthusiast.