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Executive Summary of Project Status/Risks

Quick Summary
This easily scanned form condenses the project information executives really care about on a single page. It focuses on changes and trends, not just dates and numbers. It's heavily risk-focused, but also includes all of the usual items like milestone status and accomplishments (as well as just about everything else). The result is an at-a-glance summary that quickly shows execs how the project is doing and what help is needed.

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What this is

A risk-aware executive summary of the project or release. It includes all the usual items like milestone status and accomplishments, but goes a step further by covering all major project parameters: scope, key goals, team resources, expenditures, and—very importantly—risks. The single-page format provides a can't-hide-the-truth view of how the project is doing against each of these important measures at a glance.

Why it's useful

Summaries like this are helpful with a group of busy executives who need to understand the project landscape at a glance. These key individuals want to see true trends, not just dates and numbers—issues hanging around without resolution, large variances in resource usage and expenditures. They also need to be focused on outstanding risks so that they can help the team address them.

Since it's designed for high-level review, this format is less a working document than a record-keeping format. There's no attempt to go to the next level of detail for every area. Instead, there is a heavy emphasis on changes—variance in schedule, resources, risks, expenditures, etc.—and a great deal of information is wedged into a single page. This helps execs spot hot spots and trends in all of the key project aspects that matter to them. They can see easily whether the project is flailing or flying, and what they should be doing to help.

If you're brief and to the point, everything will fit on a single page. (Which is all most executives want to read anyway.) Of course, you can go to two pages if you really need to, but resist the temptation. Your goal is easily scanned summary data, and the more you write the less they'll read.

How to use it

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Related Templates
Issue Resolution Status Report
Format for reporting progress on work to resolve one or more open issues (e.g. project or technical issues).

Project or Release One-page Summary
One-page format for communicating key information about a software release (or any other kind of project).

Project Scorecard
This one-page worksheet, designed by Kimberly Wiefling of Wiefling Consulting, helps your team define the project finish line in clear, measurable terms.

Project Status Reports
Several different one-page document formats for getting a true picture of a project or portfolio at a glance, and a presentation format for talking to management.

Simple Portfolio Status Report
A useful and effective approach for reporting multi-project, high-level status regularly to executives.
Team Member Status Reports
Collecting regular team member status reports provides the project manager a window into the true state of the project work.

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