Project Management Templates > Communicating: Status, Meetings, Reports and Documentation

Communicating: Status, Meetings, Reports and Documentation

Communication is the backbone of any project. In addition to communication between team members, project leaders coordinate communication with executives, sponsors, stakeholders, end users, and even future teams who may need to know how this project did things and why. These templates and guidelines will help you manage project communication in four critical categories: Status updates, meetings, reports, and documentation (of the project and its deliverables). For a more expansive list that includes templates, burning questions, and more, see our Know-How pages for Communicating and Project Documentation.

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  • Project Escalation Process Guidelines
    Scope issues, major tradeoff decisions, and serious resource conflicts are all examples of situations that can require escalation to higher management.
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  • Communication Plan: Status, Meetings, Info Access, and Reviews
    A brief plan created by the project team, documenting how they will communicate important information, including meetings, status reports, etc. The plan covers internal team communications and external stakeholder communications.
  • Establishing Meeting Ground Rules
    Guidelines, examples, and a checklist of suggestions for establishing ground rules for meeting behavior.
  • Project Stakeholder/Influencer Assessment and Communication Plan
    Don't get blindsided by resource competition or missing information. Use this assessment form to identify the individuals and groups that may influence your project outcomes stakeholders, information sources, even other PMs assess their potential impact (for better or worse) and document your plans for how and when to communicate with them.
  • Change Management Planning Worksheet
    Any successful project will change something, by definition. For project managers, that means that change management skills are as important as project management skills. This worksheet helps you plan a strategy for successfully managing your users through the change process.
  • Technique Brief: Daily Hot-List Meeting
    Instill and reinforce a sense of urgency in your team with fast, productive daily meetings that keep everyone in sync without sinking anyone's time.
For Members
These resources are free to registered members. Register or login for access.
  • Team Meetings Descriptions Sample
    Meetings, meetings, meetings ... you've got to have at least some to keep the team communicating, but which ones, why, and with whom in attendance? Check out one team's approach in their meeting-phobic environment; describing their critical "types" meetings in a way that portrays their practicality and value(!).
  • Meeting Evaluation Guidelines
    If you think your meetings have problems, they probably do. A simple evaluation questionnaire and process helps evaluate meeting effectiveness and suggest goals for improvement. Two formats accommodate formal or informal meeting environments.
  • Meeting Minutes Formats
    If you're going to do meeting minutes, make sure they're sharp, concise, and readable.
  • Multi-Project Kickoff Meeting Agenda
    Sample agenda for a meeting kicking off several projects at once, to launch a portfolio or orient (or re-orient) a team to their project set, relative priorities, and how it all fits in with business objectives.
  • Agenda for Preliminary Design Review Meeting
    This template provides a detailed agenda with typical timeslots for a Preliminary Design Review (PDR) meeting on a project.
  • Review Meeting Planning Worksheet
    A format to use to plan an upcoming review meeting, to be sure it will accomplish what you need it to.
  • Lessons Learned Meeting Agenda
    A sample agenda for a lessons learned meeting, to capture what did or didn't go well on a project, how to replicate success, and what to do differently in the future.
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  • Agile Technique Brief – Retrospectives
    Retrospectives are a technique that teams can use to inspect their progress in a project to date and identify opportunities for improvement in their processes, team dynamics, and decision-making as well as areas for continued excellence.
  • Agile Technique Guideline: Standup Meetings
    Agile project teams are all about collaboration and cooperation -- working with each other, not working for the project manager. This guideline explains how to use one common agile technique -- standup meetings -- to get team members into the habit of keeping each other in the loop without spending hours every week in endless, agonizing status meetings.
  • Effective Meetings Checklist
    A comprehensive checklist for planning and running effective meetings.
  • Preventing & Solving Meeting Disruptions
    Suggestions for handling those "impossible" people who continually disrupt, derail, and detract from meetings.
  • Agenda: Software Development Managers' Offsite Meeting
    Sample agenda and instructions for an offsite meeting to discuss improving management processes and approaches for a department.
  • Sample Team Meeting Agenda
    Sample project team agenda, with emphasis on using objectives and timeslots to keep meetings effective.
  • Project Kickoff Meeting Agenda and Guidelines
    An example agenda for holding a kickoff meeting for a new project and detailed guidelines for preparing for and running this intense team session. Sure, you might prefer to "just get to work." But if a team member gets off track, or a cross-functional team member wasn't even aware of what was needed, the entire project can end up in the weeds.
  • Brainstorming Meeting Techniques
    Guidelines for facilitating a brainstorming session, covering several types of brainstorming, detailed guidelines for starting off effectively, and pitfalls to watch out for.
  • Project Closeout Meeting Agenda
    This template provides an agenda for a Close Out Workshop, an occasion where the Program Team and others can document what worked, areas for improvement, lessons learned, and next steps, if any. Instructions are included.
For Guests
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  • Lessons Learned Survey
    A survey that can be sent to team members during or after a project, to solicit their feedback on how the project was conducted.
  • End of Concept Phase Checklist
    A checklist of activities and deliverables that should be completed by the end of the Concept Phase.
For Members
These resources are free to registered members. Register or login for access.
  • PM Appointment Letter
    Letter template announcing the appointment of a project manager to a newly-approved project and expressing sponsor support for it.
For Subscribers
These resources are for Premium subscribers. Subscribe to get access, or find out more about our free trial for new subscribers.
  • Recording Key Project Decisions
    This file provides several different formats for recording key decisions in various contexts, as well as tips for using features in common project management and collaboration tools to maintain this critical piece of project history.
  • Project or Software Release One-Page Summary
    One-page format for communicating key information about a software release (or any other kind of project).
  • Consulting Contract Guidelines and Examples
    Guidelines for creating consulting contracts, including typical information covered (work description, payment terms, intellectual property ownership) and two sample contracts. For project contractors, consultants, or the project managers or functional managers hiring them.
  • End of Initiation Phase Checklist
    A checklist of activities and deliverables that should be completed by the end of the Initiation Phase.
  • End of Execution Phase Checklist
    A checklist of activities and deliverables that should be completed by the end of the Execution Phase.
  • End of Approval Phase Checklist
    A checklist of activities and deliverables that should be completed by the end of the Approval Phase.
  • End of Delivery Phase Checklist
    A checklist of activities and deliverables that should be completed by the end of the Delivery Phase.
  • Lessons Learned Meeting Report
    Process for holding a meeting aimed at capturing project wins, challenges, and resulting "lessons learned" and producing a report at the end. A great way to promote continuous improvement across all your projects.
  • Guidelines - Completion Criteria
    Completion criteria are explicit goals that must be attained to call an element of a project, or the entire project, "complete."
For Guests
These resources are available to everyone, no login required.
  • Action Item List Formats
    Example formats for keeping track of action items that need to be accomplished during a project.
For Members
These resources are free to registered members. Register or login for access.
  • Executive Summary of Project Status/Risks
    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.
For Subscribers
These resources are for Premium subscribers. Subscribe to get access, or find out more about our free trial for new subscribers.
  • Agile Technique Guideline: Information Radiators
    Information Radiators, also known as Big Visible Charts, are useful quite simply because they provide an effective way to communicate project status, issues, or metrics without a great deal of effort from the team. The premise is that these displays make critical, changing information about a project accessible to anyone with enough ambition to walk over to the team area and take a look.
  • Issue Resolution Status Report
    Format for reporting progress on work to resolve one or more open issues (e.g. project or technical issues).
  • Project and Pipeline Status Report - 3 page format
    Comprehensive but concise and easily-scanned status report for reporting to management. Includes project summary status, detailed status, and an overall pipeline status dashboard.
  • Simple Portfolio Status Report
    A useful and effective approach for reporting multi-project, high-level status regularly to executives.
  • 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.
  • 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. The format encourages measurable goals, go/no-go criteria, long-term progress reports, and active risk mitigation.
  • Team Member Status Report
    Collecting regular team member status reports provides the project manager a window into the true state of the project work. At its heart, status reporting is as much about risk management as people management. The focus should be on what is needed to complete the project, not a detailed analysis of the team member's every task and movement. Includes guidelines, sample template, and two examples.



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