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Monthly Status Report Template

Brief

Monthly status report print-ready sample
Database for the monthly project status report

            A monthly status report can allow for the succinct summary of actions taken in the month in relation to a specific project, team, department, or program to relevant stakeholders. Such practice can be a powerful tool to manage goals, expectations, and ensure desirable outcomes. To facilitate reporting in a standardized fashion, GPetrium has designed a free monthly status report template on excel to drive organizational success.

What is the GPetrium’s Monthly Status Report Template?

            GPetrium’s Monthly Status Report Template (Monthly Status Template) is a free excel tool that facilitates the creation of a progress report. It is designed to track organizational, departmental, or project progress to ensure clear communication between stakeholders that may range from managers, coordinator, teams, sponsors and executives. The printable report is meant to provide a one-pager high-level view update for quick reporting and feedback. The backend database can be used to get in a little more detail or to write key points that may not fit into the report. Before implementing such tool/process, it is important to consider current organizational needs, processes, culture, goals and technology used.

            The tool is divided into 3 key segments, the ‘Report’, ‘Database’ and ‘Config’. The information written in the database helps to populate the report. In the future, GPetrium will release a premium version of the tool which features a dashboard to support a historical visual understanding of your Monthly status reports.

‘Report’ tab

Monthly project status report with guidelines

The report is segmented into 5 differing parts: Health Card, Last Month’s Accomplishments, Plans for the Month, Risk Monitoring and Control, and Notes.

  • Health Card helps stakeholders keep an eye on what matters by knowing how major items are moving forward. Usually, the items listed here are associated with milestones for a project, a team, or organization. The example provided of Scope, cost, time, risk, quality and resources are often considered part of the double triangle in project management. However, they can and should be substituted by elements that are relevant to your project, team, department, or organization.
  • Last Month’s Accomplishments allows for the identification of key accomplishments that have been done throughout the past month. Such historical information allows for a better understanding of the relevance of present and future goals. Further, such actions are often tied to the overall goal of the team or organization, helping to reach their respective milestones (project/program)/ epics (agile).
  • Plans for the Month provides an opportunity to show what is expected to be accomplished for the upcoming month and ensure that stakeholders are up to date on priorities, schedule, expectation and can potentially assist with what’s to come.
  • Risk monitoring and control gives the ability to highlight potential risks and the steps that are likely to be taken to mitigate them.
  • Notes gives you an opportunity to add-on to what has been said so far, or to raise things that are important, but could not be added to the other areas.

Below are some information on each column and circled item depicted in the image above:

  1. Date/ Owner: Date of issue for the report and name of report owner. It can be changed to ‘Reporting Period’, ‘Project Coordinator’, etc. There is also a cell right above Health Card where extra information such as project name can be added.
  2. ID: A row identifier to facilitate the transfer of data from the ‘Database’ tab to the ‘Report’ tab. It is important to note that in order to have an item shown in the report from the database, it is necessary to input the item ID number into this cell. When that happens, the file will automatically feed the rest of the information in.
  3. Item: The health card item, previous accomplishment, upcoming plans, risk monitoring and control or notes associated to the ID. This is automatically filled once the ID for that row is identified. There is an option to do it manually, although it limits the value proposition and functionality.
  4. Status: A drop-down of -1 (Red), 0 (Yellow) and 1 (Green) to determine the status of the item.

Trending: A (often subjective) confidence level of where the item will move towards in the upcoming month in relation to expected timeline. This is auto-populated based on the ID input in the ‘Database’ tab.

Monthly status report color validation example

            6. Resources: Name of external link to supporting documentation. This is             auto-populated based on the ID.

            7. Mitigation: Type of mitigation used in relation to the item row. This is             auto-populated based on the ID.

Action: The action that needs to be done in relation to the risk monitoring and control item.

How to Print

              For an easy print shortcut, press CTRL+P. Otherwise, go to File > Print. Once in the print pane, follow these settings: “print active sheet, collated, landscape orientation, letter, normal margins, and no scaling (as stipulated in the picture below).

Printable Monthly Status Report

‘Database’ tab

Monthly status report database

              The information seen in the ‘Report’ tab is populated through the ‘Database’ tab. There are currently 11 columns that can be populated into the ‘Database’ table. Below we will look at each column:

  • ID: A row identifier to facilitate the transposition of data from the ‘Database’ tab to the ‘Report’ tab.
  • Type: Description of the type of information that will feed the chart: Objective, Accomplishment, Planned, Risk M&C (monitoring and control), or Notes.
  • Date: date in which information was inputted.
  • Item: Description of reported item.
  • Status: A number between -1 (Red), 0 (Yellow) and 1 (Green) to determine the status of the item.
  • Trending: A (often subjective) confidence level of where the item will move towards in the upcoming month in relation to expected timeline.
  • Resources: Resource necessary to complete task.
  • Mitigation: Type of action required to mitigate identified risk: exploit, enhance, share, accept, avoid, transfer, reduce, or multiple types of mitigative actions.
  • Action: Action necessary in order to mitigate identified risk
  • Deadline: Due date of item.
  • Comment: Field for further commentary to clarify item.

‘Config’ Tab

              This section helps to configure the drop-down list for [Mitigation], [Status], [Trending] and [Type]. If you would like to decrease or increase the number of options in the config tab, you will need to change the Data Validation for that column, please refer to the Q&A for more information on how to modify such columns.

Ideas and Best Practices

  • Always use the slicers in the ‘Database’ tab to filter down to the relevant material, otherwise it can be challenging to keep track of your data. Remember to un-filter if you need to see the bigger picture.
  • Keep each segment (Health Card, Last Month’s Accomplishments, etc.) under 5 rows each. Simplicity and clarity are essential for Monthly status reports.
  • Setting up an ID format for each ‘Type’ can be helpful when transferring data from one tab to another. In the example, GPetrium used:
  • Remember to update the date on the report to conform with company’s expectations.
  • Columns F to J in the ‘Database’ tab can be filled for all types. The example given is meant to be a baseline. Use the functionality according to one’s own needs.

Conclusion

              A good Monthly Status Report can be a part of the solution to drive increased organizational productivity, clarity and visibility. The Monthly Status report in excel provides a baseline for clients of all sizes to move in the right direction towards maintaining better data control, improved processes, automating tasks and facilitating Monthly report creation. For those interested in the Weekly Status Report, please refer to this link. For more information on tool’s that can help managers navigate through their daily activities successfully, visit “Toolkit for a Successful Manager”.

Q&A

Q: I tried to add a new drop-down item to [Status], [Trending], and [Mitigation] in the Config tab, unfortunately, it does not appear on the ’Database’ tab.

A: The drop-down system is based on the ‘Data Validation’ excel feature, it restricts the entries based on a subset of cells that have been chosen. To recalibrate, you will need to choose all cells in that respective column then on the access toolbar go to ‘Data->Data Validation->Settings’ and change the Source to cover all the items you expect to have on the drop-down.

Q: My Accomplish/ Progression/ Plans/ Risk/ Notes are not visually appealing or are being cut-off and I think the culprit is the length of the sentence. What can I do?

A: The tools is meant to be short and concise to facilitate end-user reading and creation of report. If there is a need to write more, GPetrium encourages users to use the Notes column to provide further context or use the comments column in the ‘Database’.

Authors

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