all articles

5 Ways to Create Great Project Updates

date icon

5 Ways to Create Great Project UpdatesWe’ve all gotten those project updates the ones that are either so useless or so hard to read that we ignore them entirely, and just talk to other members of our team face-to-face. While the sender has the best of intentions, we still start to view him as more of an annoyance than a help. His messages fill up our inbox or task notes and waste our time, and we start wishing he’d stop.

But what if that sender was you?

What if our updates were actually frustrating the team and annoying our clients? Are we damaging our reputation as project managers? Are we harming the project with our bad project updates?

Even if we are, it’s not too late to change. And I’ve got just the tips that can help:

Ask Permission

Your team is going to be busy with their tasks. Your clients are busy with their own businesses. But when you send them an email, they’re pretty much obligated to open it. So you can’t afford to burn your credibility and goodwill by sending unwanted communication.

Before the project even begins, ask this question: what project status updates would they find useful? Would they be happy with a weekly digest of significant milestones? Up-to-the-minute news updates? Or just added notes on the team project management tool?

Know How Much to Include

Which details would the recipient find important? Is what you write going to help them make a decision, or affect their work? If so, then by all means, throw it in! Include important details if they need to be documented.

and How Much to Leave Out

But know when enough is enough. This is a project status update, not a post-mortem report. Remember, you can always talk to someone offline if you want to relate more complicated information (in which case, you should probably call a meeting).

Also, make sure you only send information that the recipient will find important. Don’t drown them in information meant for someone else!

Pace Yourself

Set the right kind of pace for your updates. Too much, and people will become desensitized. Too little, and people won’t even remember what the last update was about. Heck, if you update too often, you might wind up running out of things to talk about.

You don’t need to stick to a calendar schedule, either. You can update your team when something significant happens. Some project management tools allow you to send automated notifications once a task is complete.

Talk to Them, Not at Them

One of the biggest weaknesses of a traditional project update is that it’s a broadcast message, and doesn’t really encourage discussion: This happened, that happened, have a nice day.

If you want your team to become engaged in the process, invite further discussion and reactions among your team. For example, if one of your team members encounters a problem with a certain task, add the line Do any of you have suggestions? and invite the rest of the team to offer a solution.

Image credit, Flickr, Carol Browne

Follow us

Find Out How Easy Resource and Project Management Can Be!

Related Posts

Project Management Basics

What is Project Portfolio Management (PPM).

Best PracticesProject Management Basics

On-Premise Project Management Software in 2024: Must-Know Insights

Project Management Basics

The 5 Phases of an Effective Project Management Life Cycle

Nice! You just took the first step to achieving game-changing results.

To ensure your demo is tailored to your team’s specific needs, we're connecting you with a product specialist to better understand your requirements.

support illustration

Schedule a 30-minute meeting to start your trial

The calendar is loading... Please wait

It’ll take you 8-minutes to see
Birdview features in action:

  • Project Management
  • Financial Management
  • Resource Management
  • Custom Reporting
  • Artificial Intelligence
happy illustration

Nice! You just took the first step
to achieving game-changing results!

Create your account right now. Have a great start with your 14-day trial!

For the best experience please access Birdview PSA from a desktop PC or tablet or download Birdview PSA app at