A project summary, sometimes referred to as a project summary report or an executive summary template, provides a synopsis of a project's status at a given time. They're concise, comprehensive and provide an overview of all the key details of your project.
Project summaries are important tools for project management and project planning. They serve many purposes, both internally and externally.
Internally, project summaries demonstrate project progress at a moment in time. They provide an executive summary for project managers, team members, contractors and other service providers. They communicate project milestones, metrics and project timeline updates to keep project teams on track, help them get organized and work together efficiently.
Project summaries can also be used as project briefs, used to present or provide updates on projects externally. In this case, they often act as project proposals and help their readers get a quick impression of a project's nature, status and overall context.
All of this makes project summaries incredibly useful tools that make project planning and execution much easier.
Project summaries are flexible depending on the specific needs of your project, but usually include the following elements:
Pro Tip: It's also a good idea to indicate key project team members on your project summary, as well as their contact information. This can include the project manager, main stakeholders, key decision makers and project sponsors.
Writing and developing a project summary is an excellent action to take as part of any project plan. Doing so:
Pro Tip: To make data even easier to understand, elements of project summaries are sometimes stylized as Gantt charts or other visual graphs.
If you're ready to start developing your project summary, you can get started right away with Slite's free template.
We love helping teams collaborate more easily, and our project summary template will help you do just that. It has a simple, intuitive design and formatting that's easy for anyone to customize and use. Forget about sending Excel sheets, Google Docs, Microsoft Word documents and powerpoints back and forth. With Slite, you can keep everything you need in one easily accessible place.
Want to begin customizing your Slite template? Dive in right away by:
Meeting With Your Project Team
The best project summaries are assembled collaboratively and with a deep understanding of the project at hand. To get things started, meet with your project team early on to brainstorm and hash out all the details that'll go into your summary.
Thinking About Your Audience
How your project summary looks will depend on who it's being written for. Be sure to determine the key audience that will be reading your project summary and make sure it's geared towards them. If you want to keep it flexible, make sure to write a report template that'd be clear to any reader.
Determining Key Project Milestones
While you should avoid getting bogged down in the details at this stage, make sure to determine your project's key milestones and include them in your summary. This will help you and your team get oriented early on.
...there you have it! You're ready to start working on your project summary. Use these tips and you'll have it ready to use as a key element of your project planning process in no time.