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Project Summary Template

A project summary template is a project management tool that gives a synopsis of a project status at a given time. Try Slite's project summary template for free.
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What is a project summary template?

A project summary template is a project management tool that helps you summarize a project's status in a time-efficient manner. They're concise, comprehensive and provide an overview of all the key details of your project.

Project summary templates 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.

By utilizing a project summary template, project planning and execution become much more manageable, and teams can stay organized and focused on project goals.

How to write a project summary template

Identify the audience

Consider who is reading the project summary, and tailor your language, tone, and level of data to their skill-set and what they need to know. Compare our project summary report example to our executive project summary and you'll see how you can apply different templates to different audiences.

Start with basic information

This includes fundamental project details like project name and/or project ID, project phase, planned project launch date and current date.

Remember to include an indication of current project phase and/or status. There are many ways to stylize this with Slite.

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.

Highlight key information

After you have determined your audience, highlight the most important information that relates to the purpose of your project summary. Set up goals, key details, metrics, and milestones in a format that lets readers grasp the necessary data quickly.

Leave space for visual aids

Your project summary report template should include a section for charts, graphs, or other visual aids to help convey complex information. Visual aids make the project summary more engaging and easier to understand. With Slite, you can add visual aids like video clips, attached files, and embedded charts, presentations, slides, spreadsheets, and graphs from other apps.

Finalize the outline

After you finalize essential items for any upcoming project summaries, use our project plan summary template to create modular sections such as project description, timeline, budget, milestones, progress updates, risks, and next steps. Refer to our sample project summary above for an example of a clear, logically structured document.

  • If you're using your project summary template for external purposes, it should include some project background where you address why your team is working on your chosen project, project objectives and how they are planning to approach it.
  • If you're using your summary report template for internal purposes, it should include a section on recent achievements and another on current project roadblocks or challenges.

How it differs from a project executive summary template

An executive summary template for a project includes everything that management, investors and shareholders need to know before reviewing the business plan, including market analysis and financial information. A project summary is a comprehensive report on the project’s key details and its status at the time the report is written.

Save & Share

After completing your first example of a project summary template, review it for accuracy, clarity, and completeness. Make sure all information is up to date and correct. Then save it on Slite and share it with your team.

Best practices for building a Project Summary Template

There are several suggestions that you should consider when developing a project summary template:

Discuss with your project team

The best summary report templates 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.

Think about your audience

How your project recap template 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 summary report template that'd be clear to any reader.

Prioritize key project milestones

While you should avoid getting bogged down in the details at this stage, make sure to prioritize your project's key milestones as if you're building a one page project summary template. This will help you and your team get oriented early on.

Create a full-fledged template for later use

A full-fledged project summary report template can be used to create a project report for many different audiences. Removing unnecessary sections is faster and easier than coming up with new ones. And a complete template ensures that you won't miss any important information when compiling your report.

Continuously revise to keep it concise

Over time and as your team's experience and mutual understanding increase, your project summary template can become leaner. Slite lets you revise old versions through its version history feature. You can go back to old documents and revise them, or create new customized versions to save time creating new documents.

Why you need a Project Summary Template

Writing and developing a project summary template is an excellent action to take as part of any project plan.

Get ready for each stage of the project

Whether you use your project summary template as a means to keep your project team up to date throughout your project's lifecycle or to present key updates to project stakeholders, it will act as a map to guide you through your project's various stages. As it progresses, your project summaries will be great resources for you to refer back to.

Increases clarity

Putting together project summaries forces project teams to put all the essential elements of their projects in writing (if you use a Slite template, they can always be updated in real-time). This facilitates clarity and transparent communication from the get-go.

Internally, project summary templates can be modified to demonstrate project progress at a moment in time or making other templates for project proposals. 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.

Pro Tip: To make data even easier to understand, elements of project summaries are sometimes stylized as Gantt charts or other visual graphs.

Saves time

Having a project summary template handy is convenient for all kinds of project management needs. Whenever you find yourself needing to present your project to someone, internal or external, you'll have a document ready to share with ease.

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