A good weekly status report template should:
- Help people introspect - End of the week is a great time to zoom out and think about what worked and what did not. And a weekly status report should reflect this.
- Plan for the future - Setup your template to help everyone plan their most important goals and activities for the coming week. While doing this, ensure that the report focuses on high level plans only. Don’t get lost in every minute task!
- Be run asynchronously - Don’t waste important meeting time by asking everyone to read aloud their bullet points. Those should be sent in advance, and use the meeting to only discuss important talking points.
- Highlight learnings & failures - Introspection isn’t useful if we don’t learn from it! Make sure that your template should have space to showcase these for everyone’s benefit.
Let’s look at the most common template for weekly meetings:
What did you work on last week?
This is a simple nudge to your team to think about the last week! Encourage them to think about their biggest achievements and failures and major chunks of activities they did. This is not about listing down every small task, but rather to focus on high level activities.
What are your plans for this week?
This is a simple one again! Use this section to encourage your team to write about what they want to achieve and work on next week.
What is your #1 learning from this week?
I have seen that a lot of managers and scrum masters do not include this section in their template. But this is the most important aspect of a good weekly status check-in! Introspection is tough, and you should encourage that whenever you can. This is a good chance for everyone to strategise and think why something worked and why did something not. And when you share those insights with others, your whole team benefits!