How to Write an Effective Weekly Report
May 21, 2021 ● 5 min read
As the name implies, the weekly report is an overview or summary of the results achieved or activities performed during a given week. These weekly status reports are used for various purposes and are reviewed by different team members or superiors within a company. Here, we will explain what a weekly status report is and the different purposes behind weekly reports. We will discuss how to create them and what they should contain.
What Are Weekly Status Reports?
As mentioned earlier, a weekly report is an overview of what happened throughout a given week. However, it should also incorporate what was achieved and what the future plans are. In other words, a weekly report template should consist of the following:
- Past: A summary of completed tasks.
- Present: What goals were achieved as a result, or simply show progress toward the goal, along with any difficulties the team encountered.
- Future: Plans or assigned tasks for the coming week.
This is done in order for a manager or an employer to see if things are progressing at the expected pace, and also to evaluate employee performance. The report also shows how problems or challenges were resolved and gives a general overview of the team's strengths and weaknesses.
In addition, the weekly report serves as a basis for changing the approach to certain tasks. So, it supports business intelligence and helps managers make more informed decisions on how to handle certain problems or how to adjust their projections. This is very useful when you are tackling a large project, as an effective weekly report will help you minimize scope creep.
How to Write Weekly Reports
There are no universal guides for what your weekly report should contain, as it is written for a specific purpose. It can be a report on employee performance, ad campaign performance, asset value, user engagement, etc. That being said it should definitely include KPIs for whoever is going to review that weekly report within the organization. In other words, the data in the report must be visualized in such a way that it can be easily compared with previous or future reports.
A report undoubtedly needs to be written and provide more context to the displayed data, but to simplify the entire process, companies use data visualization tools. A written report may be necessary to address outliers in the data analysis or lower/higher performance. This approach to reporting really drives the business intelligence and helps top management make an informed decision.
For example, you can use a tool like Whatagraph to generate or visualize data for your weekly report. The tool actually allows you to calibrate it to show relevant data for a specific time frame, and you can also compare that data to past results.
Now let's focus on some of the more general guidelines on how to make your weekly report templates more effective.
Purpose of the Weekly Status Report
The first thing you need to know is the purpose of your weekly report, or what the relevant KPIs are for your weekly report. With relevant KPIs, you will know the objectives and all the important details that your weekly reports must contain. You will also know whether the report will consist of qualitative or quantitative data analysis and how best to visualize that data.
In addition to KPIs, your weekly report template should include what is known as PPP, or Plans, Progress, Problems. This is a simple and effective way to make sure everyone is on the same page about what is going on within your team. In other words, it gives insight into what you are doing, what you have accomplished, and what issues you have encountered.
This also ties into what we talked about earlier, the importance of including past, present, and future plans in your reports. Properly created plans address the future or the tasks you intend to complete in the following week. Progress should include all of the accomplished or finished tasks. Problems are your current tasks or the tasks that you are currently unable to complete and the reason why. These can be personal problems, or problems with other team members, or simply unexpected events/problems that were out of your control.
Types of Weekly Reports
Finally, let's go through some of the different types of weekly reports so we can discuss what the relevant KPIs would be for these different weekly report templates.
- Employee Weekly Status Report - A report that details the performance of an individual employee or a team of employees. It can include a number of tasks accomplished, responsiveness, problem-solving skills, efficiency, etc.
- Project Status Report - This report template is used to visualize the progress of the project. It can include weekly tasks, plans for the next week, daily activities, technical difficulties, etc.
- Marketing Weekly Report - A report that is used to show the effectiveness of your marketing campaign. It can include the number of new visitors on the website, the number of new links leading to your website, CTR, ad conversions, number of impressions, or number of mentions.
- Weekly Social Media Report - Similar to marketing but it focuses on technical terms or elements used within social media platforms such as the number of likes, shares, followers, and website visitors that were gained through social media links.
- Weekly Profit or Revenue Report - It shows the number of sales and revenue generated in the past week, as well as cart abandonment rates, or other relevant metrics.
What should be included in a weekly status report?
A weekly report should include plans, progress, and problems, or past, present, and future. It needs to show, what has been done, what you plan to do, and what problems have occurred.
What is a weekly summary?
A weekly summary or weekly report is a document that provides insight into the team's accomplishments over the course of one week. It is used to track project status or progress, the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, sales, and employee performance.