Status Update Meeting

Share a status update, highlight blockers and assign tasks
Asynchronous meetings
Team meetings
Use this template

How to Run an Effective Status Update Meeting

Status update meetings are some of the more essential meetings your team should have (that is if you run them correctly) - these meetings allow you and your team to align your processes towards the common goals set forth on a specific project. Get the most out of your status update meeting by running it with an async discussion (aka, an async way to run fewer, better meetings).

What are status update meetings?

Any meeting that involves sharing information on the status of a project across departments can be classified as a status update meeting. Although not all status update meetings are cross-departmental, they can occur within individual teams as well.

In a status update meeting, team members have the opportunity to communicate on current updates, their progress towards tasks as they relate to the project, any challenges or roadblocks they've encountered or anticipate, and open action items that require completion.

Status Update Meeting Format

Normally, a meeting intended to provide a status update on a project should last no more than 45 minutes in length. And, as a rule of thumb, if you're wondering how many people are in a status update meeting, or, 'should be', these meetings are typically run with 10 attendees or fewer.

Those attending are usually the managers or leaders of the teams; however, status update meetings can also be conducted within individual teams - in this case, the attendees would be the team leader and the team members who are working on the project. Regardless of if your status meeting is being held across departments or within an individual team, a progress update meeting agenda is indispensable.

What goes into a project status update meeting agenda?

Before diving into your meeting, set the tone by writing up a meeting agenda that attendees can pop into beforehand to review. In the status update meeting agenda, be sure to include:

  • Meeting details & project - clearly indicate the date and time the meeting will be held, the project in question, and at which stage the project is.
  • Welcome address - keep it short and succinct whether you're delivering it synchronously or asynchronous. Add in a few challenges and wins too!
  • Status summaries - this is where each team will provide a quick update (5-10 min) on the progress towards the project and whether they are on track with the deadlines to date.
  • Open action items - are there items still pending, and which should have been completed prior to this meeting? This is where you can share them if you haven't already mentioned them in your status update.
  • Status update questions - open the floor up to any questions about any of the updates or action items shared.
  • Roadblocks & Issues - note any issues or blocks the team is facing as they work through the project?
  • Decisions to be made - do any decisions need to be made? Pop the ones in questions here.
  • Closing - wrap up the meeting and confirm the date of the next weekly update meeting.

Using a status update meeting template speeds up meeting prep and ensures you don't miss any important steps in the actual meeting.

How to give status updates in a meeting

Wondering how to give an update in a meeting? When sharing your status update, keep it short and precise. Here's an example of an update a marketing team may give regarding a company re-branding project.

Marketing team lead: "Last week we outlined all the new marketing materials we'll need to create and which ones we need to update. The new sales stack is on track to be rewritten and the onboarding emails will all be updated as per the new brand guidelines - set to be completed by Friday at the latest."

Meeting organizer: "Are there any pending action items on the new onboarding workflows following last week's update meeting?"

Marketing team lead: "We hit a roadblock earlier in the week with connecting the workflows, but it's all sorted and they're now all functioning correctly".

Best Practices & Considerations

Prior to the meeting

  • Notify your meeting attendees at least one week in advance, or, even better, at the conclusion of your previous status update meeting. Rather than spring these meetings on your team, it's always best to schedule them in by sending out a status update meeting email invitation.
  • Upload attachments of reports, links to relevant dashboards, and any other systems that you have to monitor and track your projects directly to your meeting agenda. Remind attendees to review these reports prior to the meeting so they can arrive prepared.

During the meeting

  • Keep time! Each section update should have an allotted time to ensure the meeting doesn't drag on unnecessarily, and, to keep the meeting focused.
  • Keep clear documentation of any decisions made, agreements, tasks to be followed up on, etc.

The Alternative to a Status Update Meeting

Although a status update meeting is incredibly valuable, it can be very time-consuming and turn into a long drawn-out meeting that starts to lose its effectiveness. Not only that, prior to a status update meeting, teams often exchange and pass over a bunch of information beforehand that they'll discuss in the meeting. An alternative to this process is to instead run an asynchronous status update meeting.

Use a status update meeting template the next time you hold your meeting. With a discussion template, allow attendees to 'attend' the meeting, and add updates when it suits them best.