Sometimes, even the most complex projects, processes, and meetings need a simple summary. That’s when you look for a project summary report.
Whether it’s a general ledger or a summary of financial statements, the right report can make all the difference in helping you streamline your project management. They empower you to reduce complex concepts into simple synopses that keep your project team and other stakeholders in the loop without taking too much time out of their day.
But of course, you don’t want to create every project summary from scratch. You need project management structures that allow you to spend as much time as possible on the actual work, and as little time as needed on reporting out—all while still making those reports look great and helpful.
Does that sound like an impossible task? Not with a project summary template that meets your needs and project type! Let’s dig in.
- What is a Project Summary Template?
- What Makes a Good Project Summary Report Template?
- 10 Project Summary Templates to Use in 2023
- 1. ClickUp Project Summary Template
- 2. ClickUp Summary Report Template
- 3. ClickUp Program Summary Template
- 4. ClickUp Payroll Summary Report Template
- 5. ClickUp Summary of Financial Accounts Template
- 6. ClickUp Project Documentation Template
- 7. ClickUp Whiteboard Executive Summary Template
- 8. ClickUp Board Report Template
- 9. MS Word Project Status Summary Template
- 10. Google Docs Project Executive Summary Template
What is a Project Summary Template?
A project summary template is a report with fill-in-the-blank spots to quickly summarize the project details and current status of the work to all project stakeholders. It’s condensed to the most specific details required, typically involving only a single page or screen—so project team members see exactly what they need to know at a glance.
At the same time, your project summary template needs to be flexible and customizable for all sorts of project managers or team leads. Project summaries—or project proposals—recap the most critical details like project milestones and timelines without over-explaining processes.
This sort of document should also be tailored to your target audience.
Does your client really need the nitty-gritty details? Or does your legal team require a more thorough explanation?
Your project summary template can change depending on the stage of the project. So you’ll likely want to include a project executive summary in your overall project proposal, but you should know that those details could shift your project deliverables once the actual work begins.
What Makes a Good Project Summary Report Template?
Because project summary reports have to be flexible, the templates they’re built on have to follow suit. There is no one-size-fits-all “best” project summary template, simply because different types of projects and audiences will require a unique approach.
With that in mind, the best project summary report templates do share a few common features:
- A simple overview section that allows the creator or project manager to summarize the project in a few words or sentences
- An overview of project milestones, timelines, budgets, and any other tangible resources that act as guardrails for the work
- A prominent spot to list the project owner for any reader to reach out to with questions or notes
- An overview of project management KPIs and the progress the project has made toward them
- A section for clear, short, and actionable takeaways that outlines the next steps needed for the project team
Beyond that, it’s all about finding the right project summary report template for your needs. Review a few of the popular options in the list below before you make your pick.
10 Project Summary Templates to Use in 2023
Not sure where to start? Not to worry—we’ve found the right templates for you. Check out our favorites in this list of 10 free project summary templates to track progress, give financial information, or a simple summary of the project details.
No matter your industry, we’re confident you’ll find one or more templates on this list that work for you.
1. ClickUp Project Summary Template
We’ll start with a template that’s as simple as it’s powerful. The Executive Project Summary Template by ClickUp conveys all the information you need to get across quickly, in an easy-to-complete format.
Like most executive summary templates, this report includes an overview section along with a product/service description, market analysis, and financial summary. Combined, the fields in these sections are designed to summarize a full business plan. However, this summary report template can easily be adjusted to recap a product plan as well.
For the word-challenged among us, color coding makes the project summary template easy to follow. So does an easy conclusion section that includes recommendations and contact info fields. Put it all together, and this project summary report template is so user-friendly and thorough.
2. ClickUp Summary Report Template
Time to get a bit more in-depth. The Summary Report Template by ClickUp still stays high level but digs into some of the details your stakeholders and project team are always bugging you about.
Beyond the top introduction section, you’ll find a few expandable fields that help you include information like:
- Project risks and issues
- Proposed resolutions for those issues
- Other findings
- Action items
- Recommendations moving forward
Best of all, project summaries like this put all that complex information into a simple and skimmable format. It works perfectly alongside a progress report template that goes into more detail on the timeline of the project. And if the two reports both live on the same platform that integration becomes even better.
3. ClickUp Program Summary Template
There’s nothing like a simple solution to summarize a complex issue. The Program Summary Template by ClickUp is specifically designed for that versatility, helping you create a quick overview of a larger business or project plan.
It’s difficult to overstate just how simple this project summary template truly is. Start with a summary of the problem for which the project is needed in the first place, then go into the high notes on how the project solves it.
As a bonus, you can brand the header with not just your company name, but also your logo and contact information. Think of the program summary template as a cover sheet.
If your target audience gets just these few details, they’ll still know exactly why the project exists and how it solves the issue it’s designed to solve. And at its core, isn’t that what project management is all about anyway?
4. ClickUp Payroll Summary Report Template
Don’t we all just love payroll? The truth is that some of the more delicate financial calculations and communications can actually be simplified quite a bit with the right project summary report template. The Payroll Summary Report Template by ClickUp can become that project summary template for your business.
Download this payroll template, and you’ll get fillable fields that create an easy overview of the payroll-related information for all of your employees, including:
- Basic employee information
- Payments and deductions
- Year-to-date activity
- Paid time off credits
- Net pay summary
- Additional comments and remarks
Because it all happens in ClickUp, you can also track who owns each project summary report, who contributed, and the date of the last update. That way, you’re always looking at the latest information as you calculate, evaluate, and share important payroll information.
5. ClickUp Summary of Financial Accounts Template
Speaking of finances: budgets get complex quickly, and without the right report, it’s easy to lose track of individual expenses. That’s where the Summary of Financial Accounts Template by ClickUp comes into play.
It’s a simple project summary report based on two dimensions: individual accounts and account groups. The default view focuses on the accounts as line items, allowing you to track line items like cash, furniture, accounts receivable, store equipment, and more.
Meanwhile, the account groups create overarching categories, such as cash, equipment, and receivables, that will be important to the overall project proposal.
But that’s just the beginning. Once you create the summary, you can also view a list-based or notes-based view for the account groups, or add custom fields like the type of account, credit versus debit, and more. No matter what view or custom fields you choose, the overview stays simple, helping you and your team stay on top of budgets at any point.
Bonus: Try out these bookkeeping templates!
6. ClickUp Project Documentation Template
Sometimes, you just need some good project documentation to help everyone stay on track and keep justifying the work to external stakeholders. The Project Documentation Template by ClickUp is a perfect opportunity to keep that record.
It’s an especially useful template for your own project team. Highlight key team members, along with their roles and responsibilities in the project. Outline the actions, methods, and guidelines everyone on the project needs to keep it moving. You can even link to or summarize the project plan, timeline, and budget.
Sound complex? This template makes sure it doesn’t have to be. You just fill in a few fields, then it’s ready to share with everyone who wants to know what the project is all about and how the work will get done.
7. ClickUp Whiteboard Executive Summary Template
Just like the first project summary template on this list, the Whiteboard Executive Summary Template by ClickUp helps you create an executive summary. But here’s the kicker: this one uses ClickUp’s Whiteboard, making it even more flexible as a result.
You might already know ClickUp’s Whiteboard solution as an intuitive, visual communication tool. Teams can use it to work together, brainstorm, and visualize complex ideas. Now, imagine how powerful an executive summary that uses the same basic concepts could be.
To be sure, your executive summary probably needs to come from a single input. Still, the same drag-and-drop functionality that makes ClickUp’s Whiteboard feature so compelling can help you here as well, building flexible summaries to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
8. ClickUp Board Report Template
Ah, board meetings. We all need them, and we all (sometimes) dread them. Imagine the difference you can make with a simple, streamlined report that provides the board with all the information they need at a glance. That’s what the Board Report Template by ClickUp can do.
Start with your basic company branding and report highlights. From there, you can go into your revenue reports, productivity reports, and other key areas of focus. Sales performance and KPI reporting, along with an honest assessment of any challenges and roadblocks, all have their own section.
Of course, you can also link to longer reports that go beyond the highlights. For example, your board may be interested in a productivity plan designed to address current roadblocks. As long as it’s all created in ClickUp, the links are natural and intuitive.
9. MS Word Project Status Summary Template
If you just need a quick narrative overview of a project’s status, this Project Status Summary Template might just be right for you. It includes four basic sections, each designed to take up a single paragraph:
- An overview of the project, including the start date, purpose, and any KPIs. This section should stay consistent with each report
- A list of administrators, which are the key leads, stakeholders, and companies involved in bringing the project to completion
- The status of the project, with room to add as many details as possible about the progress toward the goal and any other key highlights
- A bulleted list of issues that may prevent the project from succeeding if left unaddressed
As with many templates on this list, the beauty of this option is its simplicity. You just need Microsoft Word to create a compelling, skimmable project status summary each time you need it.
10. Google Docs Project Executive Summary Template
This Project Executive Summary Template is similar to the MS Word version above, though it does contain some nuances beyond being designed specifically for Google Docs:
- A section for project benefits, outlining in more detail just why the project needs to be completed
- Project scope, allowing you to highlight exactly what can and cannot be accomplished, and what resources are needed
- Project operation, designed to provide context on how the project will be executed
The template is easily printable and downloadable, making it a great fit for quickly sharing core information about any project with any external or secondary stakeholders.
Summarizing the Best Project Summary Templates
What good is a template if it doesn’t make your work easier? And what good is a project summary template if it doesn’t help you quickly summarize your project?
As you can see, we’ve got you covered. Choose any of the above templates to start streamlining your project communication. All of these templates can help you build those quick reports your core stakeholders need to stay in the loop.
And if you need to take it even further, why not optimize your entire project management system?
Use ClickUp as the productivity app to end all productivity apps. It’s more than just project and task management: it’s whiteboards, dashboards, chat functionality, goal setting, and much more. And, yes, that also includes all the project summary templates you need to succeed in any industry, and for any audience.
ClickUp’s project summaries and Docs are only the beginning. Our template library is home to countless other templates, from accounting to design and sales to support. With a free account version that includes 100MB of free storage, unlimited tasks and members, and more than 1,000 integrations, it’s tough to find a reason not to sign up.