Meeting Status Update FAQs [Ultimate List]

Who? When? What? How long? What do you say? Get all your status update meeting questions answered.

The Meetingnotes Team
December 6, 2023

Status update definition:

A status update is a regularly scheduled check-in, typically about a project, to share information.

Status updates are often a smaller part of another meeting — like a recurring team meeting or a project meeting.

Sometimes you might hold an entire meeting that is dedicated to status updates. This should be avoided if possible, as it can be a slog of a meeting. Meeting time is generally better used for discussions, decisions, and other activities that rely on the collective intelligence and presence of the group.

When do you give status updates?

A status update is typically held near the beginning of a meeting in order to let people know how they can help. That way, if discussion topics come up as a result of the status update, they can be addressed during the meeting. Make sure to assign any action items that arise as well.

Who gives a status update?

A status update is given for a project or initiative that is ongoing, and it is given by someone who is involved in implementing the plan or who has visibility into all the moving parts of the project.

How long is a status update?

A status update is usually informal and as brief as possible. In normal circumstances, it can last from 2 to 10 minutes per person. This might extend longer if there are questions or other discussions that spawn from the update.

If you must have a status update meeting or at least check-in, set a check-in time and stick to it.

Is there a specific way to give a status update?

Usually, status updates are casual, with the person giving the update deciding what information is important, and what isn't. Since every project is unique, there is no standard way to give a status update, but most updates include information such as:

  • What happened recently (e.g. last week)?
  • What is happening now (e.g. this week)?
  • What challenges are we facing that we might need help with?

If a project is large and complex, or under a strict deadline, an organization might use a more detailed template for creating status reports to foster consistency across the board.

How often do you give status updates or hold status update meetings?

Status update meetings can be on a recurring meeting cadence (e.g. weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly), or they can be scheduled to be held at various times during the project with different stakeholders. It generally depends on your other communication channels, and how effective they are at providing everyone visibility into the project.


How do you give a status update?

A status update is typically given verbally, and it follows a similar formula as any other meeting:

  • Be on time
  • Have bullet points, an agenda, or at least an idea of what you're going to stay
  • Speak for the allotted time (or an appropriate amount of time, like 2-5 minutes, if a specific time is not designated)

How do you politely ask for a status update?

  • Can I get a quick status update?
  • I'd like to get a quick update on _________
  • Could you tell me where we are in the project?
  • I'd love for you to tell us where we are with this.

If you're someone who has asked for a status update, wait for the person with the update to start, and then be quiet and let them finish without interruption.

What kind of status updates are there?

Some examples include:

  • Regular check-in — often set up to occur every other week, this is a quick check-in by someone who is involved with the project or has visibility into its progress.
  • Project status report — a formal report on the current state of the project and where it's headed.
  • Weekly or bi-weekly stand-up — a very brief meeting (usually 5 to 10 minutes) where everyone on the team reports what they are currently working on and whether there are any roadblocks in their way.
  • Quarterly Business Review — this can be scheduled every three months or every quarter, depending on your organizational structure.

What is an update meeting?

A status update meeting is a specific type of meeting that occurs on a regular basis, with the purpose of communicating to everyone involved in the project. This is different from an iteration or sprint review. An update meeting focuses on what is going on with the whole project as opposed to just one set of tasks.

What is the purpose of an update meeting?

The purpose of an update meeting is to communicate to everyone involved about the current status of the effort. Any information that pertains to project operations and is especially relevant to the current phase, such as tasks that have been completed, updated, or changed would be discussed. At a high level, update meetings are aimed at determining where progress currently stands and what issues (if any) could impact the progress for the upcoming work period or sprint.

How do you improve status meetings?

A good way to improve status meetings is to implement decision-making into the meeting. When managers push decisions on their teams, everyone loses. So why not apply the following to grow the leadership in your team?

  • Ask them: what do you think we should do here?
  • Have them discuss the problem until they get a solution.
  • Challenge them to find the right answer without you.

Is a status update in a meeting anything like a Facebook status update?

No. A status update is a check-in with everyone involved to communicate the current status of the project, which is different from a Facebook post (which can be related to all things going on in your work and personal life). This should clarify your understanding of when it's appropriate to talk about non-work projects, and how you should go about this (if at all).

Related Questions:

What is a status report?

A status report is a report on the current state of the project, including an evaluation of the project's current performance. This is different from a status update, which is a quick check-in with stakeholders.

How do you correctly spell status report?

Status report is a noun, and it is spelled S-T-A-T-U-S R-E-P-O R T. It's common to see people add extra letters to the word, making the usage incorrect because they're adding in a "u" — but that extra letter isn't there.

Does status mean the same as update?

The word "status" means the current situation or state of affairs. To "update" is to bring someone or something up to speed. Indeed, they do not mean the same thing, but the two words are highly complementary.

What is an example of updating?

An example of updating is to update your Facebook status. You can also update your status on Twitter (which is the same). It's another way to say "let everyone know what you're working on or what's going on with your life."

What are the synonyms of update?

There are many synonyms for update, such as check-in:

  • Check-in
  • Close the loop
  • Clarify
  • Confirm
  • Communicate
  • Coordinate with colleagues/team members
  • Communicate progress to team members and stakeholders
  • Change information (i.e. updating my profile picture)

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