How to Write a Progress Report

Progress reports are an important part of project management, whether it’s your dissertation or a project at work. You’ll need to use these to keep your supervisors, your colleagues, or your clients updated about the project you’re working on. You’ll be focusing on what you’ve accomplished and what still needs to be done.

Steps

Part 1 of 3: Beginning the Process Download Article

How to Write a Progress Report

Figure out what your purpose is for the proposal. There are a variety of different reasons someone asks you to write a progress report. Obviously for any of them it’s to show what kind of progress you’ve achieved on a specific project. However, there are some different types of proposals that you’ll need to consider.

  • Progress report for a research program or project is going to be slightly different than for a project at work. In this case you are more likely to need to cite information and are less likely to need to consider things like cost (although not always).
  • A work report for a client is going to read somewhat differently than for a superior at work. You’ll need to consider why you’re writing this report for them.

How to Write a Progress Report

Consider your audience. When you’ve sorted out the purpose of writing your progress report, you need to consider the kinds of things that your audience is going to need to know in the report. While all progress reports have general things they tend to include, you’ll need consider the specifics:

  • How are your readers connected to the project? How will the outcome of the project affect them? (The connection and how they’re affected is going to be different for your superior than for the client, for example.)
  • Consider what decision your readers are going to need to make after reading the progress report (what support, money, time are they investing, for example.
  • Consider the information your reader is going to need to know to oversee and participate in the project effectively. What technical aspects of the project will they need to know. Are they comfortable with technical jargon?

How to Write a Progress Report

Decide on the best way to communicate with your audience. A progress report isn’t only a written document that you send to your superior or your professor. It can take a number of forms depending on what is needed.

  • A progress report could be a brief oral report at weekly or monthly staff meetings.
  • It could be periodic emails to colleagues.
  • It could be formal or informal memos to supervisors.
  • It can also be formal reports for clients or government agencies.

How to Write a Progress Report

Check with your supervisor. Unless you’ve written this specific type of progress report before (in which case, why are you on here?), you’ll want to get as much guidance from your superiors. There may be a specific format that your company uses, in which case you’ll want to be sure you follow the rules for that.

How to Write a Progress Report

Consider your tone. Not all progress reports need to be formal. In fact, internal reports for colleagues or supervisors often tend to be more informal in tone. This is why it’s so important to check with your supervisor for what they are likely looking for.

  • When it comes to information for a client or government agency, or thesis review board, you err on the side of formality.
  • No matter the formality or informality of your tone you want it to be clear, focused, and honest.

Score
0 / 0

Part 1 Quiz

What should you take into consideration about your reader before you begin writing your report?

Want more quizzes?

Keep testing yourself!

Part 2 of 3: Writing Your Report Download Article

How to Write a Progress Report

Decide how you want to present your material. By the time you start writing your report you’ll already have figured out what the tone needs to be and the point of the report. Now you need to decide the best way or ways in which to present that information.

  • You might choose to do a bulleted list. It’s a very clear way to present the material and it’s easy to skim and still get the needed information. However, it can be a slightly less formal way of writing a progress report so it might be better to use it for memos to supervisors and emails to colleagues.
  • You may also consider adding in graphs or tables. This might be especially good if you’re writing a progress report for a project in which you’re trying to get funding, or show why you deserve the funding you’ve been given.

How to Write a Progress Report

Consider using subsections. To write a successful progress report you want it to be as clear as possible. Splitting your report into subsections is a great way to cluster all relevant material together.

  • Adding subheadings to your can make this even clearer, because it lets your readers or audience know what to expect in each subsection. If there is material that they are particularly interested in they’ll be able to jump right to that part.

How to Write a Progress Report

Write the heading. This typically goes across the top of the paper, if you’re using a page format. Again, it will depend on what your company or university prefers, so make sure you check in with them.

  • The heading should include the date, when the report was submitted, the name and the position of the recipient, the writer’s name and position, and the subject of the report.

How to Write a Progress Report

Write the introductory section. The introductory section goes below the heading. It can often be set apart from the rest of the material through italics. It gives a brief overview of the project, and summarizes its status. You will be establishing what progress has been made, and whether certain goals have been achieved.

  • Make sure to include: the purpose of the report, introduce the project, remind that this is an update on the progress of the project.

How to Write a Progress Report

Do the body of the proposal. The body of proposal, whether it’s broken into sections and subsections, is basically just a more detailed version of the introduction. Consider the information you’ve put into the introduction and make sure to expand on that information.

  • Specify tasks that have been accomplished since the last report and what tasks are ongoing.
  • Discuss problems that you’ve encountered, issues that need to be addressed, and potential solutions for those problems and issues.
  • Address changes that have happened and why they needed to be made.
  • You can also include things like personnel changes, difficulty in obtaining material, what cost overruns you may have encountered, any delays or problems with technology or security.

How to Write a Progress Report

Address what is next for your project. While this is still basically part of the body of the report, you want to make sure that your audience understand where you’re going with the project. Make sure that you state what problems might affect the deadline for completion, the budget, or the management structure.

  • You really do want to make sure say whether the deadline for the project has changed or not.
  • Avoid sugarcoating any problems for your audience, but don’t alarm them unnecessarily or promise anything you can’t deliver.

How to Write a Progress Report

Add in total hours worked. You will need to show how much work you and your team (if you have one) have put into the project. This will show your audience (whether it’s your supervisor, your clients, or a government agency who might give you money) that you’ve been working hard.

Score
0 / 0

Part 2 Quiz

Which section of your progress report should include issues you’ve faced?

Want more quizzes?

Keep testing yourself!

Part 3 of 3: Avoiding Common Difficulties Download Article

How to Write a Progress Report

Make sure you stay on topic. As long as you stick the basic information outlined above, you should be fine. You really want to avoid wandering off into other areas only marginally related to the project, interesting though they may be.

  • For example: if your project is about reigniting a local, nonprofit arts organization, it might be tempting to go off into a discussion of the deplorable state of arts funding, but it won’t really help detail how your project is coming along.

How to Write a Progress Report

Keep it simple. The point of a progress report is to get across the progress you’re making, without overwhelming your audience with words and ideas. All you need to focus on are how a particular project is coming, what still needs to be worked on, and what changes made need to be made.

  • Depending on who you’re writing the report for you might be cut down to a specific page limit. A good rule of thumb is to keep it as short as possible, while making sure that you fit in the appropriate information.

How to Write a Progress Report

Try to avoid being too vague. You need to make sure that you give specific details on where you’re at in your project. For example: you would want to avoid saying something like “We’re making good progress on getting our arts funding” and instead say “with the two $5,000 grants from these different foundations, we are just $2,000 short of our $12,000 goal.”

How to Write a Progress Report

Cut down on expressive wording. Again, you want your report to be clear and concise. You don’t want to overwhelm your audience with wording that doesn’t add anything to the report. For example, phrases like “complete catastrophe” or “giddy success” are too emotional and too vague to be of use to clients or supervisors.

How to Write a Progress Report

Cite your sources. Any information you use that comes from an outside source, any graphs or data, needs to be properly cited. You can add an additional sources cited page to your progress report.

Score
0 / 0

Part 3 Quiz

True or False: Emotional words are an effective way to write progress reports because they show passion and excitement.

Want more quizzes?

Keep testing yourself!

Video .By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.

Warnings

  • In order not to be caught unprepared when it’s time for a progress report, it’s a good idea to record information as you go along so it’s easy to put all the information together. Thanks! Helpful 6 Not Helpful 3
News Related
  • How to Watch the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics

    After a year’s delay due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the 2020 Olympics are set to kick off in Tokyo on July 23, 2021. Even though the events are technically taking place in 2021, they’re still called the 2020 Olympics. The bad news is that international spectators aren’t allowed—but that ...

    See Details: How to Watch the 2021 Tokyo Summer Olympics

  • How to Become a Member of the YMCA

    The YMCA offers a wide variety of services to its members at hundreds of centers across the United States. YMCA members have access to state-of-the-art fitness equipment, a broad range of wellness programs, and licensed child-care services. Most YMCAs offer flexible membership plans, including reduced fees for low-income participants. Steps ...

    See Details: How to Become a Member of the YMCA

  • How to Put Ski Bindings on Skis

    Mounting ski bindings is something you can do yourself if you have the proper tools and know-how, including a drilling jig and a special drill bit. If you don’t have the right tools or aren’t confident in your ability to get the job done, it’s always best to have your ...

    See Details: How to Put Ski Bindings on Skis

  • How to Run a Fitness Boot Camp

    A fitness boot camp is a type of physical training class that encourages participants to do cardiovascular and strength training through instructor-led exercises. The classes often include intervals, competitions and team work. It is available through gyms, private trainers and dedicated boot camp businesses. Boot camps may take place inside ...

    See Details: How to Run a Fitness Boot Camp

  • How to Do Qigong Hsing I Exercises

    This article will show you how to do basic-advanced qigong that will develop internal strength and increase martial power. Though easy to perform these exercises are immensely effective. Steps Part 1 Part 1 of 2:Empty posture Download Article Stand normally with feet shoulder width apart. Your arms will rest normally ...

    See Details: How to Do Qigong Hsing I Exercises

  • How to Become a Football Player After 20

    Soccer or football can sometimes seem like a young person’s game. But with the right attitude and preparedness, anyone who is fit and dedicated to the sport can get in the game. Here are a few tips to help you out if you’re over 20 and still keen to get ...

    See Details: How to Become a Football Player After 20

  • How to Do a Sitting to Standing Exercise

    Moving from sitting to standing is a motion that most people already do throughout the day. However, when this motion is done mindfully, it can be a gentle–yet effective–exercise. This movement can strengthen your legs, lower back, and core. It can be especially helpful for older folks and people recovering ...

    See Details: How to Do a Sitting to Standing Exercise

  • How to Exercise

    Exercise is a key part of staying healthy, but figuring out how to get more active can be tough. If you’re not used to physical activity, start slow. Go for 10 to 15 minute walks, and work your way up to briskly walking or jogging for 30 minutes daily. Try ...

    See Details: How to Exercise

  • How to Be Hygienic Using Public Swimming Pools

    Exercise is a key part of staying healthy, but figuring out how to get more active can be tough. If you’re not used to physical activity, start slow. Go for 10 to 15 minute walks, and work your way up to briskly walking or jogging for 30 minutes daily. Try ...

    See Details: How to Be Hygienic Using Public Swimming Pools

  • How to Exercise Facial Muscles

    Exercise is a key part of staying healthy, but figuring out how to get more active can be tough. If you’re not used to physical activity, start slow. Go for 10 to 15 minute walks, and work your way up to briskly walking or jogging for 30 minutes daily. Try ...

    See Details: How to Exercise Facial Muscles

  • How to Get Rid Of Man Breasts Through Exercise

    Exercise is a key part of staying healthy, but figuring out how to get more active can be tough. If you’re not used to physical activity, start slow. Go for 10 to 15 minute walks, and work your way up to briskly walking or jogging for 30 minutes daily. Try ...

    See Details: How to Get Rid Of Man Breasts Through Exercise

  • How to Get PSA Grading

    Exercise is a key part of staying healthy, but figuring out how to get more active can be tough. If you’re not used to physical activity, start slow. Go for 10 to 15 minute walks, and work your way up to briskly walking or jogging for 30 minutes daily. Try ...

    See Details: How to Get PSA Grading

  • How to Measure a Fitness Ball

    Exercise is a key part of staying healthy, but figuring out how to get more active can be tough. If you’re not used to physical activity, start slow. Go for 10 to 15 minute walks, and work your way up to briskly walking or jogging for 30 minutes daily. Try ...

    See Details: How to Measure a Fitness Ball

  • How to Improve Reaction Speed

    Exercise is a key part of staying healthy, but figuring out how to get more active can be tough. If you’re not used to physical activity, start slow. Go for 10 to 15 minute walks, and work your way up to briskly walking or jogging for 30 minutes daily. Try ...

    See Details: How to Improve Reaction Speed

OTHER NEWS

How to Become a Nike Authorized Dealer

Nike is an Oregon-based athletic company specializing in shoes and sportswear. From its modest beginnings in 1972, the company grew quickly and sells products in 130 countries today. If you ... Read more »

How to Learn Wing Chun

Wing Chun is a style of kung fu that emphasizes close quarter combat, quick punches and tight defense to overcome opponents. This traditional Chinese martial art destabilizes opponents with quick ... Read more »

How to Start a Dance Studio

Dance has been a traditional element of many cultures for centuries. Many different styles of dance are taught and practiced around the world, and dance studios are a common type ... Read more »

How to Raise Your Leg up to Your Head

All kinds of athletes and performers raise their legs up to their heads, demonstrating flexibility and strength in their abilities. These include dancers, figure skaters, and martial artists, among others. ... Read more »

Proven Workouts and Exercises to Increase Your Athletic Speed

Whether you’re a runner, a basketball player, or a martial artist, speed is an advantage for any athlete! Get quicker on your feet by incorporating speed drills and sprints into ... Read more »

How to Display Hockey Cards

Instead of keeping your hockey cards stashed away in old shoe boxes, go ahead and show off some of your favorites! If you have some high-value cards, use professional-grade preservation ... Read more »

How to Fit a Riding Helmet

Whether you are a casual rider or a competitive equestrian, a well-fitted riding helmet is a must. You want a helmet that is made specifically for horseback riding, that fits ... Read more »

How to Go to the Himalayas

Traveling to the Himalayas can be a thrilling, life changing experience, so you’re probably really excited to plan your trip. The Himalayas are a mountain range in Asia that spreads ... Read more »

How to Travel to the Dominican Republic

If you’re dreaming of white sandy beaches and a lush, tropical landscape, head to the Dominican Republic for the trip of a lifetime. As the top destination in the Caribbean, ... Read more »

How to Strengthen Quads Using a Fitness Ball

Quad exercises are a great way to build strength in your upper legs, and, if done regularly, will yield results relatively quickly. Working your quads (the muscles along your thighs) ... Read more »

How to Reduce the Stress of Your Commute

Are your mornings filled with stress and anxiety due to your commute? Do you find yourself laying on the horn, screaming expletives at the drivers around you, and feeling extremely ... Read more »

How to Travel Around Taiwan

Taiwan is a beautiful island country located in East Asia, only a short distance from mainland China. In addition to the main island, Taiwan has many smaller islands and archipelagoes ... Read more »

How to Chew Betel Nut in Papua New Guinea

If you ever go to Papua New Guinea, the first thing you will notice is the brilliant red-stained teeth and lips of the local men and women. Betel nut, or ... Read more »

How to Plan a Spring Break Staycation

Typically, when it comes to spring break, ideas like vacations to the beach come to mind. You don’t, however, have to take a vacation to enjoy your spring break. Instead, ... Read more »

How to Travel During the Holidays for Seniors

The holidays are a great time for traveling to visit family and friends. If you’re a senior, there are special considerations to take into account during holiday travel. You want ... Read more »

How to Travel As a Photographer

Becoming a travel photographer is a dream for many. Being able to roam around the world, getting paid for taking photos of beautiful landscapes, and experiencing new cultures and people ... Read more »

How to Cope with Honeymoon Mishaps

Text Only Text Only Going on your honeymoon with your partner is a marriage rite of passage. You and your partner may have a romantic beach getaway planned or a ... Read more »

How to Get to the Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands—made up of 13 main islands, 6 smaller islands, and 107 rocks and islets—is well-known for its amazing wildlife. If you plan on visiting the Galapagos, you’ll need ... Read more »

How to Disappear Completely

Whether you need to lay low or simply want to be left alone, disappearing might sound like a good idea. Running away usually isn’t necessary and most problems are solvable ... Read more »

How to Apply for ESTA

If you want to visit the US for a brief period, either for business or pleasure, you may qualify for travel authorization under the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) ... Read more »

How to Travel With Children

Do you want to go on vacation, but need somewhere family friendly? Do you dread traveling with your children because of the inevitable headaches? Don’t put off travel altogether. Traveling ... Read more »

How to Write While Traveling

Writing while traveling can be either a professional or personal pursuit. Some people travel and write as part of their jobs, while others simply want to make the most out ... Read more »

How to Obtain a NEXUS Membership

NEXUS is a “Trusted Traveler” and accelerated border control program for pre-approved, low-risk travelers, allowing them quicker and smoother crossing between the Canada-United States border. Steps Download Article Find out ... Read more »

How to Apply for a Nigerian Visa

Except for nationals of some African countries, visitors to Nigeria generally need a visa to enter and depart the country. You can complete an online application to apply for a ... Read more »

How to Travel to Nigeria

If you’ve got an adventurous spirit and you’re looking for something off of the beaten path, Nigeria may be a great option for your next vacation! From sun-drenched beaches to ... Read more »

How to Make a Travel Brochure

A creative, expertly written and well-designed travel brochure invites readers to cast themselves into a story that takes place in an exotic locale. In this article, learn how to make ... Read more »

How to Travel Spontaneously

Traveling can be a pleasant, carefree experience, but the large amounts of planning and preparation which usually precede actually traveling can make the process seem like more trouble than it’s ... Read more »

How to Enjoy Niagara Falls when It Rains

It can be a let down if you get to Niagara Falls and it’s raining. Luckily, there are many indoor attractions you can still enjoy. Try to spend time at ... Read more »

How to Go to Sydney from Melbourne

Melbourne and Sydney are two of the largest cities in Australia, so it stands to reason you’d want to travel between them from time to time. Your main options for ... Read more »

How to Use the Mobile Passport App to Save Time at US Customs and Border Patrol

After flying internationally, you can speed up the US Customs and Border control process by using the easy-to-navigate Airside Mobile Passport app! Anyone who holds a US or Canadian passport ... Read more »

How to Dress in Egypt As a Woman

Whether you’re going for the ancient history, the modern cities, or the mesmerizing beaches, Egypt is a country you don’t want to miss out on. Since Egypt is a mostly ... Read more »

How to Enjoy Maui with the Kids

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing vacation or an action-packed trip, Maui is the perfect place to spend time together as a family. You’ll find plenty of activities geared towards ... Read more »

How to Buy Gifts and Souvenirs for Others When Traveling Abroad

People love receiving gifts and when you’re traveling, it’s tempting to bring a piece of a faraway land back to others. Traveling abroad brings a host of concerns, including what ... Read more »

How to Ride your Bike to School Safely

Did you just learn how to ride a bike and want to ride it to school? Well, read this guide to do it. Steps Download Article Find a safe route ... Read more »

How to Prepare for a Trip to Israel

Also known as The Holy Land, Israel is a beautiful and diverse Mediterranean country with a history of religious significance dating back thousands of years. Despite its small size, millions ... Read more »

How to Plan Your Business Travel

Planning a work-related trip can be a stressful endeavor. On top of your usual travel concerns, you also have to keep your mind focused on the business aspect of your ... Read more »

How to Plan a Trip to Blue Hole in Belize

Deep in the middle of the turquoise Caribbean Sea, is a large dark blue circle known worldwide as the “Blue Hole”. Situated in the centre of the Lighthouse Reef, the ... Read more »

How to Get to Lord Howe Island

Lord Howe Island is a popular year-round tourist destination and stopover spot for yachts sailing the Tasman Sea. Fly to the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage island on small propeller planes ... Read more »

How to Travel to Madagascar

Madagascar is an amazing place full of unique wildlife, gorgeous beaches, and fascinating geological structures. Because it’s an isolated island, Madagascar is home to many animals that can’t be found ... Read more »

How to Get to Machu Picchu

If the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu in Peru is your destination, you’ll have to navigate through the mountainous terrain by train or on foot. How much money and ... Read more »