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How to Write a Progress Report

Jun 09, 2020 2 min read

A progress report is a document usually required by a supervisor, client, or colleagues. The purpose of this document is to summarize the status, progress, and expected future for a particular project.

In other words, a progress report outlines the activities and tasks you have completed, and the milestones you have reached regarding your project plan. Depending on the complexity and the scope of the project, you might have to write a daily, weekly, or monthly report.

The Importance of a Progress Report

You may feel like wasting your time on writing about the progress of a project in detail, especially when you’re communicating with your teammates, supervisor, and client regularly, but this document is important for a few reasons, including:

  • Getting everyone on the same page;
  • Facilitating collaboration;
  • Providing a paper trail to improve transparency and accountability;
  • Improving project evaluation and review;
  • Providing insights for future planning.

Facebook ads report exampleExample of Whatagraph report

7 Steps to Write a Progress Report

Here are seven steps to help you write this type of document which can be very useful for beginners. 

  • Figure Out the Purpose

This is the first thing to do when writing a progress report. Once you know the purpose of the report, you’ll start writing it more easily.

  • Write the Header

Write the name of the project report, the name, and position of the writer, date of submission, recipient’s name and position, etc.

  • Write the Introduction

This part should be short and simple and include an overview of the report’s contents. It’s best to write it after completing the entire report.

  • The Body of the Report

This part includes your accomplishments, goals, and roadblocks for the period covered by the progress report. You can write about a team goal, or a goal for the day, week, or month.

Think about your accomplishments, the roadblocks that have prevented you from achieving certain KPIs, and the actions you have taken to solve certain problems.

live report example

  • Details on Your Future Plans

Write about the things you plan to do in the future, including tasks, ideas, steps, and timeframes. You can also include what type of problems you expect to encounter while trying to accomplish them.

  • A Summary

Create a summary of your progress report by providing only the most important things you have discussed in it.

  • Review & Revise Your Report

You can revise and polish your report with the help of a checklist in excel.

Things to Consider

Here are a few more tips for writing a progress report to inform about the status and progress of a particular project:

  • Think of your report as a Q&A – imagine your supervisor, client, or colleagues asking you questions about your project and you giving them answers;
  • Use simple and straightforward language – speak plainly and use clear language to avoid confusion. Of course, you can also include technical jargon when needed;
  • Avoid using passive – writing in an active voice makes the report easier to read and understand;
  • Be specific – use concrete words in your report to keep the reader engaged;
  • Explain jargon when needed – if you use technical jargon, think about the person that will be reading the report and whether they will understand it or not;
  • Stick to facts – provide data and facts but not opinions, except if they are part of the project;
  • Use graphics – use charts or tables when dealing with a series of numbers.
Written by Mike

Former data analyst and the head of Whatagraph blog team. A loving owner of two huskies, too.

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