A progress report is a document or program that describes the progress of a particular person, event or project over a specific period of time. Progress reports are often used to judge the development of a project or person doing a task before or between official reviews. Progress reports are valuable to determine if projects are advancing, if a person is making improvements on a job or task, or for ensuring methods created to reach certain goals are having their desired effects. People write progress reports to keep interested parties informed about what has been done on a project and about what remains to be done.
The basics of progress reports will include specific information on the project being reviewed and the time the report covers. It will give an account of the progress that has been made, reasons for the progress, and goals for next period of time. For example, a progress report on the construction of a cell site may include what work has been completed over that same period, problems workers may have encountered because of weather, staffing issues, or equipment delays, a current status based on expectation or budget, and tasks that should be accomplished over the period.
Our progress reports also include a section comparing the financials, specifically budget versus actual. We want the project to be delivered on time (or early) and under budget. Fiscal responsibility is the role of everyone on the project, including all contractors and employees. We all have a common set of goals, and work together to achieve these goals.
Some of the sections we use in progress reporting include, but are not limited to:
- Title and details of the project
- Background information
- Financial criteria
- Work completed as a % of total or as of a specific date
- Problems encountered and proposed resolutions
- Work remaining
- Estimated time to complete
In project management, we use milestones, which are special events that receive extra attention. We use milestones to track key deliverables and signify important steps that need to be met or exceeded at particular intervals or stages of the project.