A progress report is a written document that describes steps completed and steps remaining toward a specific goal or objective. A progress report may be used to monitor any type of activity that has a clear start and ending, but it is most often used in either a business or educational environment. The report usually includes an overview of the activity or project, actions that have been completed to date and a list of the remaining steps that need to be completed.
Create a progress report heading section. If the progress report is being sent to one specific person, you may want to use a memo format that includes a date, to, from and subject description. If the progress report will be shared with a group, you may want to give the first page a title, such as “Progress Report–Jameson House Build, February 7, 20XX.” Note: If the progress report is business-related and you work for a medium to large employer, you should check to see if your company uses a progress report template or form, instead of creating your own.
Create a progress report overview section. This is a two-to-four sentence paragraph that describes what the project or initiative is, who is involved, why it is being completed and the overall time frame.
Describe the progress completed so far. Depending on the complexity and length of the activities, this could be a paragraph description or a bulleted list. Most progress reports include the dates when each of the tasks were completed.
Describe the work or activities that still need to be completed, including the targeted completion dates. Depending on the complexity and length of the activities, this could be a paragraph description or a bulleted list. Estimate and document the date when the entire project or initiative will be completed.
Include notes about any roadblocks or challenges that you may have experienced to date or expect to experience, if appropriate. Also include notes about any help that you may require to finish the project.
Include a chart or visual display that depicts the project, steps completed and steps remaining (optional). These can be created using Microsoft Project or Microsoft Excel. If you are presenting this progress report to an executive audience, adding charts and graphs can help to “dress up” the documentation.
Progress reports often contain confidential information. Be sure that your reports are only shared with the appropriate audience members. Keep copies of your progress reports in a safe place.