Project progress reporting is the process through which stakeholders are kept abreast of the progress of a project. This is captured in a documented report which includes the progress and status of the scheme compared to the original timelines.
This report helps every stakeholder to be on the same page as it affects the job that is being executed. It shows them whether they are on course with the objectives of the scheme or not. Additionally, it is a summary of work done so far that a reader can understand at a glance.
Concisely, this document covers the current status of the job, the milestones that they have achieved so far, what each team member is contributing to the scheme, adherence to schedule, and budget and challenges that may inhibit the timely execution of the scheme. This document is usually written and presented by the supervising manager either weekly, monthly quarterly, or as agreed upon by stakeholders. Click here for more details on the job description of a project manager.
The issue of project progress reporting is one that can cause issues between stakeholders and executors of the scheme. This is because some managers do not know how to clearly enunciate the necessary points so that the readers can understand the document even at a glance.
In this article, therefore, we will share tips on how you can excel in this type of reporting. But before then, let us look at the importance of this paper.
Importance of Progress Reports
This report is important to three sets of people, and they are the project manager, the team, and the sponsors of the contract. Below is a summary of their importance to the team:
- Helps to keep track of the progress of the scheme.
- Helps to present the progress to sponsors or management.
- Find out the obstacles to the successful completion of the scheme and how to prevent it (them).
- Helps the manager in the decision-making process.
- Gives the manager insightful information for decision making for future projects.
- Helps to preserve important information.
- Prevents the manager and their team from making the same mistakes over and again.
- Provides insight for correcting and preventing mistakes.
- Helps to keep stakeholders abreast of the status of the scheme.
- Enhances collaboration and helps team members to synchronize ideas and boost productivity. Check out https://hbr.org/2016/01/how-to-boost-your-teams-productivity for ways to do this.
- Helps to provide continuity in tasks and schedules.
- Showcases achievements which help to motivate team members.
Management/ Project Sponsor
- Provides real-time oversight of the progress of the job at hand and helps the management know where, if or when correction is needed and what preventive measures can be put in place. This in turn keeps the project on track.
- Provides key communication between clients and management.
How to Write a Good Project Progress Report
Writing a good project status report entails that you follow some particular steps and they are listed and explained below:-
Define your Target Audience
You have to define the target audience that you are addressing the paper to. This helps you to draft the report according to the requirements of the audience. It determines the language you will use, the format, and what best practices to adopt as you draft the report.
State the Purpose of the Report
Clearly state the purpose of the document. Some are designed to address the current state of a project while others are designed to address challenges that affect the budget and speedy completion of the scheme.
Show Completed Tasks
In this section of your report, you will show the tasks that have been completed using only past tenses to describe them. Ensure that the tasks are arranged in chronological order with the specific dates of completion and important information on each of them.
Show Work Schedule
Have a section in the report that shows the work schedule; this shows the reader the tasks that are to be completed and the expected date of completion. This section is written in future tenses and special emphasis is placed on major tasks.
In this summary, you get to highlight whatever challenges and issues you have encountered in the course of executing the project. Also, give recommendations for how to tackle the issues and corrective actions to be taken; also talk about what can be done to prevent similar mistakes in the future.
Best Practices for Writing a Project Progress Report
There are certain principles to bear in mind when drafting this report and they are summarized below: –
- Always keep your report simple and concise; use simple language.
- Use proper dates.
- Always validate your information
- Use proper subheadings for each section.
- Be realistic with your dates and schedules.
- Standardize your report.
A project progress report is an especially important document that every project manager has to master. It is absolutely crucial to the successful execution of every scheme and should therefore always be well articulated. We have shared tips that will help you always turn out great documents to this effect. Bear them in mind as you draft your reports.