1. Problem Definition
Part of planning work is to issue progress reports reflecting the status of the project. These reports could be daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual reports.
2. Identify the Feasible Alternative
Progress reporting is a key activity of project management. The project manager issues regular reports of progress against budget, schedule and scope. Include these people on the circulation list:
- Project Sponsor.
- Budget Holder.
- Senior Users.
- Team Members.
Figure.1: Project Management
3. Development of the Outcome for Alternative
Keep the report brief and sum up the key points in the project. I recommend this simple format on a maximum of 2 pages:
- Report Date.
- Overall Status.
- Project Summary.
- Key Issues.
- Identified Risks.
- Tasks and Next Steps.
- Decisions Needed.
- Key Future Dates.
- Budgeted Cost.
- Spend to Date.
Figure.2: Progress Report Format.
4. Selection of Criteria
Anyone reading the report must be made fully aware of progress and know when their help is needed to keep the project on track.
Keeping people updated ensures they remain involved and committed. Regular communication is essential to the well-being of any project. Common failings in this area are:
- Poor communication channels.
- Lack of honest communication.
- Unwillingness to communicate bad news.
- Not asking for help when it’s needed.
Figure.3: Communication Failure.
5. Analysis of the Alternative.
There are several advantages to have a progress report;
Clarity: Progress reports help you paint a clearer picture in your mind by forcing you to take a long, hard look at your work. Instead of spending all your time mired deep in it, writing the report gives you an opportunity to pull your head out of the sand and spend time to think about the job concretely.
Productivity: Because of their goal-setting nature, progress reports tend to make people more productive. This is especially helpful for individuals who struggle with the planning and organizational aspects of a job, since the report itself can serve that purpose for them.
Better meetings: When you have a progress report to analyze, meetings for projects just go much smoother. Almost all the key factors will be included – from goals met to current issues to future milestones. Sending them to everyone concerned beforehand clears up many questions even before the actual meeting starts.
Better reviews: Want someone to look at your project and give you suggestions for improvement? No need to compose long-winded explanations – get them up to speed quickly with your progress reports.
Documentation: After the project is done, the reports serve as an excellent documentation for all thing things you did, including areas that proved easy and ones that gave you fits. It shows you how you spent your time and, with some analysis, can show you how to improve for your next undertakings.
6. Selection of the Preferred Alternative.
Regular progress reporting creates a valuable written record of a projects’ life. Later you can look back and decide how to improve the running of future projects.
7. Performance Monitoring and the Post Evaluation of Result.
As we have a weekly team meeting to discuss the work progress and highlight the issues during last week. We can monitor the Gantt Chart and update it in the team performance review session.
- Mary Simmers (2010, April). Benefits of Writing a Progress Report. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://ezinearticles.com/?Benefits-of-Writing-a-Progress-Report&id=4139015.
- Jeff Armstrong (2011, October). Status Template. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://business-docs.co.uk/documents/status-template
- Workspace Software. (2013, August). Solution that understands project management. Retrieved July 20, 2014, from http://www.workspace.com/workspace/Project-Management-Software.html