Lesson 1 & Assignment Details

The Progress Report: Lesson 1 & Assignment Details
I. Defining the progress report: content
A progress report is a short informational report written in a direct style. This kind of report documents and provides an overview of an ongoing project. The report shows the progress that you as an individual or as a team are making towards completing a project. Progress reports are written for either a supervisor, a manager, a team leader, a colleague or a client. An annual report is a common type of progress report.
A progress report can be a project management mechanism to prevent issues before they happen, to ensure that a project will be finished on-time, and to keep those involved informed of the project’s progress.
The importance of progress reports lies beyond keeping track and managing your different projects happening simultaneously. Progress reports are slightly different from typical informational reports as they also provide valuable insights on how you or your team can finish projects more effectively. A well-structured progress report template also allows the project manager to identify key issues affecting the team’s productivity and a project’s progress toward completion.
How often the progress report should be submitted (e.g. daily, weekly, monthly, etc.) will heavily depend on the project’s scope and complexity. In general, you want your progress reports to provide meaningful insights.
The report includes the following content:*
*The information below refers to slide numbers. Open the slides for this week’s lesson and go to the slides to obtain further details on the notes below.
• Introduction (see slide 7 for further details)
• Project Description (slide 8)
• Progress Summary / Work completed, including status or work completed so far and any project milestones achieved (may include a breakdown of steps taken (slide 9)
• You may wish to include charts and / or tables or visual graphics here
• Problems encountered to date (slide 10)
• Changes in requirements / original intent (due to problems encountered) (slide 11)
• Plans for completion, including things still to do, short- and long-term objectives and goals
• Overall Assessment, including conclusion and next steps (slide 12)
• References, Appendix / Additional Documents
II. Format:
1. Use section headings and sub-headings to make reading and writing simpler.
• Section headings help you focus on providing valuable information about the progress
2. As per all workplace writing, single space your document, but remember to use white space between paragraphs and headings and sub-headings.
3. Use headings and sub-headings as in the example given (see below). Make sure that your headings follow a different format (for example, all caps) than your sub-headings.
4. Include page numbers in your report.
5. Appropriately document any works cited in APA format.
III. Further information:
• The purpose of a progress report is to give clarity on the progress of a project, not to describe every single aspect about what’s currently happening in the project. Be careful not to overload your reader with too much information or long paragraphs. Keep your paragraphs short and focused—just a few paragraphs per section, typically. Remember that professional writing must always be concise.
• Your tone can often be straightforward and familiar—therefore, as a rule, you can use “I” and “you” freely—but do not lapse into informality.
• Avoid being overly optimistic, pessimistic, apologetic, arrogant or too confident, or self-deprecating.
The following link is a sample report from a PhD student. While your report might be different in content, this may give you a visual idea of what a report might look like.
Your assignment is to write a 2 to 3 page progress report on the progress of your career goals. You may consider, for example, coursework you have completed towards your goals and coursework still to complete, but the report should be more than simply an accounting. It should be a deeply thought report about your long-term goals, what you have done to achieve these goals, obstacles you have overcome, and what you still need to do to complete your goals. This is meant to be an assignment that will not only teach you how to write a report, but also an assignment in which you engage meaningfully with the content.
In order to write the report, I will take you, in the next weeks, through various steps.
This week’s tasks are to read the chapter on report writing that is in your textbook, to brainstorm ideas for your report, to conduct any research you feel might benefit your report, and to write a detailed outline. Let’s begin with a discussion about brainstorming techniques.
Go to the next attached document titled “Preparing to write- Brainstorming,” and read through the document. Select one of the brainstorming techniques described and brainstorm ideas for your report.
Later this week, I will post information about writing outlines. I want you to wait a few days to write an outline because you might have more ideas between now and then. If you do have more ideas over the next few days, add them to your brainstorm worksheet.
That’s it for now. As always, let me know if you have any questions.
progress reports CMNS 1115 _ 1110
Preparing to Write- Brainstorming
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