What is Progress Report and How to Create a Template ?
The world is changing at an enormous rate every single day. The rate of change brings new responsibilities to us. While these responsibilities put a heavier burden on our shoulders, it gets harder to keep track of them. Thus, we come up with different solutions in our daily lives to keep track of them. For instance, we are noting down the responsibilities to follow on our mobile phones and erasing one whenever we complete it. If we think about this case on a business environment, what we are looking for is a progress report template.
A progress report is a tool that we can use to follow our responsibilities in a professional atmosphere. We can follow all the tasks that are done, in progress and need to be fulfilled. In this definitive guide for progress reports, we will find information about what is it and how to create a template that helps you keep track of your business.
We will start with the definition of the progress report. Afterwards we will talk about why you should use it. Then, we will move into the creation process of a simple template and talk about what you need to be careful about. Finally, we will talk about the implementation to the company and finish our talk with a quick review. Now that you know the roadmap, let's get on with it.
What is a Progress Report ?
A progress report is basically your professional checklist. You may see all the information regarding the workload of both yourself and your colleagues. You may see the information regarding the ongoing, future and past projects. It helps you to see which projects are close to due and to which of them you should give your priority. Progress reports offer the managers a chance to have a comprehensive look at all the ongoing projects. In addition, it helps to boost the efficiency and collaboration of teams with the knowledge transparency.
Alright, that is mainly the definition of what a progress report is. Now that you have a basic understanding of the topic, let's move on to why a business should implement a progress report.
Why Should You Use a
Progress Report Template ?
The progress report offers managers to see an overview of all the workload of the employees. It helps them evaluate their performances and see the overall performance of the teams. Moreover, it motivates employees to manage and allocate their time to the right projects. It improves the collaboration of the teams thanks to the information transparency.
It helps you see an overall picture
Thanks to the progress report, you can see an overall picture of all the activities that are either done, in progress or will be conducted. This would help you evaluate the performances of employees in terms of the projects. You would able to see who is behind the schedule and who is completing their workload. In addition, this would take you to the next step of being proactive. Now that you know which project is close to due, you may act on them accordingly.
It helps employees manage their time
In addition to helping managers being proactive, having a progress report template may help your employees manage your time better. Thanks to this methodology, your employees might be able to track which projects are close to due and they may act on them accordingly. It helps them to better allocate their time giving the priority on the right projects.
It increases collaboration within the company
Now that your employees are able to see the overall picture of the company, the system increases the information transparency within the company. This way, employees would be more engaged to their project with the knowledge of who is working on what. It would encourage them to get into contact with their colleagues whenever necessary regarding the related projects.
To summarize, the main reasons why you should use a progress report is the increased time management and collaboration and the ability to see the big picture. Now that you know what a progress report offers, let's move on how to create one.
How to Create a
Progress Report Template ?
There are several ways to create a template to follow the progress of your projects such as using Excel. However, let's first talk about what you should include to your templates to help you with the creation process. The main things you should include is as follows:
This is mainly the project that you need to carry out. This should be as simple as possible. Using too many unnecessary technical words might create misunderstandings between the task owner and manager.
Planned start and end date:
That is the planned dates for beginning and ending the project. They are usually determined at the beginning of a quarter.
Actual start and end date:
Since everything never goes perfectly on plan there might be slight differences between the planned and actual dates. Therefore, you should also add the actual dates to be able to track the difference.
One of the most crucial parts of the progress report template is the status of the project. The projects might be either done, in progress or to be done. This would give the overall visualization of all the projects that the company have.
The due date of the project is the most important metric to follow. This would help you to see your progress and enable you to allocate your time better by prioritization of all projects.
This is basically who is assigning the project to the employees.
This part is basically about who was assigned to do the project.
Another important part is the notes. This helps your employees to add notes whenever necessary regarding the project progress. Thanks to this part, one may explain the situation giving information about the ongoing process.
Alright now that you know what you should include to a progress report, let's talk about how you can create a progress report template.
Excel Progress Report Template
The most basic and widely used templates are created by Excel. Thanks to MS Excel, you may create all the metrics that I have mentioned before. Although, it is a good tool for small businesses the fact that it lacks automation is a problem when the number of employees is increasing.
White labeling is basically providing a service through a third company which is commonly used in the business world. This progress report will be labeled just as if it is yours when in reality the provider is another company. You may look for companies that offer software solutions as Corvisio.
Alright now you know what a progress report is, why you should use a progress report and how you can create a progress report template. So far so good, right? Well the next and maybe one of the most crucial step is how to implement is to your business. Every tool makes sense as long as they are usable. The workforce that you have should be able to use the methodology so that it boosts your efficiency.
How to Implement the Methodology
to Your Business ?
Well, as we explained before the benefits of the methodology effect basically two sides which are the managers and the employees. The implementation process would involve the both sides.
On the employer side
Talk with the employers about the new methodology and get them familiar with the pros. Thanks to the methodology the work system would also change such as conducting less meetings. Now that every team member know about the projects and their progress, less meetings could be held which would improve the efficiency. The new work model would be defined by the managers. Therefore, it is essential that they understand the product comprehensively. Also keep in mind that the communication goes both ways. The progress report basically creates a feedback mechanism within the managers and the employees.
On the employee side
Another important side is the employees which would use the product to keep track of their progress. You should also get your employees to be familiar with the product. The product will enable them to manage their time much more effectively. However, to be able to do that, your employees should be engaged in using the product and do not see it as an extra work. Therefore, it is important to emphasize the benefits of using a progress report to them.
A progress report is basically your checklist in the business environment. You should use this methodology in order to see the overall picture of your business while increasing time management and collaboration within the company. To create a progress report template there are important sections that you should keep in mind that we have gone over in the content. But all in all, you may create a template via excel or you may use white labeling. One of the most significant stages is the implementation of the methodology to your business. Your managers and your employees should fully be able to comprehend the methodology so that it boosts your efficiency.
If what you are looking for is more than a checklist for your business, then what is OKR? might be a good question for you to ask. Thanks to OKRs system you may go further and define your company goals, objectives and key results. In addition, you may continuously check the progress of your employees.