PostHeaderIcon Ten Vital Items for Project Progress Reports

There are countless variations on content for project progress reports but there are ten items that should be on every report:

1 – Business Context
Why does this project exist?
Briefly summarize the desired business outcomes as a reminder to all of the rationale for doing the project – and include the names of the sponsor and customer.

2 – Objectives
What are the project’s tactical objectives?
Always keep the schedule, scope and resource goals in view. The Project Objective Statement provides a concise way of describing these.

3 – Flexibility Matrix
Which is least flexible – schedule, scope, resources?
Reflect the Flexibility Matrix on the report to remind stakeholders of the project priorities.

4 – Schedule
What is the schedule performance of the project?
Identify variance of current progress and forecasts against the baseline schedule for key milestones, phases and/or deliverables. Better yet, include performance trends over the past few reporting periods.

5 – Cost/Resources
Is the project meeting cost and/or staffing targets?
Point out significant variances with the plan such as staffing shortfalls or cost overruns.

6 – Risks
What significant risks exist?
Highlight those risks of highest severity and in particular those with high impact that may occur soon.

7 – Issues
What significant issues remain unresolved?
Identify the key issues and what is preventing their resolution.

8 – Changes
What changes have occurred?
Identify any major changes that were approved and/or implemented since the last progress report.

9 – Accomplishments
What has been achieved?
Capture the most important recent accomplishments such as completed deliverables, milestones that were met, or finished major work components.

10 – Next Steps
What major components of work remain?
Indicate what the focus will be for the immediate future and set expectations of what will be reported on in the next progress report.

Configuring these vital ten into a 1-page format is ideal for executive presentation. These items are of course in addition to the more obvious title and subtitle mentions of project name, report date and author/project manager name. (Surprising how often the obvious gets overlooked).

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One Response to “Ten Vital Items for Project Progress Reports”

  • Ganesh says:

    Hi Howard,
    This is Ganesh from Cognizant, was one of the trainee in the “Program Management” Course held in Chennai. It was great learning experience and definitely learned few things & more importantly I was able to relate what I have ( have not) been doing as Program Manager. I will keep browsing your blogs to keep myself educated. Thx.

    If you still cant recollect me, I was the one given “Sr Program Manager” title by all 🙂

    Regards,
    Ganesh.

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