SafetyCulture Summit 2020

Progress Report

Spend less time creating the report and spend more time communicating milestones

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Published September 2nd, 2020

What is a Progress Report?

A progress report is a vital document that outlines tasks, activities, and milestones that would describe in detail how far you’ve gone towards executing a plan or completing a project. In a nutshell, a progress report can serve as a monitoring tool for managers to determine a project's status on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis more efficiently.

This article discusses:

What is the Difference Between Progress Report and Status Report

Oftentimes, these two terms were interchangeably used. Although both types of reports aim to communicate how tasks are progressing, these terms mean totally different things. A progress report focuses on events, accomplishments, or whatever that have happened through time, while a status report stresses what is true or accurate at a specific time. A progress report can act as a historical record as it tells a story from nothing to 50% progress. Hence, it is used for reporting tasks that take a longer time to finish. This type of report is useful for project managers in a construction site. A status report, on the other hand, focuses on the current condition, including issues, problems, and potential risks.


Corporate setting:

Progress: We got 50,000 visits last month

Status: We are currently at par from the goal of our monthly visit

Construction setting:

Progress: We finished working on the building’s foundation 

Status: We are on day 72

Marketing/sales setting:

Progress: We spent $30,000 last week

Status: We are currently $1,000 over budget

5 Major Challenges When Creating a Progress Report

Creating a progress report is beneficial to any organization. It helps prevent confusion about what needs to be accomplished. It serves as a point of collaboration between teams to reduce task duplication and working in silos. Also, a progress report can help improve transparency and evaluation of the project. However, establishing a progress reporting system in your workflows can be challenging. Here are major challenges that you should overcome when implementing a progress report:

#1 Unclear purpose of doing a progress report

Progress reports should not be done only to find out who did not finish the tasks. Its ultimate goal is to communicate the progress of a project clearly and understandably. This could include critical tasks that need to be accomplished, important information that is expected, and issues that require urgent attention. In addition, progress reports should not be used as the only source of information, but should also provide feedback.

#2 Paper-based reporting is cumbersome

This has been a major concern with any paper-based type of reporting. This process consumes a lot of time and effort from the key persons who provide the necessary details to the one who communicates the progress of a project to the stakeholders or leaders. Also, it can be an unproductive thing to do when the bottom line of every progress report is only to show the summary of what was accomplished. 

#3 Lack of reporting structure

Creating a systematic reporting structure not only helps in collecting insightful information across an organization but also guides key persons in decision-making and providing actionable solutions.

#4 No accurate deadlines

Deadlines are so important when it comes to progress reports. Setting accurate deadlines helps progress reporting become habitual or culture. This also helps the members of the organization to strengthen their sense of responsibility and be self-evaluative.

#5 Lengthy reports

Avoid writing narratives or long essays when creating a progress report. Beware of putting irrelevant information. Some may find it more essential and informative when they create lengthy progress reports. Maintaining it with clarity and brevity would increase the value of the report. Also, remember to include all the vital information such as challenges, plans, milestones, recommendations, and other accomplishments.

What is iAuditor and How Can It Help in Progress Reporting

Get rid of the inconvenience of a paper-based system when creating progress reports. Spend less time creating and gathering information about your project’s progress and spend more time communicating it and providing real-time solutions. Go digital by downloading progress report templates for effortless turn over of reports and recordkeeping. With iAuditor by SafetyCulture, the key persons can:

  • conduct daily reporting with the use of a mobile or tablet devices anytime, anywhere;
  • With Analytics, get an instant view of all significant data in one place;
  • capture unlimited photo evidence, annotate, and add notes of accomplished tasks or potential risks and problems associated with the project;
  • schedule progress reporting by assigning actions to appropriate team members of the organization;
  • generate comprehensive reports as they complete the progress reports;
  • instantly share completed reports with business owners or any member of the organization;
  • keep all progress reports securely in the cloud.


Carlo Sheen Escano

SafetyCulture staff writer

Carlo Sheen Escano is a contributing writer for SafetyCulture based in Makati City, Philippines. Sheen has experience in digital marketing and has been writing for SafetyCulture since 2018. His articles mainly discuss risks in the workplace and well-known safety and quality processes used to mitigate them. Furthermore, Sheen is passionate about providing insights to global customers on how technology can help them to do the best work of their lives.