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Step-by-step instructions to create a project progress report [+Template]

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Progress Report Template for Increased Transparency and Communication

A project progress report template provides an update on a project's progress and goals to all of your project stakeholders.
This template was built with Coda, the all-in-one doc that brings words, data, and teams together. Play with the template below or copy the doc to save your edits.

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Buy bonds from city of Sandicot
On Track
Successfully bought at fire sale prices
Confirm casino is being build in Sandicot
On Track
Had to give Thayer (casino developer) ‘69 Dodge Challenger for the info
Remove all encumbrances for casino development
Potential Issues
One lone land owner Hank Flagg owns 200 acres and rejected original $1.5M offer to sell land
PR plan created to present to Sandicot community
Off Track
PR team is still dealing with fall out from me punching someone at the BBQ
Secure leverage to purchase $100M bonds
On Track
Levered with our primer broker Spartan Ives
There are no rows in this table

A progress report template is an invaluable resource for project managers. In a business setting, progress reports provide project stakeholders, management, and investors with an update on the status of a project or initiative. Progress report templates can have a variety of formats, so it's important you pick the right format to use at your organization. This Coda template is meant for project managers who may be managing multiple projects, and need a template they can customize to fit the needs of their organization.

What is a progress report template?

A progress report template should increase the visibility of a project. Interested stakeholders who may not be involved in the day-to-day operations of a project are interested in getting progress reports. As the main audience of a progress report, project stakeholders will want to see updates on completion rates, KPIs, and risks associated with a project.
If formatted and written correctly, a progress report template should increase the transparency within in your organization. If the progress report template is shared and viewed within your organization, employees can read all aspects of the project and provide feedback if requested. By opening up the goals, risks, and even challenges associated with a project, a progress report template may even help with resolving the challenges the project is facing.
As you review this template and decide if it's right for you, ask internally if there are existing project monitoring templates your organization already uses. Ensuring you follow the correct format of existing templates ensures consistency with how you report on your projects.

👉 Get started with: progress report template
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This template is fully customizable and is formatted in a way to make it easy for you to send to your stakeholders. The best way to get started with this template is to make a copy and duplicate one of the pages (e.g. ). You can do this by hovering over the page on the left-hand side (after you copy) and click on the 3 dots that show up. If you need to report on other metrics related to project management, see our for more ideas and progress report samples.

How to use this project progress report template?

Step 1: List high-level project details

On the page, you will see a filled-out progress report template for a fake project (see for a blank template). The first 4 lines of the template are high-level details about the project like the project name, project owner, and start/end dates. Your organization may require additional project details like your team members, submission date, and project ID number. Make sure you check with your project management office to see what info is required.

Step 2: Write goals and milestones

As you scroll down the page, you'll see a header for Team goals/OKRs. Write the goals you and your colleagues created for this project. If your team uses an , you may want to write some of the objectives and key results here. The Key milestones and accomplishments table gives you a chance to write some of the key moments in the project. As you change the "Status" of a milestone to "On Track," the Completion rate automatically updates based on the total number of milestones you have added to this table.

Step 3: Project status report and risks

After you've written the key milestones and the status of those milestones, the next section gives you an opportunity to write an analysis of the project. This status update can take a variety of formats. Perhaps you want to include additional headings, images, or links to other documents here to inform your project stakeholders. Whatever status report template you use here, ensure it follows the format of your organization.
Finally, add potential risks and the likelihood that the risk will happen. If there is a big risk for the project, write how you and your team plan on mitigating the risk. The goal is to remove all risks (or lower the likelihood) so that you can meet all the stated deliverables of the project.

Step 4 (Optional): Add a table of contents

Unlike Google Docs templates, you can have multiple pages in this template and link to each page. On the page, you can link to all the different project progress report templates and the owner of the project. This centralizes all your progress reports in one place. Similar to Google Docs and Google Sheets, the entire template is real-time editable so you and your team members can update any of the progress reports whenever you want.

When should a progress report be used?

A progress report template should be used when you (the project manager) don't have frequent communication with your project stakeholders. Other departments and groups within your organization may not be as involved as your project team, but they still want to receive updates on the progress of the project. Depending on the size of the project, you probably want to get in the habit of creating a weekly progress report template that gets shared with your stakeholders via email or other internal communication channels.
A project plan is usually a static document created at the beginning of a project. The benefit of a weekly or daily progress report template is that it is a living document that is updated regularly. You may see other benefits of a progress report template as you start deploying them internally at your company:

Encourage collaboration

If groups are not in constant communication internally at your organization, people may not be working productively. By publishing and sharing a project progress report template, different groups can see what you are working on and provide assistance if they can. Collaboration will increase as a result.

Accountability and transparency

Since you are providing a weekly or daily progress report, all of your milestones, challenges, and risks are written down for anyone to read. This creates accountability for your colleagues if they say they will do something and it's written down. Transparency also results from this open sharing of information. If this information is written in a Word document, it may not be updated as frequently compared to a real-time collaborative document.

Inform future projects

A progress report template usually contains all the risks and challenges faced by the project. If all these are written down, you can better plan your future projects to potentially avoid the same risks and challenges. Your project team may even investigate the risks and challenges of existing projects to make sure these don't show up in future projects.

What information should be included in a progress report?

This is where variability exists between organizations. The type, size, and complexity of the project will dictate the amount of information needed in a progress report template. Additionally, your organizational culture may require specific metrics or information to be stated on the progress report template.
This Coda template includes common sections found on most progress report templates:
Project name
Project owner
Reporting period
Project goals and OKRs
Key milestones and accomplishments
Risks and challenges
If you have a lot of project stakeholders, it may make sense to include the names of the project team on the progress report as well.

Progress report template FAQs

How do you write a progress report?

In its simplest form, you should write a progress report at a very high level to communicate the status of the project to others. When writing a progress report, ensure you write a summary or analysis of the project in its current state. Make updates to risk and challenges and list any new milestones achieved.

What are best practices for creating a progress report?

Since a progress report template is meant to be shared widely, the most important part of creating and writing a progress report is knowing your audience. Some other best practices:
Summarize - Most of your colleagues will not know the details of your project, so it's your job to write a succinct and informative project summary. Avoid getting into the details of tasks and instead focus on the big picture.
Allow collaboration - The project team should feel empowered to view and edit the progress report template before it gets shared widely. This increases accountability within the team as your colleagues will have contributed to the reporting process.
Include numbers - Numbers provide a benchmark for success as you send out your progress report every day, week, or month. This template includes a completion rate % and a likelihood % for determining risks. You can add additional metrics as necessary that help you communicate the status of your project.

What format should a progress report be in?

This depends on the needs of your project team and project stakeholders. Some organizations do all their progress reports in a Word document or Microsoft Excel file. You can also use dedicated progress report software, but this solution can get expensive.
This Coda template gives you the flexibility of a Word document and a Microsoft Excel file because you can mix text and tables together for keeping track of progress reports. This free progress report template also allows you to add multiple pages to the template so that you can have multiple projects hosted in one Coda doc.

See an example progress report:

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