The purpose of a progress report is to notify if any decisions have been made and if any actions have been implemented based on the decisions made by the proposal. These actions taken, are usually a work in progress and have not completed the desired results. They can follow different styles, being genres, and can either tell progress on a single project or progress on multiple projects at once.
There are many elements of a progress report that help reach the overall goal of reporting one’s progress to a specific audience. The first of these elements is the introduction. In the introduction, it is best to state what your report is covering and what is the purpose of the work being done. In my case, the purpose is to make business run smoother with a new system of operation at the front of the house. The purpose of it being done is to help all employees work go smoother, and to make customers satisfied. The purpose section of the introduction can be skipped if the audience is already familiar with the purpose of the work. This adds some variability to the genre.
The second element of the progress report is the facts and discussion portion. In this section, the person doing the report should state if their work is going as planned, and any results that have been produced. Any results that are desired and expected from the future progress should also be noted in this section. The progress report genre usually requires all work to be planned in advance. This allows for the facts and discussion section of the progress report to be relevant to the entirety of the work being done. Another type of variability offered in this genre is how brief this section should be. It is best to keep it as short as possible, but being able to choose which relevant information is included allows for some flexibility of the genre. An example from my report would be trying one of the new phone operating systems, and seeing how well the first system is working for all employees involved.
The third and fourth sections of the progress report genre are the conclusions and recommendations. The conclusions will report one’s overall views on the progress of one’s work. The conclusion offers the most variability for this genre. It can be placed near the beginning of the report, or the end, depending on if your project is on schedule or if work has fallen behind. Recommendations are one’s thoughts on how to improve the project or increase the value of the results. These recommendations can include any specific experiences found throughout the work, or can simply be a statement saying the project plan will be altered to better accommodate the results. The recommendation also offers flexibility in an otherwise rigid genre. It can be placed wherever one believes it to be relevant. One could report a problem in the Facts and Discussion section and then directly offer a recommendation to solve that problem. These recommendations will help the reader see what has happened compared to what was planned.
The general tone of the report should be a positive one because you want to persuade your readers that you are doing a good job, even if things are going perfectly, leave out small details that are only detrimental to you. Though being optimistic, do not over state or lie, it is best to be straightforward so the reader can adjust their expectations appropriately. One can sound pleased and proud of their work in progress without over exaggerating.