How to write a progress or status report

The blog post is a preview at content in Danny Rubin’s forthcoming new book, Wait, How Do I Lead My Team?, a collection of writing guides for leaders and people who aspire to hold the title.

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If you need to provide a formal status of your work to a client, readability is key.

For one, you may send the report on behalf of your team. That means the client and your employees will judge the document and how well you organized the information.

You also want the progress report to reflect well on your team and the effort everyone has put in to date.

Here’s an example of a status report from Acme Corporation, an event planning company. The report goes to the Acme Association, a national membership organization.

Status Report — Acme Corporation Event Planning
November 2019

Team members involved: person 1, person 2, person 3, etc …

Tasks completed

  • Reserved banquet hall and two breakout rooms at Acme Inn and Suites on March 2 and 3 for 2019
  • Regional Conclave
  • Determined menu for breakfast and lunch on both days with the hotel catering staff
  • Developed layout for the exhibit hall. See layout here.
  • Completed item 4
  • Completed item 5, etc …

Tasks for December 2019

  • Decide on the dinner menu for the night of March 2. See the options here.
  • Order banner to be displayed in the main lobby and signage to direct people to the conference area of the hotel
  • Prepare series of emails to encourage early-bird registration by January 15
  • Remaining task 4
  • Remaining task 5, etc …

Action Items for Acme Association

  • Review the dinner options at the link above. What is your top choice?
  • What is the early-bird price discount?
  • Do you want three or four speakers during each breakout session?
  • Action item 4
  • Action item 5, etc …

Deeper Insight

The report lays out three key areas:

  • What we (the service provider) did
  • What we still need to do
  • What we need you (the client) to do

Sure, you will likely have a conversation about the report and talk through any next steps. The report above helps to frame the discussion and allow the client to see where you need input.

An organized status report is one more way to imply, “We’re on the ball and good at what we do.”

And the client thinks, “I’m sure glad I hired them.”

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