The Technical Communication Report Project Progress Reports are part of the TCRP assignment sequence.
- Progress Report #1: April 4, 10:00 PM
- Progress Report #2: April 15, 10:00 PM
As you work on your Technical Communication Report Project (TCRP), you will be required to submit two (2) progress reports updating me about the status of your TCRP. As Johnson-Sheehan describes in chapter 9 of Technical Communication Strategies for Today, the purpose of a progress (or status) report is to inform the people managing or overseeing your work — your manager, the granting agency funding your project, your client for whom you are doing work — about the current status of your project.
While we will be treating these progress reports more as informal updates rather than formal, detailed progress reports, I will ask you to address a number of issues including:
- the work you have accomplished to date or since your last progress report,
- what you need to do for the next reporting period,
- the problems that you have encountered (if any),
- an honest evaluation of your progress, and
- any recommendations you might make for keeping work on track, for dealing with or working around problems, etc.
Note: While our natural instincts may be to offer a “everything is great” or “doing fine” message even when it’s not, you should never do that in a progress report. Not for this assignment, and especially not for a supervisor.
One of the functions of progress reports is to assess what is practical and possible based on what has happened to date. In other words, while a proposal is a predictive, forecasting document describing what you plan to accomplish, a progress report is a self-evaluative report of what has been accomplished, what still needs to be done, and what might need to be changed in order to complete the work.
The worst thing that can happen is for you to report that everything is great and then, when the project deadline arrives you have to tell your manager, client, or funding agency that in actuality things went wrong. Identifying problems early in a progress report can open up the possibility of revising the work you are expected to undertake, and that can only happen if you offer accurate progress reports rather than signally that everything is going great.
Progress Report Format
Memo of Transmittal
As this is an internal document (i.e., the communication is within an organization), it should be in the form of a formal memo rather than a letter.
As your Progress Reports are part of the same project as your Project Proposal, your cover page should look similar. Make sure to include the date of submittal and to indicate whether it is the first or second progress report.
Body of Progress Report
The body of your Progress Report will likely be 2-5 pages in length.
Work Accomplished to Date
Summarize the work accomplished to date. Looking back over the technical and management sections of your Project Proposal and work schedule should help you organize this section.
Plans for Next Reporting Period
The technical and management sections of your Project Proposal and work schedule should help you organize this section.
- For Progress Report #1 summarize the work you still need to do for the TCRP between submitting this progress report and April 15, which is the deadline for Progress Report #2.
- For Progress Report #2 summarize the work you still need to do to complete the TCRP.
Briefly describe any problems that you have encountered, their effects, and what you have done to work around them.
Appraisal of Progress to Date
Briefly describe the status of your project in light of your intended work schedule and where you are in the process. In doing so, you might consider the following questions and provide short responses in which you provide the rationale for your answer.
- Do you believe that you are on track?
- Do you believe that you are behind?
- Do you believe that you will meet your upcoming deadlines?
If you have any concerns or problems with your project or the time frame in which the work is to be done, briefly describe some recommendations for moving forward.
Please include a copy of your project work schedule. If you’ve had to revise your schedule from when you submitted your Project Proposal or from when you submitted the first Progress Report, please include both, identifying one as the original and one as the new schedule.
Please submit your proposal as an attachment via the Assignments tool in Blackboard.