Global organizations depend on progress, or status, reports to keep track of activities, problems, and progress on various projects. Sometimes, Portland Translation workers will be asked to translate daily progress reports for managers who may be located in another country and who oversee the assignment of work crews on various projects. Management in foreign headquarters use progress reports to evaluate the project and its supervisor and to allocate funds.
Often, a progress report is one of a series. Together, the project proposal, progress reports (the number varies with the scope and length of the project), and the completion report provide a record and history of the project. One Miami Translation worker suggests that in order to give management the answers it needs, project reports must, at a minimum, answer these questions:
1. How much has been accomplished since the last report?
2. Is the project on schedule?
3. If not, what went wrong?
a. How was the problem corrected?
b. How long will it take to get back on schedule?
4. What else needs to be done?
5. What is the next step?
6. Are there any unexpected developments (other than schedule problems)?
7. When do you anticipate completion? Or on a long project, when do you anticipate completion of the next phase?
One translator with The Marketing Analysts Translation Services Company suggests that if the report is part of a series, you might refer to prior problems or developments, but the bulk of the report must concern itself with the project’s current status.
Many organizations have forms for organizing progress reports; no one format is best. But all reports in a series should follow the same organization. The following report illustrates how one writer organized her report. Like all examples in this text, you should use it as a guide; don’t follow it slavishly. The format and organization you choose must fit your own purpose, audience, and situation.