Structure: elements

Following is the list of elements of a project progress report. Most reports will not contain all of these elements. It will be up to you to provide the elements of the report that meet your audience's needs.



Project ID

Project title or unique ID

Project Manager/s

Name/s of project manager or managers

Project Sponsor/s

Name/s of project sponsor or sponsors

Reporting period

Dates of the period being reported on

Budget status

This can be general or specific.

To be general use terms like under budget/on budget/over budget.

To be specific include amounts for planned expenditure, actual expenditure, and deficit/surplus.

Schedule status

This can be general or specific.

To be general use terms like ahead of schedule/on schedule/behind schedule.

To be specific include specific number of planned hours, days, or weeks; actual hours, days, or weeks spent on project so far; and deficit/surplus.

Projected completion date

This may be different than the original projected completion date. The project plan should also be updated to reflect completion date if it changes.

Project Description

One or two sentence description of project. This is meant to remind stakeholders of the project details and can be the same for each report.


This can be important to the project sponsor or project managers of other projects because they may want to use your personnel resources for other projects. This lets them know what personnel resources are available and when. Personnel can include the following:

Team members:
Names and/or functions of team members. This could also include their time commitments to the project.

Released team members:
Names and functions of team members who have been released from the project during the reporting period.

Projected releases:
Names and functions of team members projected to be released from the project during the next reporting period.


Milestones are high-level goals that often define the phases of a project. Milestones should have been stated at the beginning of the project in the project charter and in the project plan. Record here milestones that have been reached at this point in the project. It may take several weeks or months to reach a milestone.


Tasks that were accomplished during this reporting period. These are at a lower level than the milestones. These are the smaller tasks that must be done to achieve the milestones.

Projected goals

Goals projected to be completed during the next reporting period


Changes to the project schedule, tasks, milestones, budget, or resources that have already been implemented.


Issues that must be addressed for the project to be successful, along with references to the Issues Log where details and action items can be found.


Brief descriptions of risks to the success of the project, along with references to the Risk Log where risk analyses can be found.

Change requests

Requests to change the project schedule, tasks, milestones, budget, or resources, along with references to the Change Log where explanations can be found.

Your goal is to provide the minimum amount of information necessary so that the report can be read quickly and easily. Many project stakeholders, possibly including your project sponsor, will have five minutes or less to read the report, but the information is nevertheless important especially when there are issues, risks, or change requests you need their input on. Making the report quick and easy to read will encourage the stakeholders to read it and respond when necessary.

Because different stakeholders have different interests in the project, you may need to create different project progress reports for different people. Or you may need to provide enough information to your project sponsor that he or she can provide pertinent information to your customers.

In determining what elements to put in your project progress report, consider the political aspects of your communication. Some of the information in the report could be damaging to professional relationships or some information could be confidential.


For example, your customers want a project progress report, but letting them know what the risks or issues on the project are, when they cannot help remedy those issues or risks, could damage their confidence in the project.

Or, letting other departments know how much money is being spent on your project could lead to dissatisfaction if their projects aren't being funded.