First of all, there’s Progress. Progress lists employee’s accomplishments, finished items, and closed tasks. This category gives a good assessment of how much work has been done.
Plans are immediate or long-term goals and Objectives. All of the items listed under Plans are potential items of Progress. However, leave room for changes and accept that your Plans are not set in stone.
Third, there’s Problems. Problems lay out challenges and pitfalls. Some people leave correcting mistakes for last, but it is highly recommended to do this throughout the project.
When you keep in mind these three things, you already have what it takes to write a simple report. Furthermore, if you really want to succeed in communicating the details and nuances of progress reports, you have to take note of three questions: Who, How and What.
Reports need to be concise and focused, so you should understand what your colleagues want. To help yourself with this task, ask a few questions:
- How are the readers connected to the project?
- Do they know the details and goals of the project?
- Are the readers comfortable with technical language?
Next, consider the tone of writing. Managers and executives may not understand the intricacies of employees’ conversational style. Use longer, comprehensible sentences but also try to refrain from writing essays. Ideally, there should be 5-7 keywords per sentence.
The one mistake people tend to make when writing a progress report is avoiding writing about mistakes altogether. The purpose of progress reports is to objectively identify key difficulties and concerns and help them along the way. Even if the problem was already addressed, it needs to be put into writing to help avoid making the same kind of mistake in the future.
Secondly, keep in mind the relevance of your writing. Explain how every individual item connects and compares to Progress.
Keep It Simple
Even when progress seems small and changes are minimal, keep updating your reports. It enables transparency on all levels and can help assess challenges so you can plan your next actions accordingly.
Implementing Progress Reports
1. Make sure to explain benefits to employees
This one seems a bit obvious, but going ahead without explaining employee benefits risks employee buy-in later. You need to explain the ‘whys’ to everyone. Some easy benefits to sell include: employees having a voice within the organization, and raised productivity and focus on new plans.
2. Make sure that communication goes both ways
Create a culture that allows discussions to be held from both sides and allow team members to provide feedback to their superiors as well as the other way around. Making a culture that encourages feedback as the default model improves overall company communication and makes progress reports more meaningful to employees and managers alike.
3. Spend less time in meetings by using progress reports as a substitute
Use progress reports (and other goal setting software ideas like OKRs) to decrease the amount of time wasted at meetings by encouraging frequent updating through the web and mobile-based services. If your status meetings stay in one place, you’ll save countless hours every month by writing instead of speaking.
4. Sign up with an online tool that offers you ready-made solutions
It may sound a little promotional, but online tools can make the implementation process so much easier. Progress reporting can be done via e-mail, word document or spreadsheet, but the challenges are far greater and you risk not having all of your information in one, easily accessible place. Combing through Google docs and emails is a colossal waste of time, after all. One of the advantages online tools have is that they automatically remind your team to fill their form, compile the received information, and then present it to you in a way that’s both appealing and fun.
Implementing progress reports with a tool
1. Make the progress report meet your needs
Using a ready-made template does not mean that you have to adjust to its specifications. Actually, these tools are flexible enough to meet your standards and needs.
2. Write down Objectives and Key Results
Before inviting your whole team, make sure you have set up Objectives. The goals that need to be reached in a certain period and key results that help the team achieve these. Try this management technique used by LinkedIn, Twitter and Google.
3. Invite your team
After you have set up all crucial information, it is time to invite your team. Send them an automatic e-mail to sign up.
4. Contacting product support to give a quick demo for everyone
Explaining this new tool to everyone on the team might be a challenge. Especially when you are not too familiar with it. No worries, that is exactly why product support people are here for. Remember, there is no such thing as a dumb question. There are only dumb answers.
Reviewing the production performance of the reservoir is an important part of constructing a simulator for two principal reasons. First, it will help determine the correct input data required. Second, it will give direct clues as to the depletion processes, i.e., mechanisms occurring in the reservoir. In a number of examples, this process could have avoided problems, and in some cases, production performance data was useful in setting the scope of a simulation project.
Conceptual Model Reports
This is a process of putting together a consistent mental model. In the cases mentioned previously, some of the inputs were simply wrong. The only way to tell is to look at all aspects of the problem and ask if all the information adds up. This skill is essentially one of pattern recognition. Production performance data can be used positively to ensure this isn’t overlooked, include a production performance evaluation as part of the simulation reports.
In the next two sections, two situations involving misconceptions about reservoir mechanisms are outlined. In the first case, a mistake was made in PVT data interpretation, and in the second case conclusions were made about a reservoir based on early and incomplete data. The significance of the latter case is previous interpretations often need to be scrutinized when subsequent work is done. The initial interpretations were likely the best interpretations available at the time they were made using the limited data available. The mistake is to continue these interpretations when they become inconsistent with observed performance.