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Progress Reports: Sharing your successes and stumbling blocks

All SSL team members are required to prepare and share a weekly progress report. More than just a way of reporting what you have accomplished to Justin, this document of goals and achievements can help you better plan your time in the week ahead, and bring visibility to your projects. Best of all, it can be a way of building synergy and cooperation among lab participants.

Progress reports should be sent to by no later than 24 hours before your scheduled weekly appointment with Justin. If you do not have a fixed meeting time with Justin, then progress reports should be sent as early as possible in the week.

Here are some guidelines for preparing an effective Progress Report:

  • Take a few minutes before writing your report to review what you were actually able to accomplish and what, if any, challenges/stumbling blocks might have arisen. A quick review of the previous week’s e-mails can be helpful in reminding you of all the work you may have actually performed.
  • Start the report by listing your goals from the previous week, without comment. This will serve to remind the readers of your intentions, and automatically give you a guideline for constructing your list of tasks completed.
  • Briefly summarize what you worked on in the previous week. You can determine the best format (i.e.(bulleted text vs. short paragraphs for this summary.
  • As you are writing about progress from the previous week, feel free to go beyond just a list of what you did. Sharing any special challenges you may have encountered or any lessons learned, as well as questions your lab mates might be able to address are all welcomed.
  • Conclude by setting your goals for the coming week.
  • In general, your report should be more than a paragraph, but less than a page.