What is a 'Progress Update'?

Progress updates are your successes, achievements and milestones i.e. things which have moved you forward in the achievement of your objectives. It will also make it easier for you to complete your performance review at the end of the year if you have made regular and timely progress updates to your objectives. Progress updates should not be used to record day-to-day activities, but rather to show the significant progress you have made.

Some key tips for writing a good progress updates include:

  1. An ideal length for a progress update is 2-3 sentences.
  2. Relate the update to a specific sector, client, project or people to increase the relevance of an update.
  3. Updates should highlight your movement towards an objective. The update is always about the objective, not just a task.
  4. Include some detail of the actual result in your update.

Here are some real life examples of poor progress updates:

  1. "Job done"
  2. "Filed monthly reports"
  3. "Draft report produced"
  4. "Good initial meeting"

Here are some real life examples of good progress updates:

  1. "Organised a core service team meeting for Client X that yielded three potential   cost efficiencies for the client – to be presented at next Month’s key client   meeting"
  2.  "Delivered great satisfaction results for clients this quarter. Mid year survey results were 91% clients rated our service as 'very good' or better. Looking at remaining 9% customers to improve their satisfaction scores"
  3.  "XYZ Software has passed testing and is now in its final stage. Draft report produced to discuss with Daniel Lee on 1st May, with a view to launch on 1st June"
  4.  "First meeting and discussion with Jim Smith of ABC Ltd. Five clear opportunities identified with growth potential of [£] in the next 18 Months"

CLEAR Progress Updates

Hundreds of progress updates are posted every day* by ObjectiveManager customers, which includes some of the largest law firms across the globe.

While each individual has their own unique style, the highest quality progress updates all share some common themes. These helped to mould the CLEAR model - Concise, Likeable, Engaging, Appropriate and Results. Progress updates that follow this model stand out above others, adding value to the individuals objectives as well as the firm's newsfeed.

  • Concise – Use two or three sentences that focus on the action taken and the significance for your objective. Avoid extremely short updates that give no information to the reader.
  • Likeable –Progress updates appear on the firms newsfeed. They should generate interest at some level across the firm by relating the update to sectors or specific clients, which encourages others to respond to your updates.
  • Engaging –Give people a real flavour for what you have accomplished which builds networking and collaboration opportunities. Use specific names of people and clients to make your updates searchable. Avoid generic updates.
  • Appropriate – Progress updates should be the highlight moments that have moved you significantly closer to achieving your objectives. Delivering your day to day results is important, but it doesn’t belong on the Firms newsfeed.
  • Results – Include some information in your update that shows what result you have delivered. These progress updates show how you achieved an objective, which is also very useful for performance reviews. 

* based on the number of progress updates posted by all ObjectiveManager customers each day, throughout 2019.

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