They have benefits for all involved:
Benefits for researcher:
- Written record of accomplishments to date on project;
- Opportunity to collect and gauge quality and quantity of research accomplishments; and
- Starting point for first draft of technical paper, thesis chapter, or other written reports
Benefits for supervisor:
- Useful method of keeping researchers and research teams on-time and on-track;
- Written record of progress or lack thereof; and
- Provides supervisor with knowledge of problems and allows supervisor to provide timely feedback and intercession
There really is no standard format for progress reports. However, given that the peer-reviewed technical journal article is generally viewed as a standard medium for written communication in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, if your advisor doesn’t provide you with any specific format requirements, the format for a technical article might be a useful format to adopt in preparing your progress report. Another useful format for progress reports is that of the standard business memo.
Online Technical Writing: Progress Reports.