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Chapter 7. Solving Problems Through Peri... > Fundamentals of a Periodic Report

Fundamentals of a Periodic Report

Purpose and Rationale

Periodic reports are also referred to as progress reports. This term can be misleading because many people think of a progress report in only one way: a document reporting positive change in the condition of ongoing work over time. The difficulty hinges here on the notion of “positive change.” Not all progress reports can document positive change over time. Sometimes they must report negative change; for example, instead of being able to report on how well a new marketing strategy has worked for a new product, some manufacturers may have to admit that the product had less appeal than they originally thought it would or that the strategy to market it was poorly conceived or timed. But those who are responsible for documenting the progress of the marketing campaign (progress thought of here in the most general of terms—how the campaign is getting along over time) must still write reports.

These reports may be written weekly, bimonthly, quarterly, or on any other schedule that seems to fit the needs of the situation. For that reason, many have come to call progress reports periodic reports, a more useful term that describes the fact that they are written at distinct intervals and that removes the idea that they must report only positive changes.


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