Johanna Rothman in Managing Project Development gives an excellent explanation of how and why she asks for Visible Progress
If I'm managing a traditionally-planned project, I have weekly status meetings with everyone on the project. (For large projects, each project lead has these meetings and I meet with the leads individually.) I ask people to explain the status of their work and what they'll do next week, and how they'll track status. I request that people think of their tasks as to-do lists with inch-pebble level work. I won't put their inch-pebbles into the project schedule; that's just too complex and I'm not about to track each person's work. I ask people to monitor when they are stuck and to tell me if they need help in some way. Asking for help is fine. Floundering is not. ...visi
If you are interested in PM, I highly recommend reading the rest of this one. She even talks about her process of negotiation with the hesitant team member, who doesn't want to do progress reporting.
What's important? The state of the project as a whole.
When I explain why I need information and the level at which I need the information, most engineers are willing to work with me and I obtain visible progress about the project state.