Project tracking is an essential part of staying on schedule and within budget. Without it, you cannot keep an eye on progress and create accurate reports. It is a project management method used to track the progress of tasks in a project. By tracking your project, you can compare actual to planned progress, and identify issues that may prevent the project from staying on schedule and within budget.
Project tracking helps project managers and stakeholders know what work has been done, the resources that have been used to execute those tasks, and help them create an earned value analysis by measuring project variance and tracking milestones.
A project tracker is a tool that lets managers measure the progress of their team as they execute tasks and use resources. It’s an essential tool to keeping projects on schedule and within their budgets.
Tracking the progress of your project can seem like a daunting task, but by laying out the process and planning ahead, you can set yourself up for success. The following are a few things you can do now to get on track:
- Start with a project outline
- Create deliverables and milestones
- Set realistic, clear and measurable goals
- Use a project tracker template or a project tracking software to keep track of time, costs and tasks
- Meet regularly with team and stakeholders
- Have clear deadlines
- Support transparency
These suggestions are structural and should be set up for every project. Additionally, with project tracking, it’s important to remember the triple constraint (time, cost and scope). The key to managing these interrelated variables is proper estimation and control. You first estimate your costs to create a project budget, the time that tasks will take to create a project timeline and the project scope to create your project schedule. Then you have to control them during the execution phase by using a project tracker that allows you to track time, costs and tasks.
Many types of project reports are created during the execution phase in order to track the progress of a project. Project status reports act not only as an important communication tool during project execution but also as important historical documents that inform the development of future projects. This makes estimating the scope of future projects less of a shot-in-the-dark, and more of an educated guess.
Project status reports have a few key objectives, including:
- Making communication across the organization seamless
- Simplifying the communication process
- Keeping stakeholders in-the-know as the project moves forward
- Delivering the right information, to the right stakeholders, at the right time
- Enhancing organizational support for everyone involved
Project monitoring, tracking and reporting are a highly-collaborative process. Without monitoring and tracking the progress of a project, the reporting is not accurate. Therefore, teams must collaborate when creating reports, so communications are clear. This collaboration and communication is facilitated by the right project management tools. Project tracking software helps with critical project management areas and processes such as task management, time tracking, and resource management.
So, how do you track your projects? Using a real-time dashboard is one great way to see data about tasks, costs and more in a customizable view. Let us know your approach, we would like to hear from you. Our next blog will look into The Six Elements of a Project Report which is a carry on from this blog, all the very best on your project management journey.