As a project manager, project tracking is one of the essential responsibilities. You should be able to provide an accurate and detailed project status report at any given time. It should include what actual progress is, compared to the planned progress. You should also be aware of all the major tasks and milestones that have been completed on the project and if the project is on track to meet its deadline. Without a project tracking system, there is a high risk of losing sight of looming completion dates which can jeopardize the project delivery.
In this article, you will read about what project tracking is, why it is so important, and what project tracking hacks are proven best for project managers.
What is Project Tracking?
Project tracking refers to the method of monitoring and tracking the progress or regress of the activities and tasks associated with a specific project. Key personnel can use project tracking to determine the progress of the project and to check if it is right on track or not. It also helps to check whether it’s on course for an on-budget delivery with a valuable ROI.
Project tracking even helps stakeholders and project managers to be up-to-date on all the milestones and tasks that have been completed. They can track all the resources that have been used and the accommodations or adjustments made in the project for unforeseen roadblocks.
Why is Project Tracking important?
Project tracking is important for stakeholders, project managers, and team members to stay informed about the project’s deadlines, goals, and current status. During complex and large projects with complex milestones and phases, project tracking ensures that the deliverables are completed and submitted on time.
Project tracking even ensures that project managers are notified as soon as a project is deviating from its original course. It even clarifies why time tracking software is required to manage contractless staff and freelancers. A project tracker even assists managers in pricing the project and identifying any potential roadblocks before they become major issues, potentially saving time, resources, and money on correcting these actions.
Steps for Better Project Tracking
You can always create a proper and strict scheme for your projects extremely well, but sometimes things don’t go as per the initial plan. It can sometimes disrupt your project. In such situations, you will need project monitoring and tracking techniques to help you benefit from better project management. Tracking time gives the stakeholders and project team members a better understanding of the project’s highlights and health areas.
You’ll be capable enough to think quickly and deal with any roadblocks that come your way if you follow these project tracking steps!
It is vital you efficiently plan & prioritize the underlying work. To be a good PM, you need to learn to cope with time and prioritize every essential task. You may not be able to track everything because there are not many hours during the day. Thus, you need to figure out which features of the project are crucial and require more attention.
The most crucial elements that a project manager should pay attention to when following through with a particular project include resources, budget, project scope, and milestones. These are prioritized and scrutinized because they will help you to decide and control the performance level of your project. It is important to keep track and monitor any upcoming milestones. It is because there are deliverables that project stakeholders may continually question you about. Then, of course, there needs to be a budget tracker to ensure that you don’t spend more than the initial budget.
Setting Realistic Goals
After prioritizing the project, it is crucial to start setting realistic goals. Setting goals or targets and allocating quantifiable KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) is one of the most basic steps in evaluating performance. You must position KPIs for every target to know how the target achievement needs to be traced.
The basis of project tracking is to compare what you initially decided to how it was actually executed. A baseline of goals is important as it will benefit you to compare the actual progress in every part of the project. Hence, creating a measurement performance Centre with strategic goals will help you to measure the project performance. It includes understanding the scope, cost baseline, and time.
Changing any project must be unavoidable under any circumstances. It can have a huge impact on the project overall. Therefore, it is significant to control the baseline for the project’s success by setting realistic goals or targets.
How you deliver your reports can have a significant influence on you as a project manager. Your report must concisely & plainly respond to the project’s stakeholders’ questions. The stakeholders of the project must understand the working and cause of the project to steer off the track. The project manager should make sure team reports are held regularly to discuss the project reports.
Regular monitoring and tracking allow possible problems to be identified as quickly as one can. It allows for adjustments according to the plans of the initial project before moving ahead with the project. For example, sometimes it can seem that a forthcoming milestone can be missed, then the stakeholders will be notified about it immediately.
Make use of Dashboards
Communication is the main reason for the success of any type of project. However, communicating with stakeholders, team members, sponsors, and other project members can consume a significant amount of time. Hence, in terms of communicating the status of a project, a dashboard is always useful. A dashboard for the sole purpose of project management will frequently provide an overall view of the project’s Key Performance Indicators in a way that portrays the overall progress of the project.
With the help of project tracking, you will be able to track and monitor all of your organization’s projects in just one place. Whether your team is gathered under one roof or spread across the world, project tracking will help you stay connected and updated with all the organization’s projects.