Projects change every day, so staying on top of everything means keeping a close eye on progress. Lose sight of how a project is moving forward and it can easily go off-track or even derail completely. Set your team up for success with straightforward and simple tracking that lets everyone update and check project progress in a few clicks.
Step 1: Create your plan
Without a plan there’s not a whole lot of progress to monitor, so get started with a comprehensive project plan. Work with your project team to build a task list that covers all the work that needs to be done on your project. Once you’ve listed out all the tasks, add them into your online project management software, arrange them in the right order and link tasks as needed.
Step 2: Establish your plan baseline
Once you’ve built out your plan, take a snapshot of the initial timeline. This baseline will give you something to compare to later, should your schedule change. Major revisions to your plan? Establish a new baseline – but be sure to keep the original for comparison.
Step 3: Update project progress information
As your team makes progress on their project tasks, ask that they keep the plan up-to-date by recording their progress online. When they use online software to keep track of the time spent on a task, you’ll immediately see how their progress impacts on the project plan.
Step 4: Monitor and compare the results
You’ll want to compare the progress you expected to the actual progress the team is making on a regular basis. Review actual versus planned progress to date in your project software; you should be also able to assess how much time has been spent on individual tasks as well as the amount of time spent on the entire project.
Step 5: Generate (and share) reports
Reports give you an at-a-glance view of whether or not your project is on track. Make life easier by setting up a few report templates at the start of your project. That way, the data you (and your stakeholders) are interested in is always available, and ready for sharing in a consistent format. You can even generate reports in a variety of formats, so that everyone gets the information they need in a way that suits them.
Monitoring project progress doesn’t have to be time-consuming and difficult. By using software effectively you will be able to quickly see progress made on the project as soon as it happens. Use software like ProjectManager.com to create your plans — and manage your project’s progress — online.