Tracking Project Progress - Project Management Made Easy

May 8, 2015
Track project progress better: we are sharing our best practices on project tracking! FREE Project Management EBOOK for new project managers. DOWNLOAD HERE: http://www.easyprojects.net/ebook/ Don't forget to check out our Blog on project management to learn more: http://www.easyprojects.net/blog/ Transcript: We all know what tracking progress is but a lot of people don’t think about the importance of actually tracking progress as they go. It’s basically a lost art. There are several reasons why tracking the progress of your project is important: There’s a saying that goes, you can’t manage what you can’t measure and that’s pretty obvious. Without numbers, you cannot express your accomplishments to your boss or clients, and everyone loves hard numbers. Also, people that don’t report on their progress are less accountable. How many times have you heard the words, “I’m working on it.” and you don’t see anything for weeks on end? Let’s face it, this is shady. Transparency is important when working on a project together because its the glue that makes things move forward. Types of Progress Tracking Let’s take a look at the ways in which progress is generally tracked: First, by percentage. This is a very traditional method for tracking progress. For example, you can say that a task is 50% complete depending on how much work is remaining. You’ll find that most project management software has this functionality that allows you to calculate percentage completion or remaining. Second, by hours. Tracking by hours is a more popular option for project managers because it allows them to be more accurate in their reporting. It’s easier to say that a project has 12 hours of work remaining. Time tracking has gained popularity across a variety of industries and professions. It’s also something that many project management softwares come with. Third, by using both percentage and hours. For those of us who like options, you can always track by both percentage and hours just to be as accurate as possible, or just give your team members the option. People like to track progress in their own ways so its always good to give them options. (EP Screenshot) Best Practices Here are some best practices when tracking progress: Track progress for each activity This one may seem like a no-brainer but you’d be surprised how many many managers decide to track only milestones and the big picture in general. By tracking each activity, you’re not only holding each team member extremely accountable for their work, ensuring that things get done on time. By tracking each activity, you’ll also be collecting important data and trends that can be applied to future projects. Track progress frequently When we talk about tracking progress, we often hear the question - how often should I be updating my progress? The answer: Everyday. By tracking every day, there won’t be any gaps in productivity and you’ll have real-time data that you can pull at any given moment. People don’t trust old data- even if it’s just a day old, it’s out of date. Too much precision is overkill While everyone wants to be as accurate as possible, it can sometimes backfire. Why you ask? Because, too much precision leads to hard to hit targets which make people feel like failures which in turn lowers their morale and in turn lowers productivity in general leading to unhappy people and high turnover. Okay. That sounded apocalyptic, but you get what I mean. Round off your numbers from 8.87% to 10% or to 37 minutes to 40 minutes remaining. It will make life so much easier. Make a non-negotiable rule for everyone That means you too. If you’re asking everyone to track their progress there can’t be any exceptions to the rule. The problem is, if you give even one person an exception everyone else will notice and they’ll boycott on reporting any progress because if one person. So make it known that tracking progress is a mandatory activity for all team members. Just like how you set goals for yourself, and track them to make sure you achieve them, the same goes for your projects and your team. So don’t forget to track everything in the best way that you can so that you can be a more effective project manager. If you're a new PM chances are you have some sort of tracking method in place. Different methods are more or less effective than others depending on the type of project. What methods do you use to track your projects? If not, try to apply some of these methods to your own and let us know the difference it makes. Comment below and let me know. Visit www.easyprojects.net today to start your free trial.
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