How To Effectively Track Project Progress

How To Effectively Track Project Progress

How To Effectively Track Project Progress

Project management

Project management

Project management

June 20, 2023

June 20, 2023

June 20, 2023

Bob Stolk

Bob Stolk

Bob Stolk

Track project progress
Track project progress

Never underestimate the power of project management. By effectively tracking projects, we can have a huge impact on how well a project progresses. And that’s why it’s so important to track from day one. 

Project management software with project tracking helps teams stay on target throughout even the most complex projects and keeps everyone in the loop at every stage. Vital for improving productivity and essential in keeping motivation levels high, project tracking makes a real difference in businesses of all shapes and sizes. 

In this article, we’ll explore project tracking in more detail, explaining how you can use it to project progress more effectively. We’ll also talk about some of the software that turns project tracking from the headache it once was, into a much simpler and more streamlined process. 

Read on for more tips on how to track project management, from our experts. 

What is Project Tracking?

The term project tracking refers to the process used to monitor and manage the progress being made in a particular project. As an essential part of project management, project tracking encourages collaboration and communication by improving visibility throughout the entire project lifecycle. 

Why is tracking project progress so important?

Modern businesses handle an enormous array of responsibilities, ranging from simple everyday tasks to far more complex projects that might involve cross-team collaboration. But no matter how complicated a project is, the processes involved can always be simplified by tracking your project management efforts. 

According to one report, 15% of all projects are considered a failure. Of those that succeeded, a majority either went over budget or underperformed on certain deliverables. Ultimately, effective project tracking underpins any successful project management strategy. It means teams can understand actual progress vs planned progress and know what resources (and how much) has gone into the project up until its current point. Sharing project tracker data also ensures managers and stakeholders can be kept in the loop on project progress,  resources and budgets. Project managers can use this data to forecast how much resource will be needed for similar projects going forward. 

Looking more broadly, encouraging teams to use project tracking can lead to improvements in engagement and motivation. Team members are able to see how much of their time has gone into their work and can more easily spot emerging issues or bottlenecks that may slow progress. 

How teams choose to track their progress varies from company to company. In the past it was common to see spreadsheets as the main hub of project tracking information. Teams may also create Gantt charts and other visual representations that can be shared easily. Nowadays, time tracking platforms and project management software have made it easier to centralize all the data in one place which has made tracking a much simpler and streamlined process. 

What Is a Project Tracker?

As the name suggests, a project tracker is a tool used to manage and track projects. The mechanics of how it works and how information is managed will be different depending on which method or tool is used. However, a project tracker is essentially a central point to document project details including associated tasks, priorities, deadlines, budgets and in some cases time spent. 

Typically, this information will be presented on project boards and will be visible to all team members involved. All members will also be able to access all files and conversations that might be relevant to that specific project. Good project trackers come complete with features that allow project progress to be easily measured in real-time, from one place. 

6 Steps To Track Project Progress More Effectively

Effective project management has the ability to transform the success of any project. Set clear, realistic goals and milestones, meet regularly and make full use of cutting edge project tracking software to equip your team with the tools they need to surpass expectations. 

Set Goals That Are Clear and Realistic 

Clear, realistic goals are vital in the management of all projects. While unachievable goals can have a negative impact on team morale, more manageable targets will motivate your team as they navigate the toughest challenges.  Project goals should follow the SMART approach. They need to be:

  • Specific - Goals shouldn’t be ambiguous and all team members should clearly understand their role

  • Measurable - You can’t track what you can’t measure so you need to be able to quantify your progress 

  • Attainable - Being ambitious is good, but goals that are too ambitious become unrealistic quite quickly

  • Relevant - Project goals should fit within your broader organizational targets

  • Time-bound - Most projects need a specified start and end date. Time constraints creates additional motivation and ensures a faster completion. 

Create deliverables and milestones

Milestones ensure managers know if a project is on time, which is particularly important for longer projects that take months or even years to finish. All team members must also be fully aware of their responsibilities. With these milestones in place, managers can break the project into the expected deliverables and assign a deadline to each one. This means teams are far more likely to be motivated in completing their portion of the project. 

Effective Communication is Key

Few things are as important as great communication, particularly when it comes to managing complex projects. Ensure that teams are fully briefed on project tracking and how it will work, and give all team members complete visibility over tasks as you go. Utlize project management software to share documentations and collaborate with the necessary team members to ensure deadlines are met.  

Conducting Regular Project Meetings

Effective project management software can reduce the need for meetings, but we still recommend meeting regularly to discuss progress and iron-out any problems that colleagues might be having.

Meet With Clients or Stakeholders and Use Feedback

Don’t overlook the importance of feedback during any project. Meet with clients or stakeholders at regular intervals to gather feedback that can be used to shape the future of your projects. If stakeholders decide they want to change project priorities, be sure this is effectively communicated to the rest fo the team - and amend the tracking to reflect it. 

Use Project Tracking Software 

Project tracking software takes a lot of the work out of tracking progress, so make use of it. Look out for software that offers all teams a straight-forward way to organize, access and share the information they need.  Empower teams to ascertain project progress without needing to scroll through pages and pages of a spreadsheet - bring all project information into one place and track much more effectively. 

What Is Project Tracking Software? 

Project tracking software is a must-have if you’re hoping to manage multiple projects and make the most of your team’s capabilities. 

Top project management software allows teams to work to their full potential, by providing them with the skills they need to get the job done. 

Managed via a dashboard, project tracking software includes a range of different features, from communication tools and task pages to homes for relevant files and data. Often, software also comes complete with a calendar to help manage deadlines. 

Once project tracking software is up and running, all team members have full visibility over the projects that are relevant to them. This means that they can manage their time more effectively as they contribute to the most pressing tasks of the day. 

What Are the Top Features to Look For in Project Management Tools?

There are many project management tools available now, so the best tools for your team really will depend on how you intend to use your project management software. However, there are few features that we’d always recommend you keep an eye out for. Here are five of our must-haves. 

Get Real-Time Progress Updates

Real-time progress updates keep projects moving. As tasks are completed they can be seamlessly handed onto the team member who will take things forward. At the same time, other colleagues might receive notifications of new tasks that require their attention. 

Visualize Progress As It Happens

Project managers benefit from the ability to visualize progress, particularly when it comes to complicated projects involving a number of different departments. The most effective project management software makes visualization simple. 

Track Individual Tasks 

Project tracking software should of course allow colleagues to track the progress of tasks for the duration of the project, so that everyone is fully aware of where things stand - even if they’re not the one currently working on a certain task. 

Organize Resources

The best software allows teams to access everything they need through one dashboard, so look out for options that enable teams to organize resources and make them available to anyone who might need them.

Stay Updated on Timelines

Timelines are vital in keeping budgets on track and ensuring colleagues keep to deadlines. Some project tracking software offers timeline view features designed to help all team members understand the status, progress and length of any project. 

See More Success With Your Project Tracking 

Track project progress from day one and you’re guaranteed to see more success as teams begin to work together and collaborate more effectively. 

Project management really can make all the difference here, quite simply because it makes it easier for teams to track progress and manage their own workloads. 

Hello Ivy is a simple project management tool designed to transform the way in which we manage projects, Hello Ivy helps teams stay on top of their work by tracking and visualizing tasks in real-time. 

Manage your work the modern way with Hello Ivy. Contact us to learn more. 

Try Hello Ivy Today.

Beautiful, powerful and simple project management software for your entire team.

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