Using the right mix of planning, practices, monitoring and control can make a difference in completing your project on time, on budget, and with the best quality results. Using the following practices of project tracking will lead to a positive completion of all projects.
Project tracking is the art of managing a project from the beginning to the end. It’s more than just measuring and reporting milestones, it requires achieving pre-defined results for any project. Keeping track of a project is a lot of work. Daily or weekly meetings may be necessary in the beginning to weed out any potential problems with the project.
Despite the high failure rate of projects, many companies are content to finish a project as long as it can be done faster and cheaper. Effective project management practices and techniques are the key to tracking a project to achieve the best results.
The following practices for project tracking will help bring any project to completion with the ultimate results.
- Start tracking early: Do more than monitor the milestones, keeping track all the potential problems will keep your project on time and budget.
- Keep an eye on small variances: These are the ones that get out of control the longer than sit unattended.
- Look for warning signs: Try not to micro-manage, but keep watch over the team while assessing whether there are problems brewing.
- Take care a hitches early: When a problem occurs, take care of it before it gets out of hand. These can be anything from paper running out to major technical problems with the project. Project tracking is managing every aspect of the project that may set the project back.
- Watch for declining moral: Keeping track of how your team is acting, behaving, and what they are whining about is the best way to stop the any personality conflicts from getting out of hand. Personal conflicts are usually the main problems on projects. People just need time to work thing out. Don’t forget to complement your team when they reach the milestones and when any problems or errors are caught before they derail the project.
- Quality starts to deteriorate: When you notice your team is not putting out their best, is the time to look into what is bothering them. It could be the boss, problems that aren’t taken care of, or it could be a technical problem. A close watch on quality keeps the project on track.
- Don’t cut back on the tracking: Continue to assess potential risks throughout the project and deal with them as soon as they are evaluated.
- Plan for problems: When you plan for problems, they may not show up. Communicate with your team members and their performance. Technical problems are fairly easy to take care of, it’s the personality problems that can take a project off track. Take notes and follow up on them. Meet with your team weekly or sometimes, it takes daily 30 minute meetings to get back on time-track.
- Set up video conferencing if you have remote team members: Most computers, tablets, and mobile phones have video conference capabilities. Use it freely to keep everyone up to day on any items that need to be addressed. You can also use instance chat (IM) to take care of any emergencies.
- Use document sharing to track projects: There are many online document sharing websites you can use such as Google Docs to keep a list of items that need attention. Be sure everyone has access to keep your project tracking. That way you’ll know what’s been done and what needs to be done.