Chapter 14. Tracking Progress

After you finish planning a project and get approval from everyone necessary, you save a baseline of the project, and give the signal for work to begin. You may be tempted to sit back at this point and rest on your … ahem … laurels. The hardest part of your job as project manager is done, right?

Wrong. Now that you’ve stepped over the threshold from planning into execution, plenty of challenges await. The execution phase is when you really earn your salt as a project manager—you monitor progress, evaluate performance, make adjustments as necessary, and manage the changes inevitable in all projects.

Before you can see how the project is doing and make corrections, you need to know where the project stands. Tracking progress is all about data gathering: tasks completed, hours worked, and costs incurred. This chapter begins with the first hurdle—collecting progress data from your team—and shows you several ways to do it.

The second step is entering progress data into your Project file. This chapter describes how to enter progress data, depending on the information you collect. You’ll also learn how to update progress at the assignment level, whether task by task or for the entire project.

Picking the Best Way to Track Progress

Depending on your project’s requirements, just knowing what percentage of a task’s work is complete may be enough. For example, Susan says she’s 100 percent complete on two tasks, and 25 percent complete on a third task, and you have ...

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