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 then 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 and you really earn your keep as a project manager: You monitor progress, evaluate performance, make adjustments as necessary, and manage the changes inevitable in projects.
Before you can evaluate project performance and make corrections, you need to know where the project stands. Project status is made up of two components: actual progress and forecasts of what remains to be done. Tracking status is all about information like tasks completed, when tasks actually start and finish, hours worked, and costs incurred. Just as important, you need to find out what’s still left to do—that is, the duration or work that team members estimate that it will take to finish. This chapter begins by discussing the merits of different approaches to tracking status and the information you can collect. Then you’ll learn about collecting that status data from your team—and several ways to do it.
The next step is updating your Project file with that status info. This chapter describes how to record status data, depending on the information you collect. If you opt for tracking status ...