Why would you need project tracking software? Managing a single project is very easy, right? All you need to do is enter your work and submit it for review when you are done. The fact is, a project may consist of many parts that must be combined together to meet the deadlines. Failure of some parts can lead to delays and financial losses. This article details the reasons to use the right project tracking software.
What Is Project Tracking Software?
In the simplest sense, project tracking software helps to monitor the progress of a project. Accordingly, it helps to assess whether the project is progressing properly to achieve the agreed goals.
This is usually performed by using professional project status reports. All reports should be clear and accurate about the status of the project as of the date of the report. You should also include a direct and informative statement that conveys status, all significant issues or risks that cause non-green status, and required actions. In simple words, project tracking software is perfect to monitor the entire project management life cycle. This way, ensuring that all project activities are on track.
The success of any project depends on its well-defined structure. Having no plans is like building a house without a blueprint. Meanwhile, the main reason for project failure is the lack of goals and measurable goals. Goals are important for any project as they act as guides. However, setting only one goal is not enough. Instead, you need to help your team members to see if they actually meet the goals.
Why Do You Need the Best Project Tracking Software?
The main reason for using the best project tracking software is that you need to implement some mechanism to monitor the progress. Only then you can ensure that the project is in progress and is on the right track.
Otherwise, you may blindly trust that the project will provide the specified results within the budget allocated on the agreed date.
You will certainly agree that this is a very big “leap of faith.” This should also be a top priority for the project manager. Why? Because controlling and monitoring progress is part of his job descriptions.
Yet, how does a project manager know if a project was successful and if intervention is required without project tracking software? Yes, you got the answer there.
What Do You Need to Track from Your Projects?
From project tracking software reviews, there are some specific indicators that you need and can be tracked from your project.
- RAG overall status
This status contains the previous reporting period and current reporting period. It shows where the overall trend begins to worsen.
This should include planning or budget, actual values, and forecasts to completion. You will see the details about whether the project is under budget here.
It is important to focus on some important milestones. This will help you monitor your progress towards your goal date. This is a high-level baseline from the project plan.
- Monitor the progress when achieved
Again, one way to do this is to use RAG. It allows you to focus on the progress that requires attention and intervention.
- Success for the current period and planning for the next period
This allows you to add context to what’s happening in your project. Accordingly, you can figure out what you can expect in the next period.
By including the next planned period, project leaders and teams can look ahead rather than focus only on their current activities.
- Key risks, assumptions, problems, and dependencies
All the top three issues should be included along with the risks regarding ownership and planned mitigation measures. The report should indicate where the item needs to be escalated for resolution. By tracking these, you can then identify events that affect delivery early.
Who Needs to Track the Project?
- Project Managers
Obviously, it is their responsibility to monitor the progress, intervene, as well as keep sponsors and stakeholders up to date.
It is also the sponsor’s responsibility to ensure that the project meets the requirements within the budget and the agreed time frame.
PMO is responsible for monitoring delivery, producing accurate reports, and advising on deviations from the plan.
How to Get Started with Project Tracking Software
Project tracking software allows you to make better decisions about ongoing and future projects. Here are some frameworks and steps you can follow to get started.
Draw a Plan to Track and Evaluate Your Project
The first step you need to do is to draw a process for tracking and evaluating your project. Start with the following steps:
- Organize your project
You need a platform to collect and organize your data all in one place. For this, you will need the best project tracking software to track different phases of your project.
- Identify responsibility
Who is responsible for overseeing each phase of the project and performing the assessment? How can you extend the success of a project?
You need to define stakeholder roles as soon as possible and create a checklist of their responsibilities.
- Record project bottlenecks
What problems did you or your team experience? Be sure to record how you handled these incidents, what the results were, and so on.
- Create an evaluation plan
Do you carry out an assessment weekly or at the end of each phase of the project? Gather feedback from your team members to hear what you can do to improve the work process.
Monitor Performance in Real-Time
No matter what type of project you are handling, you need to see what’s happening in real-time. This will help you to monitor your project and make informed decisions. Real-time performance monitoring allows you to track the progress of each team member. Additionally, you can allocate resources accordingly.
Evaluate the Project Report
Did the project arrive on time? Or was there an unexpected setback?
Answering these questions is to use project tracking software. However, you need to collect the appropriate data and evaluate the results to find the answer. Get the reports from ongoing or completed projects then evaluate the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Reviewing the report will help you understand how your team is working towards your goals. Eventually, it will inform you where your schedule has begun to deviate.
Improve Workflow Process
If your project misses the deadline, dig deeper to find out why. What kind of setbacks did you have? How were they finally resolved? But don’t stop there. Use the best project tracking softwareto record all incidents and how they are handled.
Focus On Learning and Improvement
All project tracking software reviewswill tell you that the software allows you to monitor your project, assess the progress of your project, and improve your process. The changes you make can have a significant impact on future projects. Yet, you still need to learn more from the rating system. Accordingly, you need to optimize it to further increase the productivity of your work process. Nevertheless, using the right project tracking software will help you manage all the projects easily. Start now and see better results!
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