5 tips for tracking project progress

Project failure is costly for any organisation and around 15% of all projects are considered a complete failure. So, what is the point of having an excellent project plan if your team is not able to implement it on time? In other words, a good project plan alone is no guarantee that the desired results will be achieved. Things often go wrong during the implementation of a project and projects can be derailed. It is therefore crucial how your team implements the plan and how well you, as the project manager, can track the progress of the project at each stage, from start to finish. 
You need to know what is happening where and when, and this is where project tracking comes in. It ensures that your projects don't get off track or suffer any setbacks along the way.
A lifeguard tower


Main challenges in tracking project progress

Now, project tracking is not exactly a straightforward process and project managers face various challenges as they monitor project progress. We’ve created a list of problems that may arise when managing a single or multiple projects. Let’s have a look at them. 
  • Workload imbalance is a common problem that arises when project managers assign tasks to team members. Some people are given more work than they can handle, and this overload leads to poor performance, low productivity and high stress levels. 
  • Unclear goals and lack of direction lead to the failure of many projects, as the team is constantly in the state of “confusion” on whether the project is on the right track.  
  • Using outdated or inappropriate tools limits your ability to accurately monitor project progress at every stage. You need to use a best-in-class project management and team collaboration tool that offers a range of features such as time tracking, file management, whiteboards and Gantt charts, instant chat, etc. to ensure seamless team collaboration. 
  • Poor communication is one of the main reasons for project delays, as information is scattered and not everyone is on the same page. A lot of important information gets lost, leading to delays in responses and actions needed to keep the project on track.

5 Effective tips to help you track projects at every stage

No matter how well a project is planned, unexpected events can occur that can derail your project. In this case, project tracking is very useful for project managers as they can track progress at every stage. They can identify problems and deal with them in time to prevent them from becoming a major problem. 
Here are some tips to help you track projects successfully so that your projects are completed on time, much to the delight of your clients.

Tip #1: Involve your team in project tracking

If you think that project tracking is the sole responsibility of the project manager, think again. Since your team will be working together on a project to ensure its successful completion, you should involve all team members and encourage them to contribute their valuable ideas. 
You should make them understand the importance of project tracking and how it helps them measure progress on the tasks they have been assigned. It's important for your project team to be involved in setting the project goals, because they'll be the ones working to achieve them.

Tip #2: Use the best project tracking tool

The bottom line is that you can't fully track your projects without the right project tracking tool. Top-of-the-range project tracking software gives you detailed information about project progress. 
You get timeline-driven Gantt charts, drag-and-drop boards, and listicle-based table views that help you evaluate project progress while collaborating seamlessly with your team members. 
In addition to project tracking, the tools offer a range of features to help you manage various aspects of your work, such as time tracking, file management, online proofing, instant chat, custom reporting, scheduling calendar and more.

Tip #3: Assess workload distribution

To make sure your project runs as planned, you need to ensure that the workload is distributed fairly and evenly across your team. Inadequate resource allocation can lead to overworked team members, which in turn can lead to low morale, low productivity and failed projects. 
This is where you can use the task management feature of your chosen project tracking software. This feature allows you to divide your project into work packages and tasks, assign them to your team members, set deadlines and track progress at every stage. You get a clear picture of team members' availability and skills and can allocate tasks accordingly to maximise resource utilisation.

Tip #4: Set measurable targets and stick to them

If you don't set project goals, you can't track them. Performance tracking starts with setting goals and assigning measurable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). You should set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound) goals for your team members. 
Project tracking is about comparing actual performance with estimated results. A baseline is a useful feature of powerful project management software that helps project managers compare actual progress with estimated progress. You can create a baseline with realistic targets that set the standard against which project performance can be tracked and compared.
Changes can occur in projects and affect the project schedule and timeline, so controlling the baseline is very important.

Tip #5: Update project stakeholders aware of the progress

When tracking projects, it's equally important to share your findings with all relevant project stakeholders. In fact, your success as a project manager depends on the way you report. Project stakeholders need to be kept up to date on the progress of the project and to understand what is holding it back. 
It is important for project managers to hold regular team meetings to keep everyone informed. Regular project monitoring allows project managers to identify potential roadblocks and make timely adjustments to the project schedule. 
For example, if an upcoming deadline is likely to be missed, stakeholders need to be informed immediately.

Final Word

When planning and executing projects, it is not enough to simply deliver. You need to deliver projects on time and on budget, and regular project tracking at every stage enables you to achieve project goals.  
Using a top-rated project management software with tracking capabilities gives you real-time visibility of your project's progress, so you can make informed decisions that help you achieve the best end results that meet all your requirements.

Tips for tracking project progress
Author: Nandini Sharma is the Marketing Manager at ProofHub. Nandini brings close to a decade of experience in the field and has successfully executed a number of brand-building and marketing campaigns throughout her career. 
A specialist in the field of marketing, Nandini is well-versed in technical know-how, and always stays on top of the latest trends in the digital world. You will find her constantly putting marketing strategies into motion with perfection. Over the years, she has triumphantly created a wide base audience on a number of popular online platforms. When she is not busy penning down out-of-the-box marketing ideas, she can be found channeling her creativity into art and craft activities.
Keywords: Project management, Project progress, Tips

The IAPM certification

The certification can be taken via a reputable online examination procedure. The costs are based on the gross domestic product of your country of origin.

From the IAPM Blog

Become a Network Official

Do you want to get involved in project management in your environment and contribute to the further development of project management? Then become active as an IAPM Network Official or as a Network Official of the IAPM Network University. 

For better readability, we usually only use the generic masculine form in our texts. Nevertheless, the expressions refer to members of all genders.