Project Tracking: The Key to Delivering Projects on Time?
The challenges faced by professional service agencies and consultancies throughout 2020 have highlighted the need for streamlined work processes and overall digital transformation. Clear communication with project teams and clients has become even more important while working remotely, and project tracking can prove an indispensable tool.
According to CIO, as so much has become ambiguous since Covid-19, “providing increased visibility into project, program, and portfolio performance has and will continue to become more vital for stakeholder confidence.”
Further, a recent Workplace of the Future survey asked corporate leaders how they see the future of remote working, post-pandemic. Most expect about 40% of their employees to work remotely in the future and another 25% to combine on-site and remote working.
Both of these findings showcase the need for centralized, end-to-end solutions to successfully manage project teams. As such, tracking project status from any location is one of the emerging challenges managers need to address above and beyond traditional project management.
What is project tracking?
Project tracking, much like project management, aims to simplify and consolidate all the steps needed to monitor the progress of a complex project.
It takes project management one step further by enabling all stakeholders involved to:
- focus on their own tasks and deadlines
- communicate easily with colleagues
- efficiently manage their time.
The importance of project tracking
There are five phases to project management: initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and controlling, and closing. Keeping abreast of these phases using project tracking solutions increases productivity and effectiveness.
Read on: 5 Phases of Project Management
Further, project tracking can greatly increase the chances of a successful outcome by ensuring:
- improved communication
- efficient resource management
- better scheduling
- accurate budget management.
Lastly, project tracking enables you to adapt more easily to changes in the plan, identify where the completion schedule is slipping, and troubleshoot solutions.
What is the best way to track progress?
As management consultant Peter Drucker said:
“Time is the scarcest resource and unless it is managed, nothing else can be managed.”
Therefore, the best place to start is to think about tracking the time spent on tasks and the time frames in which each task should be completed to keep the project running smoothly.
Choosing software that helps you delineate clear goals and KPIs and allocate tasks to the correct stakeholders will ultimately make project tracking easier.
What is project tracking software?
Project tracking software is a holistic solution that allows you to increase efficiency across every aspect of your project – from automating quotes and billing to tracking project sales, daily activities, and team productivity.
A project tracker enables you to streamline much of the administration needed to keep things moving. For example, hours logged online can be turned into timesheets for easy client billing. However, shifting from one platform to another is a real time waster and can also result in important details slipping through the net, throwing your project off track.
It’s best to avoid using point solutions in isolation. Work management software with a built-in project tracker offers a more holistic solution, allowing management to see problems when they arise (or head them off before they occur) and team members to communicate quickly and easily throughout the project.
Choosing the right software
Regardless of your sector or line of business, project tracking relies on end-to-end tools with comprehensive, customizable features that allow you to focus on meeting your client’s needs in an efficient manner – and in real time. Instead of switching between multiple applications to stay on track, a comprehensive solution will offer project and time management, budget and expense management, discussion threads, and much more, all at your fingertips.
Naturally, configurations of the tools you require to track your project will be unique to your individual team. But identifying current processes, as well as your particular pain points, will enable you to choose the right software – not just for today, but to scale with you as your teams and processes evolve over the coming years.
Some of the features you may require include:
- collaboration tools for discussion and notification
- sales and CRM data management
- resource management
- task and time management systems
- cost management
- budget management
- accounting and financial reporting systems
- automated workflows
- an accessible timeline of tasks that keeps you up to date on progress
Being able to confidently implement the tools you need – and enable each team member to use them interchangeably (remotely or in the office) – will save you time, money, and unnecessary frustration.
Project tracking with Scoro
Scoro offers a holistic, end-to-end solution allowing you to integrate your existing applications into one fully customizable user interface. This approach enables more flexibility while also streamlining processes and supporting both project and operational tasks.
Included as standard with Scoro, below is a checklist of the key features you’ll need to keep your project on track.
1. Gantt chart
Scoro has created the world’s first agile Gantt chart that enables you to see the accurate project progress in every phase. It is automatically updated to provide daily, real-time updates to project progress, allowing managers to be adaptive rather than predictive when it comes to team performance.
Scoro’s Gantt chart enables you to compare planned deadlines with progress and see how changes and delays impact your plans. In the same view, you can see your team’s workload and current availability so that you can assign new tasks to the appropriate person.
2. Dashboards & reports
In Scoro, it’s easy to track and manage every detail related to time and money for each project, plus get granular reporting on everything done. On top of that, you can add all the relevant metrics to your dashboard to get a full overview of everything important on just one page – you can add literally anything you want to keep an eye on to your dashboard.
3. Real-time data
Real-time data enables you to manage every aspect of your business and project. When team members have completed a task, they can immediately log progress for everyone to see. There’s no longer a need to shuffle between spreadsheets, email, and calendars to find the data you need, or wait for information to upload so you can generate a report: an instant overview of your business is right there when you need it, whether you are working remotely or on-site.
4. Time tracking
Scoro enables you to deliver high-quality work on time by planning, scheduling, and tracking your team’s time in one place. You can track the hours spent on projects, analyze the results and optimize activities to improve efficiency.
There are several ways to track time – through tasks and time entries, as well as a time tracker, that will track time for you. In addition, a shared team calendar lets you see everyone’s schedule and know what they’re working on, their deadlines, and where time is being wasted.
5. Alerts & notifications
With alerts and notifications, you have a great insight into what needs your attention. Being able to customize your dashboard to include comments, files, time spent and billed, planned tasks and meetings, instant alerts regarding deadlines, and notifications from team members – via cloud-based and mobile apps – is crucial when you need to keep your team connected in the new ‘work from anywhere’ era.
While we don’t know what challenges 2021 holds for the future of hybrid working, it’s a safe bet that we’ll all be doing more of it, with or without COVID-19. But one thing we can do is make sure project teams have the tools they need today to face the challenges of tomorrow – so that every project is delivered on time, every time.