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What does it take to monitor the progress of a project? PM Basics

iStock/YakobchukOlenaMonitoring Project Progress sounds simple. Many project managers find it difficult.
They are focused on the budget, schedule, and most of their time. Although problems may appear in one area of a project they can also build up in another.
Even though it is rocket science, it is not rocket science. A systematic approach to tracking the progress of your project can increase its success rate. You will be able identify and fix any issues quickly.
This is the main idea of today’s article. It’s simple and practical.
What is Project Monitoring?
It includes all activities and efforts to gather and analyze performance data for a particular project.
But let’s dive a bit deeper.
All data collected by the project team during execution of the project plan is called Performance Data. This includes actual costs, work packages and defects, vacations, vacation, and any other data.
Without context, this data is meaningless. It is impossible to make a decision based on this data.
Performance Information refers only to data that is included in your project plan and baselines. It is usually performance data compared with planned values. It is sufficient to detect an error but not sufficient for a change request.
Performance Report is information that has already been analyzed and compiled in order to help you make informed decision. The Earned Value Management Chart is a great example of a performance reporting tool.
Data transformation to monitor project progress
You can create processes to collect the right data, and then convert it into useful reports.
Preparation for monitoring project progress
You are familiar with Dr. Deming’s saying:
“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”
It has a second level that I can use:
“If you don’t plan it, it’s impossible to measure it.”
How do you plan the measurements?
Below I will discuss the options. Here’s a crucial question:
What are the most important metrics to your project? This doesn’t mean you need to collect data. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the data will have any long-term value.
Here are four data elements you should first consider.
1. It should be simple to obtain and affordable.
It is not worth spending hours collecting and processing data.
Monitoring can be made easier by integrating software. Data collection should be integrated into your workflow. This is the best. It is as it is in Atlassian JIRA, Microsoft VSTS, and any other task tracker.
2. You can track your progress throughout the day
It is important that you can collect the same data throughout the life of a project. If it is not possible, it may take a lot more effort to interpret and process the data.
3. How do you interpret the data?
It is easy to calculate and interpret actual costs, time spent, and finished deliverables. What about stakeholder engagement?
4. Can you establish thresholds that communicate problems?
Is there any deviation that you can identify? If so, what are you doing to fix it? If not, consider the effort required to interpret the raw data.
The key message is to plan ahead and learn how to use, interpret, and collect the data you have.
What should you be looking out for?
As I said, the money and time spent speak for themselves. It is possible to compare actual values and planned values. It’s easy.
However, it cannot help you correct the root cause of the deviations.
What other monitoring options are there?
There are many metrics. There are many metrics. These are the ones that I consider the most valuable.
Scope Creep will show you how much planning you have neglected.
It shouldn’t be a metric that is more significant than it is.