My Project Management Expert

Project Management Tracking

Many project managers spend an enormous amount of time project management tracking. The reason for this is because many project managers equate their role to writing project plans which of course then need to be monitored.

Having said that project management tracking is important to successful project management. However it is knowing what to track and focus on which makes the difference between an experienced, in demand project manager, and one who is destined to always stay in the lower echelons of the profession.

So what is smart project management tracking? Well as a project manager you would usually look to track the following:

1.0 Project Milestones

If you only track and remember one thing on your project, make sure it is your project plan milestone dates. Essentially these are the deliverables which your project sponsors will remember and keep asking you about. If you immediately can't recall the dates when they are supposed to deliver and keep having to check on a project plan; well it doesn't exactly instill a sense of confidence in your ability to be on top of things.

The key here is to keep a close eye on the upcoming milestones and track them. Don't bother tracking the one's which are distant in the future unless they have key tasks which are due now, otherwise on a large and complex project you will simply go mad trying to juggle everything required.

2.0 Project Tasks

Depending on the size of your project plan you can have anything from 10 tasks in total on it through to 10,000. As someone who manages large, high profile projects I try to write project plans below 1,000 tasks if at all possible just to ensure they remain manageable whilst giving me a clear picture of what is going on.

The key here is to determine which are the key tasks, ie those on the critical path and track those. After all do you really need to track all the project management requirements such as the fact that the informal review of UCP 17.02 Multipay Instore Terminal Determinator is happening on 27 Dec 09? And no I don't really know what on earth this task is for other than that I saw it on the BA Plan and promptly ditched it from mine. After all who has time to track informal reviews?

3.0 Project Budget

We have already covered how to track the project budget in both project management cost management as well as project cost controls.

4.0 Project Resource

Again we have already covered this in project resource scheduling so please look there for further information.

Project Management Tracking - Tip

As in all things to do with project management, you need to be smart with your time. You simply cannot do everything PMBOK or Prince 2 says and still effectively manage your project delivery. There simply aren't enough hours in the day.

So be smart, concentrate on the important things and remember,

"don't sweat the small stuff".

After all that is what your project team leads are for!

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