PROJECT MANAGEMENT TIPS: How to Measure Your Project Progress?
No matter what industry you’re in, whatever project you’re leading, the following tips on measuring your project progress are sure to help your project bloom.
(1) Get Your Project Team Involved. Collaboration isn’t just a buzzword, it’s a proven method for innovation and, more importantly in our context, for staying on track. Your team is your most valuable resource, but they’re more than just a group of people who take orders. Get the team involved from the get-go. There are many reasons why it’s good to plan with your team. For one, there’s the obvious buy-in it brings to the team, which is important, as an engaged team is going to help you stay on track. Start with the planning process, but don’t taper off on seeking your team’s advice. Remember, they’re on the project’s front lines and will be privy to information first. Set up regular check-ins with team members throughout the life cycle of the project. Example, held weekly progress meeting.
(2) Begin with the End in Mind. To measure progress, you must know where you’re going. When you use your imagination to visualize your goal, you have a better chance of making it a reality. This will also help you determine what steps are necessary to reach that endpoint. The worst thing you can do as a project progresses is to drift away from your goal as issues arise. By having the end in sight from the start you have a benchmark to measure your actions and decisions. This will keep you on track and allow you to measure progress more accurately. No matter where you are in the project, you can apply the concept of “Begin with the End in Mind”. It’s a great way to reset your priorities, but it can also provide a measure each day to track the distance from where you are to where you want to go.
(3) Use Project Management Tools. Tools have been helping people for millennia, and they can assist in measuring the progress of your project, especially since there are tools that have been designed to help manage projects. They’re easy to use and should be in the arsenal of anyone who is in charge of driving a project to a successful end. For example, a Gantt chart, which is just a fancy way of saying a timeline in which tasks are indicated as points that connect the start of the project to the end. This visual map makes it easy to see where you are in a project at a glance. Use the Gantt chart to assign tasks, determine a deadline and even link tasks that are dependent on another, so you can’t start “task B” until you finish “task A.” That keeps teams working. You avoid having someone blocked and idle as they wait for another person to finish their dependent task. And if your project management tool is online, you can track the progress of the team and note as their tasks move towards completion. Another handy tool to look for is a project dashboard. A well-made dashboard should collect all the metrics of your project in simple graphs and charts, so you can see at a glance where you are in the project. Plus, if it’s online, then it’s updating with real-time data, so you’re not stuck looking at past progress, but where the project presently stands.
(4) Plan Project Milestones. Milestones are a way to indicate the beginning and the end of major phases in the project. They’re a helpful tool for scheduling a project into digestible parts, and they can help you measure the progress of the project. Each time you achieve a project milestone you can see if you’ve reached it as planned. This is a great way to measure progress on a large scale, but you can also create milestones that work on a more gradual level to track progress. For example, by creating milestones tailored to the tasks assigned to individuals on your team, you can track the progress of everyone. Team members are instrumental in the overall progress of the project, so by measuring their individual progress, you have a clear view of how the project is progressing.
(5) Have Deadlines. It seems obvious, but deadlines are what keeps any project taut. Without a due date there is going to be slack. It’s unavoidable. If your team has an open-ended schedule, they’re going to use that time (Parkinson’s law). There’ll be no sense of real urgency. But deadlines aren’t just a way to keep the project on track. They can also act as a metric to measure the progress of that project. By setting a number of deadlines to meet, you have given yourself markers across the project schedule, which can be used measure whether or not you’re meeting your planned progress.
CareerGrowth™ has extensive project management knowledge and experience to assist you and your team to deliver better project outcomes! This includes our comprehensive “Project Management Training Modules”, “Effective Coaching™” programs, and “Consulting” services from our experienced trainers, coaches, and consultants to guide and assist your organization to achieve the next performance levels!
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PMI-PMP® Boot Camp – PMBOK®Guide 6th Edition (4 days, 36 PDUs) Project Management Professional Certification
PMI-RMP®Boot Camp – PMBOK®6th Edition (4 days, 32 PDUs) Risk Management Professional Certification
Professional Scrum Master (PSM®) – (4 days, 32 PDUs) Assessment I, II (Based on Scrum.org)
Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO®) – (4 days, 32 PDUs) Assessment I, II (Based on Scrum.org)
PMI-ACP® Boot Camp – PMBOK® 6th Edition (4 days, 32 PDUs) Agile Certified Practitioner Certification