What Is Project Tracking?

Project tracking is a template or software used by employees and managers to follow the progress of ongoing projects. With project tracking, managers keep an eye on the project’s timeframe and the work done by employees by monitoring things like task progression, milestones, workload bottlenecks, project delivery estimates, and more.

Project Tracking Templates Vs Software

Project tracking templates are a single data source for tracking project progress. They’re used by employees working on specific project tasks to input progress details. These details include the most recent task progression or task completion for a project and the manner in which the tasks have been completed (e.g., the methods for how a difficult task was tackled or the route employees took to complete a project).

Employees submit the progress template to managers for approval, and managers use them to update the project progress and create project reports with the latest data. These reports may later be requested by clients and/or employers who want to have an insight into a particular project’s progress.

Project tracking templates are adequate for basic project parameters but are time-consuming and lack sufficient data. The alternative is project tracking software. 

Companies use project tracking software because it enables managers to track the project progress in real-time. This means that the project data is shared throughout the whole project tracking system and can be viewed by those who have special user role authorization, depending on company policy.

Moreover, managers use project-tracking software to create reports using the live project data and distribute the workload more efficiently in cases when there are workload bottlenecks.

Why Is Project Tracking Important?

Project tracking is an indispensable method that allows employees, project managers, owners, and even stakeholders to keep a keen eye on ongoing projects and their daily tasks, deadlines, ETAs, and status. 

For companies contracted on larger and multi-stage projects with multiple milestones, project tracking ensures that everything is delivered timely and that tasks are completed according to plan.

Moreover, in cases when a project veers slightly off course, managers use project tracking to steer the project back on the right track and avoid any significant damage. Systemizing and analyzing past project data also helps companies be better able to predict the challenges in new projects in advance, as well as make better estimations about how much capacity they have and how to price their services. 

Project tracking systems save companies time, money, and resources that could be otherwise spent on repairing the damages of project delays.

Project Tracking Software Features

Here are some of the default features that every project tracker or project tracking software must include for creating accurate project progress reports. 

Project Tracking Features for Organizing the Team

The project tracker team organizing features allow team members to include general project information such as the name of a project, the employees working on the project, the project managers, the available resources, etc. Moreover, they use the organizing features to assign different team roles, distribute the workload easily, manage different tasks, and track their progress.

Project Tracking Features for Planning and Organizing the Project

The planning and organizing features allow team members to create pie charts, team planners, and kanban boards to visualize the workflow and increase the team’s efficiency, and schedule brainstorming sessions, among other actions. 

Moreover, the software includes features for task planning and organizing tasks based on their status (completed, ongoing tasks, and ETAs for completions), allowing managers to make forecasting about the project progress projections by comparing their target with the current status of the project and the percentage of work already done.

Project Tracking Features for Project Monitoring

The project tracking software includes a number of features for project monitoring. It typically comes with time tracking capabilities to monitor and calculate employee work hours, as well as productivity tracking features. Moreover, the software allows managers to track their time and materials, and labor costs and make sure they stay within the scope of the project budget.

All of these tracking features assist managers in keeping the project on the right track. Moreover, the software will recognize potential setbacks in case of difficult tasks or other types of workload alterations in the project scope and notify managers to take action to mediate the setbacks. The managers can then allocate more resources to these pressing tasks and mediate them before they set back the project schedule.

Project Tracking Features for Project Completion and Assessment

Project trackers show accurate metrics and data points that managers can use to back up their project report statements. The software data gives information about project issues that have caused certain delays and a detailed explanation of how these setbacks affected the project’s budget and timeline. Managers can also include the measures they took to bring the project back on track.

The project tracking software also includes project milestones as they are an important metric for ongoing projects. Milestones show the project’s progression points from start to finish, so managers use them to identify whether the project development goes in the right direction and make the necessary changes if needed.