Project tracking and control goes side by side with the execution activities. It figures out the potential problems and timely resolves the issues and helps to make the correction and take controlled action over it. Project can’t be executed without tracking and control. Project plan is constantly under check and appropriateness of the actions is measured. Tracking and control involves a little comparison with the actual plan of the project. Control action of the project starts from the initiation phase of the project till the closure. Tracking small projects is easier and requires less effort and time. But in project management bigger projects are complex and have so much to control and monitor, so templates make the task easier. Project manager is frequently working on the tracking and controlling process. This formal effort makes the project run in a better way.
A better tracking and controlling process can help you to compile your project as per the deadline. The project manager works on managing the requirements of the project to create a balance in the performances and resources. Project control keeps the planned and actual performance under check. It is also a good progress measurement tool. Keep the cost matters under check. Measures implemented schedule to monitor progress of the project. A project manager can take good advantage of this part of the project and can work on the project execution in a smoother manner. All the tasks are aligned and well managed throughout the project. Different tracking and control templates are available to regulate the project.
Best practices for successful tracking & control:
Monitoring and control keeps the project on the right track. To keep a check that the project is running on as per the plan there are some practices that can effectively lead the project towards success. You might see some deviations from the actual plan, the control process keeps everything aligned.
- Take action to the control project
To control the deviation from the plan of action, specific actions are taken to monitor the progress of the project.
- Measure performance
Individual performances require measurement to keep up with the standards. Proper schedules are made for the performance measurement and work break down. If errors are detected during the monitoring then the control process comes to the rescue.
Determine variances, you might experience differences from the baseline or expected plan.
- Perform integrated change control
Whatever change is required in a project, the implementation must be in an integrated manner. One change is related to the other one and can cause a big change in plan of action. Change implementation is properly planned to keep the chances of risks to minimum.
- Reaction to changes:
Change control board looks into the changes and sees the possible effects of them to the project and after proper investigation accepts or rejects the change.
- Manage configuration
Configuration describes the project into manageable modules. For a healthy growth of the project good configuration is required.
How do I track Project Progress through these Tracking Templates?
Project tracking is required to monitor the project’s progress. There are a variety of tracking templates which makes the work of a project manager easier. First of all, task management is required. A proper task list will help you improvise the tracking process in a better way. You need to go through the actual task list and compare the activities performed according to the plan. If there are some gaps, the tracking process spots them and highlights the problem areas. The status bar of the tasks’ list gives the information about the current situation of the project. A comprehensive task management can do the job. Task tracking takes the project to another level. Gantt chart is also a good tool for tracking the progress of the project. Budget tracking templates are also available to keep up with the cost requirement of the project and keep them under the actual cost.
- Gantt Charts- are good tools for tracking. Gantt chart is easier to read and the easy representation makes it a perfect choice. It gives a good insight about the dependent task and helps to create a link between them. Deadlines are met according to the schedule of the project. This spreadsheet gives the visual representation of the task schedule.
- Dashboards- more in depth analysis or tracking can be done by the help of a dashboard. Real time dashboard gives the report of the current status of the project. List of tasks is updated and then frequently tracked to keep up with the project’s success. It helps you to stay updated and work well for the bigger projects.
- Reports-overall health of the project can be measured with the help of project tracking reports. Reports are easy to use and can also be printed. Reports are good to transfer information to the stakeholders and the other supervisors of the project.
Related Article: Project Management Plan
What is the Project Change Control Template?
Change control is a crucial step in project management; it basically helps the team get approval for the changes in an ongoing project. Project plan is approved before the start of the project and making alteration is not just an easy step, it requires multiple steps of approval from the supervisor and the stakeholders of the project because one single change can bring changes to the budget, work plan, work order, deadlines and even in some case requirement of the new hiring as well. Multiple stakeholders are a part of one project and all have equal say in the change control management. It also gives you an insight into how the changes are likely to be made in the actual plan of the project. With the help of a revised plan your time is saved and it also gives better communication among the working team.
Change control process helps you adapt the change and resolve the underlying issues. The speed of the change process is likely to be altered with the amount of accuracy in the change plan. But the change control process is highly responsible to deal with the change and keep the project running smoothly without hurdles that might occur due to the shift in the plan. To get an effective change control process follow the steps mentioned below;
- Set up a change control system: Add the details of change in the change request template. Sometimes you require additional time, steps or money for the project. Sometimes the addition of another step doesn’t affect the other plan of the project. But the change request of an additional step is added just to keep the record of it. Once the change request is put forward then it is marked as awaiting, approved, submitted or updated.
- Create change control procedure: To carry out the change process in a professional and uninterrupted manner, you need to make a team lead or supervisor dealing with that change. The leads are involved in the communication with the stakeholders and other officials to govern these changes in an appropriate way with the approval of the stakeholders. Make sure you add the cause and effects of the change like budget, risks, customer or timeline.
- Identify the impact of changes: Highlight the area of the change. Look into them and map out the possible impact of the changes. You may face changes in schedule, timeline, budget or even quality. Define why you are interested in making that change. Ask questions to your team members about it in a formal sitting. Note down their responses. Using the key performance indicators sort changes. Make alternative plans that will cause less change in the underlying factors.
- Make the task list associated with the project: A change request might bring change in the task list. To help the team as soon as the change request is approved make the changes in the task list accordingly. You might go through overlapping in the tasks but that is manageable.
- Select templates: Use the reliable templates according to the type of changes. Communicate through the change request process so that no gaps are found. To keep the performances consistent, manage the change process like a pro.
Read More: Change Control
How do I create a Project Control Request log?
Change request is common for most of the project as not everything goes as planned. Changes are requested in the scope as per the requirement. The change request is presented in front of the team and stakeholders. Their approval or rejection, plan the further activities of the project. The main components of the change request are as follows;
- Identification number for change request: A unique number is given to each change request which makes the sort and search process easier. It also makes the discussion with the team and stakeholders convenient.
- Figure the type of change request: There are multiple categories of change request. You need to figure out the type and check the relevance with the project.
- Why the change is required: It is always important to include the reason for change in the change request. It will describe the significance of that change.
- Impact of change: Give the possible benefit the change will bring to a project. Get a clear understanding of the pros and cons of the change.
- Other related information to the change request like;
Who has filed the change request? Who has accepted or rejected the change request? Status of change request
Project monitoring template Examples:
There are multiple templates involved in project monitoring. Main purpose of using them is to ease the work of the project manager. The templates help to organize the information and give a better representation of the project. Project manager is dealing with multiple things of the project that require attention and time. The template gathers the data and works as a good tracking tool. Tracking or monitoring keeps you updated about the activities and status of the project. Also, the team is very conscious to keep their performances up to the mark. Some project monitoring templates are mentioned below;
Multiple Project Portfolio Tracking Templates:
Project management is not an easy job and at times project manager is dealing with multiple projects at a time which brings him/ her under great burden and stress. To fight away that burden multiple project tracking templates can be used to record the growth and progress of the project. Tracking not only updates you about the status of the task but also gives you better resources and planning ideas. Multiple projects tracking templates included a dashboard, Gantt chart along with the project summary. Different templates have their own specifications. Project manager decides which one is the best suitable for the project. Details of the multiple projects are entered in the template to draw further charts. Status reports are drawn with the help of Gantt charts. Overall it is a great tool that can save your time and energy.
Follow on Action Recommendation:
Not everything is compiled at the end of the project; some things are still left behind which require proper sorting and formal documentation. Documentation is done to keep the final record of the things left behind and authority or rights are given to some representative who can deal with the remaining stuff of the project. All of this goes in the follow on action recommendation which is presented in front of the board. Issues and risks are identified at the closure of the project and follow-on action is recommended accordingly. Date or expected time for follow-on action is recommended. Post project review reports are necessary to build an action recommendation. Follow on action recommendation has its unique property which is likely to give further work ideas to gather the attention of the customers. Post project reviews are conducted before the follow on action recommendation. Most of the conclusions or recommendations are made with the help of these results.
Project authorization covers project proposal, objectives, milestones, estimated costs, schedule and resources of the project. Authorization makes sure that plan is feasible enough to pursue. The project initiation phase is carefully monitored and all the possibilities are carefully monitored. It keeps the stakeholders’ review under consideration to carry out the rest of the plan well. Project authorization carries the following activities;
- Main purpose of the project is identified and a proper description about the goals, deliverables, benefits and impact is written. Proper proposal request is created and put forward.
- Review of the proposed project, by carefully analyzing the cost effectiveness according to the feasibility report.
- The final approval or rejection is done after the proposal request is put forward. The authorized response gives further details about the project initiation.
Project authorization form carries project title, description, scope of the project, planned date for the start of the project, completion, strategic alignment and additional requirements or information of the project. Different sets of details are part of the authorization report and the best template that goes with the project description is selected. It is a legal document and requires utmost attention.
Forward Planning Template:
Planning is an essential part of any project. It gives your project a better performance and outcome. Forward planning helps you take the project to another level. It starts with the planning of the project leading to the upcoming plan and how you can take the project in future. Project planning starts before the start of the project and continues till the closure of the project. Forward planning guides how far the project can go. Planning has a variety of goals ranging from short term goals to long term. Forward planning can be carried out according to the nature of the project. One example is attached below;Fig. 4 forward planning sample
Phase Stage Exception Form:
Expectation stage is often ignored but has enough importance to hinder the progress of the project. Exception stage gathers the missing information from the other stages of the project and puts them up in a single form. Data quality is checked and configured. Make sure to collect the information from all the stages. Stage editor is responsible for setting up the data correctly in the form. Each form has different details that are to be filled. Project manager with the help of the stage editor figures out the best possible form to use. The entered information can be used later in the project when required. Review is conducted to check the appropriateness of the collected data. Deliverables of each stage are recorded in the form along with the scheduled date and the owner or team member responsible.
Exception Report Template:
An exception report is put forward when the project plan is likely to exceed the set tolerance levels. Project manager and the board set the criteria and then carry out a review over the situation to make a good decision and carry on the project. The exception report has title, cause, consequences, recommendations, lesson as well. A detailed report has project information, background, approvals, overview and few other details.
Project Approval Form:
No matter what is the idea of the project or what organization is dealing with the project. Project approval is required. Project approval or proposal approval form is more or less same. And used for the same purpose. Project description and information is part of the approval form. All the other information like proposed budget, objectives, milestones, goals and the deliverables are put up in the proposal or approval form. Approval depends on how well the project idea is presented. Stakeholders pay major key role. Contractor gets attracted to the well written and clear project description.
Project Review by Consultant:
Project review by the consultant is another step of project monitoring. In house reviews of performance are conducted as per the schedule. But the consultant involved also reviewed the project from their point of view. They have different parameters for review and check. A consultant is advised to be open minded and fair when conducting a review. Be honest about the team performance reviews. A consultant always looks forward to deadlines. The success of the project is meeting the deadlines with the good quality of work. Arrange meetings with the meet to get better insight of the project activities. This is how a consultant put forward the review of the project.