In order to record project progress there are several steps that you have to follow:
|1.||Save or update a baseline schedule, if you haven't already done so in the planning phase. This will enable you to compare the information in your baseline schedule to your up-to-date schedule later in the project and will help you to identify and solve discrepancies.|
|2.||Decide the way you are going to collect progress data. The most common method to collect progress data is to exchange task status information with your Project Team Members or/and the Management Team of the contractor using the communications mechanisms documented in the Communication Plan (refer to 7.4.10). Usually, the status information has the form of a progress or performance report and is exchanged by using either electronic (e.g. emails, intranet) or traditional (e.g. post mail) means. However, for small projects you may decide to collect the project status data yourself (i.e. manually). In this last case, you could actively collect data by phoning your sources or going door to door to interview them or you could ask your sources to fill out a form and give it to you. In any case you have to collect data from the sources of the information. For example, to update start and finish dates, collect actual dates from the resources who are assigned to tasks. To collect cost data, you may need to get actual costs from accounting personnel.|
|3.||Decide which project information you want to track and update. For instance, you might want to update only task start and finish dates and task completion percentages (this is the case when you haven’t assigned resources to tasks) or you may want to update also time spent by the resources, as well as costs (this is the case when you have assigned resources to tasks).|
|4.||Decide how often you will collect project information and how often you will update the project schedule. For example, are you going to collect information and update your schedule once a week or once a month or once every three months? Selecting a frequency that is convenient and fits into your schedule increases the likelihood that you will collect project status information timely and you will have an up-to-date schedule. |
After deciding which items you want to track as well as the tracking method, you can start tracking the project’s progress by incorporating the most up-to-date information into the Activities Schedule.