Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Chapter 8: Tracking progress
Tracking progress
8
IN THIS CHAPTER, YOU WILL LEARN HOW TO
Save current schedule values in a plan as a baseline.
Record progress on tasks through a specific date.
Record tasks’ percentage of completion.
Enter actual work and duration values for tasks.
Until now, you have focused on project planning —developing and communicating the
details of a plan before actual work begins. When work begins, so does the next phase of
project management: tracking progress. Tracking means recording details such as who
did what work, when the work was done, and at what cost. These details are often called
actuals.
Tracking actuals is essential to properly managing a project, as opposed to just planning it.
The project manager must know how well the team is performing and when to take
corrective action. By properly tracking project performance and comparing it with the original
plan (as saved in a baseline ) you are able to answer such questions as the following:
Are tasks starting and finishing as planned? If not, what will be the impact on the
project’s finish date?
Are resources spending more or less time than planned to complete tasks?
Are higher-than-anticipated task costs driving up the overall cost of the project?
When planning similar projects in the future, will you be able to determine how good
your (or the team’s) estimating skills were in prior projects?
TIP As you enter actuals such as duration, start, or finish values, you might observe that the
scheduled duration, start, or finish values in your plan change. Such changes are the result
of Project dynamically recalculating the plan; we’ll point this out as it occurs in the exercises
that follow.
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