If you work for a busy company, you will often find yourself working on projects back to back. When working in this kind of fast-paced environment, it can be hard to take a step back and analyze what went well on the previous job. To be able to grow and learn as a project manager you need to be able to critique your work all the time.
This article aims to provide you with a checklist of ways to track your project’s performance.
Make A Clear Timeline
Having a clear timeline is one of the most important aspects of running a project and a key way to track its performance. Your timeline should include micro and macro levels of detail and be easily understandable at a glance.
Rather than making your own for each project, you could see if this Time Tracking System helps you stay on top of everything. It’s important for you, your team, and your manager to be able to see exactly where you should be in the project versus where you actually are.
It might be worth creating a separate timeline just for you, which is more of a worst-case scenario timeline, with an adjusted schedule if anything happens to go wrong.
It’s important that you’ve given each area of your team just the right amount of time that they work fast but aren’t overly rushed. Making a clear timeline is one of the best ways to track your project’s performance.
Celebrate Passing The Milestones
Throughout the project, there should be a number of milestones that are key measures of the project’s performance. For instance, if you were launching an app, you should set up a milestone for passing building the back end of it.
These milestones work in conjunction with your timeline and should be included as such. What can be fun and keep motivation up is to celebrate the passing of each of these milestones as a team.
Although it might seem a little corny and unnecessary, taking a moment to have a round of applause for the developers for finishing a significant part of the project can go a long way in boosting morale.
Try to make sure your project is scheduled so that these milestones can be equally spread out. This will help with the feeling that the project is constantly moving forward and making good progress. Celebrating passing the milestones is a great way of tracking your project’s performance as well as keeping your team happy.
Keep An Eye On Expenditure And Expenses
Every project you work on is going to have a strict budget and you should always be working to come in under it. Once you have set out your timeline and milestones, do a cost-analysis of each section to work out where and when you will be spending your budget.
If you are working on something which involves staff filing expenses throughout the project, ensure that they are giving you receipts weekly, rather than all at the end.
This is good for two reasons, firstly it’s much easier to keep track of your expenditure and make simple projections to see if you are likely to over or underspend.
Secondly, it also means that over a long project, your staff can be reimbursed on a more regular basis which should keep them happy. Keeping a close eye on your project’s expenditure at all times is one of the best measures for tracking your project’s performance.
How Was It Before, How Is It Now?
When you are working on a particular project, there will be an area in mind that needs improvement. This improvement might often be to do with profit, but there are other measures too. To truly measure the performance of your project you will need to ask yourself, ‘How was it before, how it is now?’. Answering this double question will inform you of the impact of your project and the real difference it has made.
What’s interesting is doing a comparison of the benefit and the cost of the project. You might implement a system that speeds something up, but if that system requires constant maintenance you might not be saving that much salaried time.
You should be able to predict how much your project will improve a process before you start but make sure you don’t forget to think about how much time and money it will take to implement.
This might seem like an obvious thing to consider but you’d be surprised how often these details get forgotten. Looking at how it was before and how it is now is a key step in tracking your project’s performance.
One of the other indicators, aside from profit generation, is stakeholder perception. Now, stakeholders in this sense can also be referred to as customers as the same logic applies. If a stakeholder believes in the company and thinks more of it, due to a new project, this should be considered in your performance tracking.
Brand perception is one of the most important aspects of a consumer’s choice of product to buy. Although this might be a little harder to measure, you might be able to do a simple survey to garner some insights.
The perception of a company after a specific project has been completed is a great metric for tracking a project’s performance.
Project Your Project Performance
Project management is really difficult and keeping track of performance is harder still. With so many balls in the air, it can be overwhelming.
By using this checklist and; making a clear timeline, celebrating the milestones, keeping an eye on expenditure, looking at how it was before and how it is now, checking stakeholder perception you can be safe in the knowledge you’ve done the best you can.
Being able to provide insights into all these areas will also show to your bosses exactly how good the work you are doing is. I hope you have found this article useful and will be able to implement this checklist into your next project.