How To Track Project Performance The Right Way

Most managers try to keep tabs on their team’s progress throughout the duration of projects. Since it is not always possible to pinpoint exactly how an initiative is developing, project managers often resort to relying on their gut feelings. Experienced managers find that this often turns out to be an accurate assessment of the project’s current state. Yet one’s gut feeling is not always foolproof. Managers require a more reliable way to track project performance.

How You Should Be Tracking Project Performance

Track Diverse Metrics

Project managers can benefit from a dashboard of diverse metrics. These function as gauges that help mangers determine where they should direct their time, effort and resources. When a manager takes stock of metrics and analyzes them properly, he can make critical adjustments on the fly. Whether it is adjusting time management, finances or his team’s efforts, he’ll be able to determine how to best proceed with each individual project. Sometimes he’ll have to focus on altering expenses. Other times, he’ll have to invest time on risk management. In a nutshell, dashboard metrics provide a general view of where a project stands and they allow managers to better track project performance.

Common Project Dashboard Metrics

Successful project managers make use of a handful of popular dashboards metrics to track project performance. Actual project cost represents information culled from a finance database to indicate how much money has been spent on a project. This gives managers an aggregate view of how costly a project has become. Planned project cost is anticipated spending compared to the point at which the organization planned on absorbing these costs. It is helpful to determine whether expected spending is outpacing actual spending. Actual schedule performance is determined according to how much progress has been made. It is a gauge of how much work is out of the way and how much remains. This metric is quite helpful for anticipating future workloads. Planned schedule performance represents your original project expectations. This timeline is important because it can be compared to true schedule performance to determine if a project is on time or falling behind.

The metric known as the “number of significant issues” is a record of how many problems a project has experienced. This is a valuable tool because it can inform a manager whether his project is facing an ever-increasing number of hurdles that might indicate the presence of a larger underlying problem. The number of open risks metric shows how many unresolved risks currently exist for a project. It helps a manager note risk trends and determine whether a project is viable. The metric known as “percent of team who are contractors” provides a manager with a breakdown of how many employees working on a project are contractors versus full-time employees of the organization. Managers must guard against bringing on too many contractors as they’ll exit projects with a wealth of knowledge that the organization can’t tap into in the future.


There is no doubt that a manager’s gut feeling often paints an accurate picture of a project’s status. While it is acceptable to act on instinct in certain situations, hard data is almost always required to convince others that certain decisions are prudent. When armed with project dashboard metrics, managers can track project performance with precision.

Key Takeaways

  • Project managers must study their dashboard metrics on a regular basis to stay properly informed of project statuses.
  • Projects of any size can be accurately assessed with the use of dashboard metrics.
  • A manager who stays aware of his team’s progress will be able to better predict the future happenings of a project.

Using a project tracker is a great way to make sure your projects are staying on schedule and performing their best. Not only does it give you a clear picture of where you stand on any one particular task, but it presents that information in a visual way that is easy to interpret via S-Curves. Willmer Limited Project Tracker software allows you to always make sure that employees and projects are moving forward at the correct pace, which can both make sure that projects are finishing on time, allow you to hit deadlines with ease and significantly reduce costs in both a short term and a long term capacity.

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