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How to Manage Task Progress in Microsoft Project?

As you know, Microsoft Project is a tool for planning and tracking progress of given projects. While there is a lot of time invested for project planning, people (call them Project Managers) usually have no strategy for project tracking, or, if they have, they have one method for the tracking of all tasks. That doesn’t always work out so well.

Task progress can be tracked very simply or in very, very complicated ways. It can be tracked by tracking duration passed or spent, or by tracking work spent.

What is the biggest problem with task tracking? To learn all possibilities that MS Project has? NO! As any other tool, with more or less effort, you can learn anything. The biggest problem is how to get real and accurate data! For example, I once saw a PM who recorded 37% completed like this:

 

That same PM noted 35% of work completed like this:

 

Is this wrong? Well, it depends. From my point of view, if a task’s duration is five days and I put 37% in the completed field, it means that 1.85 days is spent on a task! The question is, how did I get this information?

I would like to show you all ways of tracking progress with MS Project, but if I did, this article will be way to long. Instead, I encourage you to join my webinar at which I will explain step by step how to track progress of project tasks in many different ways. After attending, you will have a clear picture of how to take the right tracking strategy for different tasks, how to put the right values at right time, and how to get the best results. That is, you’ll know how your project is standing at any particular moment!

Watch my on-demand webinar

 

Written by Nenad Trajkovski

MVP – Project

Nenad Trajkovski was born in Zagreb in 1963. year. After completion of Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Nenad has started on the development and implementation of enterprise systems (ERP) in companies of various areas (banks, card houses, production companies, auto industry, wholesale businesses, oil companies, and others). He has extensive experience in working with business processes, people and knowledge in information technology and financial accounting activities.

Currently, Nenad works as a consultant for the implementation of business systems, and as Project Manager. He is trainer for Project Management and Risk Management in Microsoft Innovation Center in Varaždin. At WinDays08 conference he has been declared as the best speaker, and his session as the best one. He was among TOP 10 speakers in the Microsoft Sinergija 2009 and at the Microsoft Vzija 2009. Shared first place as the best lecturer at KulenDays 2009 and the PMI Forum 2009 in Zagreb. Regular speaker at the Microsoft Community. On WinDays10 conference Nenad was among the top three speakers; at the conference Microsoft Vision 9 in Skopje between the top 5 speakers as well as on Microsoft Synergy 11 which was held in Belgrade. Certified Accountant, PMP (Project Manager Professional), PMI – RMP (Risk Manager Professional), MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional), MCTS – Microsoft Project 2010 (Microsoft Certified Technical Professional).  and MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer).

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