There are no tools that provide a good view of where we are on the project and where we will be.
You might consider creating a grouping for tasks by time period (week or month). Here is an article that might help. http://www.lehnertcs.com/pdfs/20080125_213649_tip.pdf
If MS Project Server is not an option and you want to track hours I would create standard documents to show assigned work for people (use Resource Usage) and have resources report back weekly as to what was accomplished. Enter in the completed work, re-schedule uncompleted work based on a status date and reissue new assignments. The assignment sheets are by resource so you could also use the Resource Usage view as an entry view to enter tracking data.
If you are only interested in tracking percent complete, create a standard like 25% means a task is started, 50% means that it is more than half completed, 75% means the work was delivered, and 100% complete means the work has been accepted. Use the grouping I mention above, collect updates weekly and reschedule uncompleted work. To increase accuracy and help move the schedule forward get start and finish dates for tasks.
Either way to track a large schedule manually is a lot of work but it can be made easier using filters, groupings and a process.
I’ve just completed a project where I used some VBA to create weekly timesheets in Excel for each Resource. I then had more VBA code to update Proejct from the completed timesheets. If VBA isn’t your thing then try saving your schedule to Excel with a filter for all incomplete tasks for next two weeks to Excel with Name, Actual Start, Actual Duration and Remaining duration columns.
Get whoever to fill in progress then open and merge the data into your schedule.
If you are doing this, I would only include Actual Start, Actual Duration, Remaining Duration columns for update. Be sure not to change the schedule before copying updated data back otherwise the paste will have some dire consequences!
There are multiple ways to do it.
– By milestones
– By critical tasks
– By progressing tasks
You need not show all the 3000 tasks in your reporting. You need to add necessary filters to have the above ones. By default MS projects gives a no. of repoting features based on important tasks.