What’s the perfect “tool” for tracking project progress on engineering projects? Is there a “system” that can track all the following information that is typically needed to assess if you are on or off track on your project?

  1. Costs to date
  2. Invoicing and payments status
  3. Milestones and deliverables completed
  4. Cost to complete
  5. Time to complete
  6. Resources available/needed
  7. Quality control status
  8. Potential changes
  9. Potential issues
  10. Customer satisfaction
  11. Stakeholder coordination

When you look at the above list only the first 2 pieces of info are easily accessible from a financial accounting system. The rest of the info has to come from interacting with the project team or the customer and stakeholders in one of the following ways:

  • Project team meetings
  • One on One conversations/communications with team members, customers and stakeholders
  • Workshops with customers and stakeholders

This animated video of a project team meeting shows how some of the project status items can be addressed fairly quickly to determine if course correction action steps are needed. The details will be determined afterwards by the individuals involved and communicated to the team. If a project meeting purely focuses on closed questions such as “are you on schedule?” or “are you on budget?” it is unlikely to elicit enough information to surface real issues.

In one-on-one conversations with customers, clients and stakeholders ask simple questions such as:

  • Is the project and work going as you expected?
  • Are there any current areas of concern or potential issues up ahead?
  • Do you have any feedback for us at this stage?

These conversations  and tracking tools can help address concerns early on, build relationships and get everyone to take ownership in the project, as well as keep the project on track.

Join this conversation by sharing your experiences with defining client expectations and needs on projects or check out our Project Management Training Page for more information.