A project will only be hailed as a success if client expectations are fully met. Typically, these are expressed in terms of the scope of what’s to be delivered, its quality, the costs incurred and timescales achieved. Milestone tracking is the most effective way of managing the timescale element.
Effective project planning focuses on the key deliverables, so that tasks show clearly how the work will be organized to achieve the delivery dates. Milestones are used to identify these key delivery dates so that, as the project gets underway, forecast delivery dates can be compared with committed dates. This is project milestone tracking.
Symbols show target completion milestone , and the agreed task start and finish dates – within which work must be scheduled
Once the plan has been agreed with the client, a baseline or snapshot needs to be taken, so that the actual project performance has a yardstick for comparison. Where the project plans include detailed work assignments, timesheets are the best way of gathering data on the effort spent, and earned value the most objective way to measure actual performance.
Weekly timesheets can give early warning when the actual productivity falls below that assumed and show the likely impact on milestone dates in time for corrective action to be taken. As project scope changes are agreed, the original baseline will probably need to be updated.
This is a key benefit in implementing timesheets and earned value for project tracking, both of which are provided by Innate resource management software
Milestone Tracking with Innate’s Software
Projects can be planned using either Microsoft Project, for the more complex, or Innate’s resource planning web based spreadsheets for the simpler ones. Milestones can be used in either method and Innate’s project baselines preserve original plans as a yardstick.
As plans get updated and milestone forecast dates change, a simple milestone tracking report highlights any delay.