Project management is essential to successful project delivery. If you want to keep your project on track, you need to carefully monitor the tasks, timelines, and milestones involved.
In this article, we’ll break down what project tracking is, the features you need in a project tracker, and how you can use our project tracker template to monitor your progress and keep your team on the same page.
Want to jump straight into project tracking? Try our free single project tracking template on monday.com today.Get template
What is project tracking?
Project tracking is the process of monitoring and recording the progress of a project throughout its lifecycle. It serves a dual purpose — it keeps your projects on track, and it also makes sure that every project stakeholder is up to speed about the status of various project components, such as tasks, timelines, resources, and budget.
With project tracking, you can:
- Monitor project timelines and milestones, and quickly address bottlenecks and delays
- Track project expenses and resources, so you don’t spend too much or overburden team members
- Measure your progress toward your project goals and objectives
- Make sure you always have the right people and materials available when they’re needed
- Reduce risk exposure, by spotting things that could offroad your project before they happen
In general, to track a project, you’ll need a project tracking tool, such as monday work management.
Depending on the scope of the project, you might also need to use specific techniques, such as Gantt charts, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), or regular check-in meetings with stakeholders and teammates. These tools help ensure that your project stays on track to deliver on the objectives you agreed to at the outset, and also stays in line with your overall organizational goals.
What is a project tracker?
A project tracker is a tool to monitor all the different aspects of your projects — like your progress, tasks, and resources. Essentially, it’s a kind of central hub that brings all the information about your project together into one place, making it easier for you to make informed decisions.
You can create a project tracker on a spreadsheet, with a software application — even post-its on a whiteboard. However, the best project trackers will include options for collaboration, a visual dashboard, and a way to integrate your project information with the other tools you’re using to work on the project.
Why is tracking project progress important?
It allows teams to focus on getting the most important work done and stay within budget. With project progress tracking, teams have a way to track deadlines, see which resources are going where, understand how long tasks take, and if or where they fell off course. Most of all, with project tracking, teams can stay on the same page with tasks, dependencies, and deadlines, helping companies run more smoothly.
From there, managers can put a plan together for how to get the team on the right path, understand exactly where the project stands if upper management asks for a report, and flag roadblocks before they spin out of control, saving the company time, money, and resources on finding the right solution.
There are several ways to track project progress, but they typically all involve jotting down your goals, creating a project plan, and making sure all project participants understand individual and team responsibilities. Just like with any method, there are some strategies that stand out against the rest.
How to track project progress
Tracking project progress is fairly straightforward with our project management templates. However, there are a few steps that you’ll need to take to effectively track the progress of your project:
1. Define clear objectives
Unless you start with clear project goals and milestones, you won’t know if you’re heading in the right direction. We’d recommend that you use the SMART goal-setting technique before setting up your project tracker—meaning that you define project objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
Here’s a handy guide on setting SMART goals for your projects.
2. Create a project plan
The next step is to create a project plan that lays out all the deliverables in your project and then breaks down those deliverables into tasks. Assign the tasks to team members, so that you know who is accountable for what before you start work.
3. Set your project baseline
Now, you’re ready to define your project baseline — what you expect the project to look like, the budget, milestones, and deadlines. This is the version you’ll use to track your project against, so you can see where things got held up, or where life happened and the project changed over time.
4. Create your project tracker
With those steps in place, you’re ready to set up your project tracker. This is the point where our project tracker template comes in handy. Instead of building a project tracker from scratch, you’ll have all the ingredients of a great project tracking tool built for you — with project scheduling, project timelines, task management, integrations, and automations all ready to go.
5. Keep your project tracker up to date
You’ll need to make sure the whole project team regularly updates the status of their assigned tasks. monday work management has integrations and automations that make this easier — for instance, you can set up your project tracker so that when a project task (or task list) is completed, you’ll get an automatic update in your Slack channel.
6. Regularly review your project progress
To get the most out of your project tracker, you should schedule regular reviews to see how things are going, keep stakeholders informed, and address any delays or issues. This isn’t just helpful to keep things moving forward — it also makes sure that you identify ways you can make your next project go even better.
Top 5 project tracking tools
Project tracking tools are web or cloud-based software platforms that allow teams and individuals to plan project schedules and track progress to improve team collaboration. A few softwares that can help you track your initiatives include:
|Best for: Teams of any size
- Resource management & time tracking
- 27+ visual work views
- Integration with 200+ third-party apps
- Automations & AI-tools
Free plan available.
Plans starting from $8/user/month
See all monday.com pricing plans
|Best for: Task-focused workflows
- Task tracking with multiple views
- Integration with other tools
- Task dependencies & automations
Free plan available.
Plans starting from $10.99/user/month
Read full review: Asana Review
|Best for: Dynamic spreadsheets
- Grid-, calendar- and work views
- Automates calculations across sheets
- Strong reporting features
- Spreadsheet export
Free plan available.
Plans starting from $7/user/month
Read full review: Smartsheet Review
|Best for: Visual small teams
- Kanban-style boards with lists, and cards
- Checklists and due date setting
- Commenting and tagging teammates
Free plan available.
Plans starting from $5 per user/month
Read full review: Trello Review
|Best for: Workflow management
| Top features:
- Document management
- 400+ app integrations
- Customizable workflows
Free plan available.
Plans starting from $9.80/user/month
Read full review: Wrike Review
The main features of a project tracker
Any project tracking tool’s effectiveness will be a moot point if you don’t set out with an intentional framework for using it. There are several capabilities that will help you get the most out of your project tracking tool or project management software. Keep an eye out for these key attributes when looking for the most robust option:
- The ability to create a project outline
- A way to determine clear deliverables, deadlines, and milestones
- Features that help set realistic, clear, and measurable goals and decide how you will measure them
- A way to schedule regular meetings with your team and stakeholders
- Full transparency in all aspects of the project
We know, you’re probably thinking, is it possible for one software to support all of these functions?
In the following sections, you can see how they look on monday.com.
Workflow automation is one of the biggest contributors to project efficiency, as it prevents your project team from having to perform repetitive, time-consuming actions like moving tasks along the project pipeline or notifying team members as soon as you finish a task.
Automations allow you to create your own workflows and on some softwares (like monday.com), you can choose from pre-prepared templates to get started or completely customize your own to fit the team’s needs.
On monday.com, creating automations is simple. Here’s a sneak peek:
2. Mobile app
Project tracking software is about productivity, and there’s nothing less productive than a platform that doesn’t support mobile access.
Though monday.com is more than just a project management app, your team can still access tasks and communicate in context on the go, from any device they like. This is invaluable to project managers working remotely or remote teams because they can track project progress and assign tasks on the fly.
On monday.com work management, teams can run projects from A-Z and manage due dates, all while letting you customize any workflow to optimize every workflow, project, or task.
3. Third-party integrations
Just because you are looking for a centralized project tracking tool doesn’t mean you should (or can) give up your existing favorite tools.
Naturally, whichever project tracking tool you choose, you’re going to want it to play nicely with the rest of your tech stack. monday.com seamlessly integrates with all of your favorite tools, so you can truly have all of your team’s work in one place.
Should you need to create something unique for your team, you can use our low-code Apps Framework to tap into your creativity and build unique tools.
If you typically rely on MS Teams or Microsoft for projects, you’ll be pleased to know that it’s just one of many integrations offered by monday.com. You connect it with our software and enhance it with embedded workflow and project management capabilities.
How to track your project progress with monday.com
Are you ready to retake control over your project deadlines? We’ll show you, step-by-step, how you can better track project progress with our platform.
Here are the key features you’ll find in our project tracker template:
1. Plan your critical path
Go above and beyond a basic Gantt chart template with our Gantt View and Critical Path features to see which tasks must be completed to take your project from start to success. Stay on top of deadlines and set dependencies for your projects to make sure everything gets done on time.
2. Import from Excel
Quickly turn rigid spreadsheets into smart boards that you can view in one of 8+ Views. Collaborate with your team in real-time with accurate data. You can still export our project tracker to Excel.
3. Create dashboards
Quickly create custom project management dashboards using your board data to track progress while eliminating the need for separate templates. Use data from your Formula Column to calculate your most important data, automatically.
4. Customize status & automations
Make it easy for everyone to prioritize their work and update project status. Unlike a static project management Excel template, use automations and custom-color coding and text statuses to keep everyone on the same page.
Transform the way you track projects
Whether you’re looking to improve team communications or simply speed up project timeframes, a project tracking tool is the best way to bring all vital information and collaboration in one place.
The best and worthwhile project tracking platforms will not only increase productivity, but also help you maintain project scope and budget through automation, integrations with your current tools, and the flexibility to work on mobile devices.
Discover why thousands of teams choose monday.com as their project tracking secret weapon.
What is a progress tracker?
In project management, a progress tracker refers to a real-time visual representation of the status of a project. Project managers and project team members will instantly know the status of different tasks and where most attention is needed.
Why is it important to track project progress?
Tracking progress is essential because without accurately tracking your progress, controlling the reins of a project is almost impossible.
Without proper tracking, you risk: Ineffective communication and collaboration, unnecessary delays due to waiting on other deliverables and missing crucial dates when you’ve reserved equipment or a location.
What is the best project progress tracker for businesses?
The best solution for tracking the progress of your projects is a digital workspace like monday.com. You can:
Automatically update item statuses based on commits to Github.
Create new work items based on help desk requests or submitted forms.
Connect tables to sync progress automatically and keep everyone in the loop.
And much more.