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 project plan 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 project management software, 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.
Ready to start tracking a new project right now? Try our free project tracking template in monday.com.Get template
How to track project progress
Tracking project progress is fairly straightforward with our project management template. 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 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.
How to create a project tracker
There are many different ways of building a project tracker — you can open up a spreadsheet in a platform like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, or, if you’d like to level things up a bit, you can use our free project tracker template. Then the process of creating a project tracker will be as simple as choosing the template, and opening it up in monday.com!Get template
Examples of project tracker template
Project schedules, project timelines, project tasks — blending them all in one place in a way that still visually makes sense can be a real challenge for most free project management tools. monday.com’s Project Tracker template has all the features in place to get you well on your way to smooth and agile project planning, whether you’re working on a new construction project or designing an app.
The main features of a project tracker
Here are the key features you’ll find in our project tracker template:
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.Get started
More project-tracking template features
Our template will help you bring deadlines, stakeholders, budgets, and more together in one location. Plan, manage, and track every aspect of your project so nothing slips by:
- Project status report — The template lets you take the information from all of your statuses to create real-time and easier-to-understand progress reports.
- Timeline Column — Take items in each phase and assign a timeframe — then transform it into a view to get a zoomed-out understanding of when each event will happen.
- Project your budget — Our template has a cost column built into the workflow so you can easily plug and play numbers and track spending throughout your project.
How to get started with our project management tracker?
Ready to use our project management tracker template? Simply open up monday.com, open the left pane, and click on the + button right under the name of the Workspace you are working in. Next, click on “Choose from templates” to visit the template center.
Our project tracker template is totally free. Just add it to your workspace and you’ll have the bundle of templates ready to customize for your unique project set-up.Get template
Integrate with your favorite tools
monday work management has over 200 integrations and apps so you can work seamlessly, centralize information, and boost team collaboration. All monday integrations can be set up in just a few clicks – no coding required. This allows you and your team to seamlessly integrate your favorite tools without disrupting your work. Check out all the integrations we offer over on the monday.com apps marketplace.
Who is our project tracker template for?
Our project tracker template is designed for the individuals and teams involved in project management:
Project managers who need to track the progress and milestones of their projects.
Team leaders and supervisors can utilize the template to monitor the performance and workload distribution of their team members;
Executives and stakeholders can also leverage the project tracker template to have a high-level overview of multiple projects and their status;
Individual team members can benefit from using the template to keep track of their tasks, deadlines, and collaboration and communication within the project.
Overall, the project tracker template is a valuable tool for anyone involved in managing, monitoring, or contributing to company projects.
Project tracker: what is the difference between project tracking and project management?
Project tracking involves monitoring task progress and milestones within a project, ensuring it stays on schedule. Project management is a more comprehensive business process, which includes broader responsibilities like goal-setting, budgeting, task assignment, and team coordination.
Project tracking is a vital part of project management, providing real-time updates for informed decision-making.