Goal: Set up a project for tracking

Applies to
Microsoft Office Project 2003
Microsoft Office Project Server 2003
Microsoft Project 2000 and 2002

Though Project makes tracking easy, there are several steps to take before you can begin tracking project progress. First, decide which tracking method to use and which items to track, such as task start and finish dates, work, and resource costs. Then, make sure that your team is set up for the tracking method you've chosen.

 Tip   This article is part of a series of articles that describe a broad set of project management activities. We call these activities "goals" because they are organized around the project management life cycle: Build a plan, track and manage a project, and close a project. The project life cycle is outlined in The Project Map, where you can find a link to an article about each project management goal. Most of the articles include links to supporting information or procedures that you perform in Project or Project Server. These "goal" articles were designed to help you not only use Project but also better understand project management.

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See all goals on the Project Map

Tracking the moon

number 1  Prepare to compare project information over time    You may need to create or save original project estimates and actual project data, which you compare to determine progress.

Click all of the following that apply:

Number 2  Prepare to collect data manually    Although the fastest and easiest way to collect project status information is to use Project Server, you might need or want to collect that information manually.

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For example, you might not have an e-mail system or access to an intranet or the Internet, or your project might be so small that it takes you little time to collect the data yourself.

When you decide to collect project status data manually, remember that you also have to enter the data into your project plan manually. Here are some points to keep in mind:

By keeping your team's status reporting method as simple as the needs of the project allow, you are more likely to get timely information

Number 3  Prepare to collect data    Choose a data collection system, manual or electronic, to collect the task status information you need to track the progress of your project.

Click in the following order:

  1. Specify the types of data to collect to customize status messages (workgroup messages: Messages that the workgroup manager and workgroup members send through Project Server or e-mail about the tasks of a project.) so that they include fields only for the kinds of information you want to track and update. For example, you can add the % Work Complete field to the message requesting status.
  2. View or change the URL for Project Server so team members can use this URL (URL: Uniform Resource Locator, which is a standard for naming and locating an object on the Internet, such as a file or newsgroup. URLs are used extensively on the World Wide Web. They are used in HTML documents to specify the target of a hyperlink.) in their browsers (browser: A program that interprets the HTML delivered from Web servers, formats it, and displays it to the user.) to access the Microsoft Office Project Web Access 2003 Home page.
  3. Publish new or changed assignments to request that a team member accept a task assignment (assignment: A specific resource that is assigned to a particular task.). You can use status messages to track and update task progress.

Number 4  Prepare to track procurement progress    You may want to monitor how close you are to getting the goods and services that you need to complete project tasks.

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