Goal: Set up a project for tracking

Though Microsoft Office Project 2007 makes tracking (tracking: Viewing and updating of the actual progress of tasks so that you can see progress across time, evaluate slippage of tasks, compare scheduled or baseline data to actual data, and check the completion percentage of tasks and your project.) 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 (start date: The date when a task is scheduled to begin. This date is based on the duration, calendars, and constraints of predecessor and successor tasks. A task's start date is also based on its own calendars and constraints.) and finish dates (finish date: The date that a task is scheduled to be completed. This date is based on the task's start date, duration, calendars, predecessor dates, task dependencies, and constraints.), work (work: For tasks, the total labor required to complete a task. For assignments, the amount of work to which a resource is assigned. For resources, the total amount of work to which a resource is assigned for all tasks. Work is different from task duration.), 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 within the Project Map 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.

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Telescope tracking the moon

Number 1  Prepare to compare project information over time    You might 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 2007, 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 manual or electronic system to collect the task status information you need in order to track the progress of your project.

Click in the following order:

  1. View or change the URL for connecting to 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 home page.
  2. Publish the latest plan and team 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 the status reporting available in Office Project Web Access 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.

As you procure (procure: To obtain the work and material resources required to complete a project.) products and services, you can follow their status throughout the procurement process. For example, at a minimum you may want to know whether a product or service is out for bid, under evaluation, or under contract, as well as the name of a selected supplier (supplier: A contractor, vendor, or other agency that supplies a material, product, or service that is required to complete a project.).

With Project 2007, you can track procurement progress by inserting the fields (field: A location in a sheet, form, or chart that contains a specific kind of information about a task, resource, or assignment. For example, in a sheet, each column is a field. In a form, a field is a named box or a place in a column.) you need into task sheet (sheet: A spreadsheet-like representation [in rows and columns] of task or resource information. Each row specifies an individual task or resource. Each column [field] specifies a type of information, such as start dates or standard rates.) views, and then tracking their progress.

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Applies to:
Project 2007