Effective Project Status Dashboard for Project Tracking
The project status dashboard, or project tracking report, organizes data on a specific project across all workplaces and also units. In addition, the project status dashboard is a useful tool to make sure that information and project status are always up-to-date. Project tracking report is a valuable project management tool for both the project team and the management or stakeholders. It strengthens communication between the two parties and gets each other on the same page.
It presents data on key performance indicators, metrics for the overall performance and progress of the project, or highlight specific issues and challenges that may need attention from the top management and other stakeholders.
It provides information on all the tasks, its status, the individual working on it, the percentage of the overall completion of the whole project.Information is centralized, integrating all data related to a project culled from a different source, and also it secures the integrity of the data.
Furthermore, retrieving information from a centralized document saves time and effort as team members and other stakeholders have a go-to source for such.
It is also an ideal reporting tool when updating the top management on the progress of the project as it has the capability to provide a quick overview of its overall performance without the need to go through long reports, charts, and tables.
Tracking the development of a project through its milestones is a good approach to monitoring its progress. Project milestones and timelines are easily traceable using a project status dashboard so team members and the stakeholders are able to immediately see if the project is on schedule, ahead, or behind it.
- Characteristics of a Project Dashboard Part 1
- 3 Terrific Sources Part 2
- How to Make Project Status Reporting 10x Easier Part 3
- Bonus: Additional Sources and Free Templates Part 4
Here are some characteristics to look for in finding the right project status dashboard:
It Should Be Easy on the Eyes
While a project status dashboard works with a multitude of data, it is important for this set of information to be presented in such a way that when users look at the information, they can easily analyze the information they need.
It Should Be User-Friendly
Users should be able to enjoy using project status dashboards and conveniently work with it. They must also be able to get value from and it realizes how it could be advantageous for them. The template should seamlessly integrate into the workflow of the project team, so it would not seem as an added task to work on or disrupting.
It Should Be Formidable
The template should be adapted to the requirements and reporting needs of the team. Different projects have sets of different metrics and key performance indicators that must be monitored in order to see its overall performance.
Furthermore, it is important that the template must be able to accommodate all these varied performance and progress indicators.
It Should Be Accessible
Most project teams are on the go so it is also essential that the team members are able to access the project status dashboard wherever they are. Also, this dashboard should be accessible to every member through different mobile gadgets and different platforms.
How to produce a project tracking report that works?
Make it accessible to both the client/management and the project team.
With the main purpose of tracking project progress, it is important that both the client and the project team are able to access the document without the need to ask for a copy of such. Making it accessible and updated provides real-time project status and increases the credibility of the team, as well as the confidence of the client or the management to the project.
Use this report to notify the client or the management, if there is something they need to know.
Making the project tracking report as the central working document of a particular project avoids confusion and miscommunication between both parties in the long run, though other means of communication are not really discouraged. Ensure that there is a way for both the project team and the client or management to notify each other if there needs to be an approval, something has to revised, or just anything related to the project which needs to be acted upon by anyone.
Make the contents brief but concise.
The simpler the better. Using jargon and highly-technical terms and concepts will not earn a project team admiration from the client. Instead, they might get confuse or even fail to understand what the report is trying to convey. Important data also needs to be explained briefly but need not be analyzed in-depth. Get the client or the management to be involved in the project by making it easily understandable for them.
Just like project status dashboards, the use of graphs, charts, and tables will make the report easier to appreciate and understand. With the lines going up, the client or the management will immediately notice growth, whether it is positive or negative, depending on the metric represented by the line. Items highlighted in green, for example, will show that the project or the task is on track while a red one, will mean that it is lagging behind, and therefore needs a remedial action.
Know your audience or readers.
Aside from using visuals, make the report interesting by tailor-fitting it to the group of persons who will read it. Experts on the field do not need detailed explanations on the figures and data presented but managers who have little experience or expertise on the project might need to know the basics and the key concepts about the project or each of the metrics. Just do not assume that everybody’s level of knowledge or expertise about the project is the same.
Project Status Dashboard and Project Tracking: 3 Terrific Sources
- Project progress report template for Microsoft Office – how to write and free download, check this page.
- Fluxes.com – this free project management tool automatically generates a dashboard demonstrating project progress across different project parts and areas. Stakeholders can login and review project progress at any point of time, so time and resources to generate it manually are significantly reduced.
- Status.net – this tool helps your team meet deadlines and achieve goals faster with regular updates and reporting. Gather insights with scheduled auto reminders and run powerful reports with export to PDF or print directly with a click of a button.
How to Make Project Status Reporting 10x Easier
How to configure status reports on status.net:
- Create a “Project Status Report” applet — customize our preset forms or easily create a new form in minutes.
- Setup reminders if you want your team members to receive automatic reminders when their reports are due.
- Configure who will submit reports by choosing the “Participants” tab.
Step 2: Users will click the “Open Submission Form” button to fill in and submit the report.
Data such as the report type, date and name will be added automatically.
As soon as a new status report is added, participants with “View” rights can view it in real time.
- Set the applet as “Team-wide” if you want all team members to view each other’s status reports.
- Alternatively, you can make every participant to view his/her own reports only. Manager/stakeholders will view all reports.
- Add, remove, and assign new team members at any time.
Step 3 (Optional): Generate a report and export it to PDF.
(Skip this step if you share status reports online and don’t print them.)
Click “Generate Report”.
- Make project reporting easier with auto-fill:
Fields such as date, name, report type, and formatting are inserted automatically by software.
- Consolidate reports automatically:
Reports created by your team members can be consolidated easily.
- Save time with auto-layout:
No need to spend hours in Word or Excel perfecting the report’s layout because it exports your updates into a beautifully crafted file with a couple of clicks.
- Peace of mind with auto-reminders:
No one forgets to fill in their status reports because status.net sends timely reminders according to the schedule you chose.
- Decrease time and effort spent on monthly, quarterly, and yearly reporting thanks to powerful filtering and export features.
- Optionally, enrich reports with the latest updates automatically added from web apps your team uses (such as popular free task management software Fluxes.com, and other project management tools, version control systems, support systems, financial applications, etc.) by connecting these apps to your status applet.
- Quick sharing:
Status reports can be either
– exported to files and printed, or sent by email;
– shared with the manager online (in real time);
– shared online (in real-time) as company-wide or team-wide status reports, i.e., all team members share their progress with each other — spend less time on meetings.
Sign up now to make status reporting easier for your team.