There’s nothing worse than adding a new tool only to realize it’s more trouble than it’s worth. . And the same applies to project trackers.
Project trackers promise to help you save time and work smarter. But the number of clicks it takes to set up your projects and manage them may leave you wondering if project trackers are worth it.
There’s a lot of value in tracking your projects and you can do a lot with even a simple task tracking tool. But it has to be the right tool for you, your team and your project.
Amitree has advice on how you can get the most out of a project tracker for your next project. Keep reading and learn what you need to know before you choose a project tracker software tool.
What Is a Project Tracker?
Project trackers are a type of project management tool used to monitor project tasks. They have the single goal of helping you complete more of your projects on time and under budget.
Just about anything can be tracked with this sort of simple task tracking software, including:
- Project tasks to be completed
- Team members assigned to each task
- Task category, priority and status
- Current rate of completion
- Estimated and actual time
- Estimated and actual budget
Project trackers can be used during both project planning and execution phases and some tools feature high-level accounting and resource management functions, as well.
A project tracker aims to solve common problems many people run into when managing a project. Some of the common problems include accountability, communication, oversight and transparency issues.
Do You Really Need to Track Your Projects?
Tracking projects can definitely be valuable. Most people understand some method for organizing project work is needed and a haphazard approach rarely leads to favorable outcomes. This is simply because today’s projects are just too complex.
An organized and systematic approach is going to produce better results and give you a reliable and repeatable process you can fine-tune for even better efficiency.
This is where project trackers come in.
A project tracker forces you to get organized. It will plan out all the tasks and details for your project ahead of time. Project trackers help set you up for success on your current project as well as future ones when you repeat the process.
That said, even the best project trackers require input from you and your team. It can be a lot of work setting up all the tasks and variables, so it’s easy to wonder if it’s time well spent.
Research show it is.
More than 2 out of 3 projects are at risk of failure, with communication issues, lack of accountability and management oversight being some of the biggest issues affecting success. All those problems are things project trackers were designed to address.
What You Can Do With a Project Tracker?
Project trackers help you track project details so you can complete your projects on time and under budget. They can also help you deal with common project risks that can result in project failure.
Yet it’s easy to wonder how project trackers work to achieve these results. Here are just a few of the things you can do with this simple task tracking software:
Activity alone isn’t always the best indicator of real progress. Since project trackers can tell you where you are in terms of tasks, deadlines, budgets and rates of completion for various project elements, using an app offers a better way to track and measure your real progress.
Monitoring KPIs is a must for project work, but defining your goals and objectives and measuring progress can be a challenge without project software. A project tracker can help give you insight into your process and performance that’s invaluable for business.
It can be hard to focus without clear goals, objectives and a way to measure your progress. The use of project trackers helps teams stay on track by organizing tasks, requirements, and deadlines, and facilitating better feedback and communication.
Management and leadership involvement is often a key factor in the success of a project. Using a project tracker allows you to oversee production in real time, helping ensure that your project leads know what’s happening and can step in where and when they’re needed.
Without a project tracker it can be tough to catch errors, much less prevent them before they happen. Tracking can help you avoid duplicate tasks, resource issues, missed deadlines and overshot budgets. Alerts can also be enabled to warn if a deadline is about to be missed.
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In project work, it’s easy for little problems to go unnoticed until they become big problems. But with the right project app, it’s easier to identify and address problems in a project before they get out of hand, which helps to make work smoother and less stressful for everyone.
Project updates are an important part of the process and can have a huge impact on business. Being able to offer your stakeholders timely updates with real-time data looks impressive and helps build great business relationships. It’s easy to do if you use a project tracker.
If you’re not monitoring the progress of your project, it can be hard to know where you stand. Tracking the right KPIs can give you incredible insight into not only your current project, but also your entire business. It’s information you can use to make smart decisions for the future.
There’s always room for improvement in project work and the more project data you track, the easier it is to see what’s going on. Project trackers help you see the big picture so you can make changes that improve the efficiency of processes, timelines and budgets.
It’s difficult to set and reach goals without the right data, but project trackers help simplify the process. Data from a tracker allows you to determine baseline metrics, set benchmarks and reach your goals and objectives. The process is repeatable for continued improvements.
How Do You Pick the Best Project Tracker?
A project tracker is a pretty simple piece of software that promises a big return on investment for those that use it. But picking a project tracker that is going to work for you and your project can be tricky.
Different apps focus on solving different kinds of problems for teams and projects, so the best project tracker for you may not be the one everyone else is using. Make sure the project tracker you pick is:
- Fit for Purpose – A project tracker should help you accomplish your goals. If it doesn’t, you may need to try another tool. Make sure your software choice can track the project variables you prioritize as the most important and suits your workflow and industry.
- Easy to Use – Software that’s difficult to learn and hard to work with is rarely worth the time you invest in it. Make sure the project tracker you pick is easy for you and your team to use, including when you need to make changes or modify your project.
- Works for Communication – Breakdowns in communication are one of the top reasons for project failure, making this a top priority for any tool you choose. Your project tracker should make it easy to tell when something has changed or needs attention.
By choosing the best project tracker for your project, you can complete more of your projects on time and under budget.
If you’re still not sure about adding a standalone project tracker app, you might consider trying out Folio for your project tracking needs.
With Folio, there’s nothing to install and nothing new to learn. Folio lives inside your inbox as an email add-on. Best of all, Folio can save you a lot of time tracking your projects.
Instead of needing to do data entry for your projects like in other project trackers, Folio uses advanced AI-algorithms to do a lot of the project management legwork for you.
Folio can prompt you to set up smart folders, add tasks to your to-do list. You can also add due dates to your calendar, get reminders, and send out status updates automatically. It’s a tool that can solve a lot of the problems you face with other trackers that waste your time.
Start your free trial of Folio today to get the insight you need and track your project progress automatically.
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