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Tools You Can Use in Monitoring Your Project

written by: Ronda Bowen • edited by: Marlene Gundlach • updated: 3/28/2013

This article lists and describes tools project managers can use in their everyday project monitoring.

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    Once a project is underway, monitoring the project becomes quite important.Below is a list with descriptions of helpful tools you can use to monitor your project.

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    Pen and Paper

    436 3091798 This seems obvious, yet it is old-fashioned. Not many people think to grab a pen and a piece of paper when monitoring a project. However antiquated, it can be quite helpful to have a hard copy of the project plan in front of you, and to be able to check things off, scratch things out, and write things in as needed. While most of us have laptop computers and PDA’s, paper is always handy; it never runs out of batteries, and it can be accessed in case of a power outage or system failure.

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    The Daily Meeting

    This meeting keeps all project team members abreast of issues, developments and progress. The daily meeting can be the single most useful item in a project manager’s toolkit. It motivates team members who may lag behind, informs team members who might be lost in the dark, and most importantly doesn’t let any issue go unresolved for more than twenty-four hours.

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    A whiteboard can be a helpful project monitoring tool. By listing the week’s tasks, important milestones, or notes on issues that have come up during the meeting, the whiteboard provides a place where all team members can see the progress on a project. Team members can also see if Joe’s been working on the same task with no progress for two weeks.

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    E-mail has its benefits and its downfall. One downfall is that it can take forever to process, and someone’s status update may get lost in a sea of spam. E-mail can also make things streamlined. By placing filters upon incoming messages, and setting alerts for status messages (if using Microsoft Outlook or a comparable program), then the project manager can be instantly updated on the progress of the project. Status newsletters, meeting agendas, and the day’s tasks can also be easily distributed.

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    Traditional Project Management Software

    A plethora of project management software exists with specialized reporting functions. If the whole team uses a collaborative program, project monitoring can be done efficiently and with ease. Programs like Microsoft Project easily integrate with email programs, word processing programs, spreadsheets, and more. This makes monitoring a project more streamlined than it otherwise would be.

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    On-Demand Project Management Software

    On-Demand Project Management software like Central Desktop functions much like traditional project management software except it is usually less costly and more secure. Moreover, you can monitor your project’s progress from anywhere in the world that has an internet connection. How’s that for communication?