msProjectExperts recommends that your organization use the Hours of Work Done Per day or Per Week (Hours of Work Done Per Period in Project Server 2007) method for tracking progress in Project Server. This method of tracking progress is date sensitive and allows your project managers to see date slippage easily. For example, Mickey Cobb is assigned to work 40 hours full-time on Task A, beginning work on Monday and finishing work on Friday. In her Project Web Access timesheet, Mickey enters 8 hours of Actual Work beginning on Wednesday, with 8 hours each day on Thursday and Friday. Because she entered her initial work on Wednesday, Project Server will slip the Finish date of this task by 2 days in response.
Best Practices for Tracking Progress
Team members should follow these best practices for entering progress on their View My Tasks page (Project Server 2002 or 2003) or My Tasks page (Project Server 2007) in Project Web Access:
· Enter Actual Work values in the timesheet on a daily basis for each task on which you have worked.
· Save your changes at the end of each day by clicking the Save Changes button (Project Server 2002 or 2003) or the Save All button (Project Server 2007). Doing so will save the actuals without sending them to the project manager.
· Adjust the Remaining Work value at the end of the week if you believe you have more work or less work than the Timesheet has calculated for the task.
· If you change the Remaining Work value for any task, document the reason for making the change by adding a Note to the task.
· Insert Risks, Issues, or Documents associated with a task as necessary.
· Submit your progress to the manager at the end of the reporting period by clicking the Update All button (Project Server 2002 or 2003) or the Submit All button (Project Server 2007).
Best Practices for Updating Progress
Project managers should follow these best practices for updating progress from Project Web Access into the Microsoft Project plan:
· Process task updates at the same time each week; for example, on Monday morning by 10:00 AM.
· Carefully study each set of task updates from your team members on the Updates page (Project Server 2002 or 2003) or Task Updates page (Project Server 2007) in Project Web Access. Open and read every assignment Note, as these Notes offer additional information about the update provided by the team member.
· Process the task updates for only one project at a time
· After the system completes the processing of task updates into the project plan, click the Cancel button in the update confirmation dialog in Microsoft Project Professional (Project Server 2002 and 2003 only).
· Look for the indicator in the Indicators column that reveals which tasks have changed, and which tasks have been rescheduled, because of the task update. The indicator is a yellow envelope with a red exclamation point (Project Server 2002 and 2003 only).
· Apply the Tracking Gantt view and study the impact of the task updates on the planned schedule of the project. To use the Tracking Gantt view, you absolutely must save a baseline for your project at the end of the planning process and before work actually begins on the project.
· After you the Tracking Gantt view and fully understand the new schedule for the project, save the project and then publish the project using Collaborate - Publish - All Information (Project Server 2002 or 2003) or File - Publish (Project Server 2007).
Organizational Best Practices for Tracking and Updating Progress
Everyone in your organization should follow these best practices to create a successful environment for tracking and updating progress using Project Server:
· Everyone in your organization who is responsible for reporting progress should enter their time and send their updates on a standard day each week.
· Managers should deal appropriately with anyone who is responsible for reporting progress, but who fails to cooperate or participate fully in the process. You must take all necessary steps to ensure the full participation of everyone in your organization in order to validate the project data in the system.
· Your organization should track and manage the absence of resources during each update cycle. If necessary, you can implement surrogate processes for absent resources.
· Project managers should enter time for absent resources directly in the project plan and then push the changes back to the resources by republishing the updated assignments.
· Your organization should also track and manage the absence of managers during each update cycle. For updating purposes, other managers can take over tasks owned by absent managers and process the updates.
· Stay current with progress reporting and updates to make sure that you are managing your projects with current data.