Tag Archives: baseline

Project Progress is so much more than just the number of hours

HMS Software started as consultants and distributor for project management software many years ago.  One of the first things we ever focused on was the importance of progressing projects.  It turns out this is still a subject that bears repeating today.

We measure progress in many ways.  TimeControl was created, in part, to track one of those methods, task effort.  But this is the simplest and often the most misleading tracking method.  Just knowing how much time you spent on something without knowing how that task is progressing otherwise can easily lead to misinterpretation.  Imagine, for example that you have spent 40 hours on an expected 80 hour task.  You’re half way done, right?  Well what if you’re not?  What if the work turned out to be harder than you thought.  Instead of being only half done, you estimate there is still 120 hours of work to.  Instead of this ending as a 40 hour task, it will probably be closer to a 160 hour task, double the original cost or expectation.

TimeControl was designed with this in mind too.  TimeControl allows each person to estimate the work required for them to finish their task right on the timesheet line by entering the estimated remaining duration on the line.

This is even more powerful when combined with the use of a project baseline in the project management tool.  Not only can you see the progress against the actual activity, you can also compare against what you originally promised it would be.

In some cases, there may be multiple resources on the same activity.  If this is the case, TimeControl can have a project manager or supervisor update an activity percent complete update for the entire task.  This is visible on the Activity Tab from the timesheet or the Charge Table or from the Project Manager Validation Screen.

Some organizations use weighted milestones to measure an activity’s progress. This is a popular method for large projects because it is so much less subjective.  Project management tools like Primavera support this method of progress and TimeControl does too.  When you look at the expanded timesheet line window you’ll see a tab called Steps.  Here, if you are the key resource, you can progress the steps associated to that activity.

In some organizations, activity progress is measured by units complete.  For example, if you are doing a pipe-laying project, then management only cares how many meters of pipe were installed this week.  It’s a powerful measurement method because it is very matter of fact.  TimeControl supports this too if you are using TimeControl Industrial and enter such a measure in the Material entry screen.

TimeControl has been designed from the start to have project progress in mind.  It’s so much more than just collecting hours.

To find out more about how to use TimeControl for updating project progress, talk to one of our specialists at info@hms.ca.