Measuring the progress of a project is a very technical job that demands skills, tools, and experience. Field progress measurement involves many factors that need to be given special attention in order to generate accurate progress reports. The accuracy of data, types of measurement, and the record system are all key factors that help project managers track down the progress of a project.
The weekly progress reports generally include a brief narrative discussion of different aspects of a project. For instance, this activity could include a general statement about the time status of a project, low float activities that are currently behind the schedule, potential risks, and project activities that are being done according to the schedule. Considering the ongoing activities and their time status, a weekly report is prepared to determine the expected delay time or how much time managers need to keep up with the pace. Following are some of the techniques used to measure project progress:
The unit completed
It is a good technique to track activities or tasks that are carried out repeatedly. There are many activities that are performed repeatedly; tasks that are done repeatedly usually take the same amount of efforts, resources, and time. For example, in the construction project, light fixtures are installed repeatedly and each installation takes approximately the same amount of time. If a project requires to install 50 fixtures, we can simply count the units installed.
The steps methods or incremental milestone technique is mostly used for activities that involve subtasks that need to be completed in an orderly manner. For example, building a concrete foundation wall involves a set of milestones: laying the foundation, erecting inside wall panels, installing reinforcement, etc. Incremental milestones method measures each single process and the resources required to complete that process. Each milestone represents a percentage of the total work. Project managers can use different software to streamline their progress measurement activities.
Weighted units is an approach that deals with a wider range of data. The variables that need to be calculated tend to take place over a long period of time and involve multiple subtasks with different units of measurement. The objective is to determine the weighted value. Once it is done, the weighted value is converted to reflect that value in units of measure specific to the task.
Cost ratio, start/finish, experience/opinion are also important methods used to measure project progress. These methods are widely employed in the construction projects.