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What DPMs track: The state of data and project management

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What DPMs track: The state of data and project management

Managing projects can be a lot to handle: process, deliverables, dates, deadlines, people, personalities, budgets, and more. Arguably, managing people and personalities can be the most difficult. And, when that is the case, you need for the rest of the job to be a little bit easier. These days, we’re using modern tools to help us manage the administrative side of projects. Having a tool that provides a simple output of data that’s needed to keep the project on track, and your team and stakeholders informed can be critical, depending on what you track and report. So we’re wondering: what do you measure? And what do you have a hard time with when it comes to reporting data? We’d like for you to share your practices with us in a new survey created by Digital PM Summit 2017 sponsor 10,000ft.

Why track project data?

It’s no secret: tracking data helps us to keep projects on time and budget, which leads to a determination of a project’s success. But you can track more than project budgets and timelines.

Good data helps project managers understand overall project status, foresee project risks, evaluate team productivity, and also review effects on project quality. There is so much data available--depending on how you operate--that project data can help your management to make bigger decisions on staffing, capacity, and growth. That same data  can help businesses of all sizes control costs, improve quality and identify important industry trends.

What are others tracking?

There is no industry standard for what we track, but that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be. We all work in different types of organizations and have different needs for the data we collect. Tell us what you’re collecting and reporting on in our survey.

While you’re doing that, let’s take a quick look at some current trends we’re aware of. In order to keep projects moving on a positive path, this is mainly what we see PMs reporting on:

Project budgets
If you’re working at an agency, you’re likely tracking an overall budget. Maybe it’s quantified by hours logged in a time tracking system, or simply by number of team members participating in a sprint. Or, maybe you’re not that transparent about it. We all report on this differently, but it’s important to keep an eye on it.

Overall timeline and project deliverable status
Part of keeping up with your timeline and ensuring that deliverables are shared on time is reporting on the status of your project deliveries. How are you putting your project plans to work for you?

Resourcing
Projects cannot happen without staff. Pulling together a solid but flexible resourcing plan is important to ensure you’ve got the people needed to accomplish planned and upcoming work. Tracking this data can also help you to measure the accuracy of your estimates, as well as the utilization and efficiency of your team.

Client satisfaction
Is there a metric on how satisfied your clients are during points of the project? Maybe not a number, but most client-facing PMs are doing what they can to keep clients happy, and reporting back on it to internal teams and leadership.

There’s a lot rolled up in each of these data points--and you’re likely tracking even more than this. That’s why our survey includes more than multiple choice questions. We want to know what you’re tracking and where you’re lacking. What data points would help you to make better decisions, and manage projects better? Please share your feedback with us.

This survey is laying the groundwork for a report that will be launched at the Digital PM Summit this October in partnership with 10,000ft. We’ll gather the responses and share interesting insights, benchmarks, and common goals to help you understand what you should be tracking, what you shouldn’t be tracking, where you’re doing well, and where you can improve.   

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