When You Simply Must Finish On Time: Project Tracking With Process Control
For time-critical projects, project tracking with statistical process control gives project managers critical advantages:
- Firstly: Early warning of a likely late finish or early finish.
- Secondly: Up-to-the minute comparisons of project plans with actual progress.
- Thirdly: Visual updates on schedule gains and losses, easily understood by everyone.
Read the original IEEE article: Statistical Process Control for Project Progress Charting online.
Track Progress With Statistical Process Control
The progress chart is similar to statistical process-control charts for manufacturing. Because the chart puts current performance into historical context, it shows everyone immediately how the progress compares to the original plan.
The example below charts progress for a project originally planned with a 32-week critical path. Unfortunately, this project ultimately took almost 39 weeks to finish. Note especially, however, that the progress chart warned early in week 8 that a late finish had become very likely.
As a result, the project manager can make either of two possible responses to this kind of warning: First, the PM can add resources and effort, so as to bring project progress back on schedule. Or, secondly, the PM can simply let management know that the project is going to finish late.
An example project progress control chart. The original plan calls for project finish in 32.5 weeks. However, the control chart warns in week 8 that a late finish is likely. The Actual Progress line slope shows everyone that tasks consistently take longer than planned. If management takes action at the first warning, in week 8, an on time finish probably would have been possible.
Read the full IEEE article Statistical Process Control for Project Progress Charting online.
Project Tracking: Take Action!
Try the Excel-based Progress Charting tool, Project Progress Pro.
Download the the Master Project Manager Package. Package includes:
- Project Progress Pro (Excel-based tracking tool)
- Business Case Essentials, 4th Ed (PDF Ebook)
- Financial Modeling Pro (Excel-based ebook & templates)
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