While you're trusting your project to a group of professionals, you should still know the key aspects of project management. Having a basic understanding of how everything works will help you understand whether the project is going as planned. In the opposite case, you will be able to consider changing your partner to ensure that the work flows according to the schedule. Here are some of the most important aspects of tracking a project to keep in mind.

1. Document the Process

The most direct way to keep track of something is by documenting it. Therefore, choose a platform to create entries for performance, revisions, edits, tests, updates and even changes to the initial plan of the project. Good services to use are Trello and Jira. They are mostly similar in their purpose, i.e. both allow file sharing and internal communication, but there are some differences you should keep in mind to choose the right tool for project management.  

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  • Trello, a task board, allows categorizing tasks and visualizing workflow, which is great for dividing the workload among the team members. While Trello is rather better for small teams, the interface is simple but rich for organizing and detailing tasks, events, meetings and basically any type of information. In addition, Trello doesn't allow creating reports, but you can still adjust it to your needs through other features.
 
  • Jira has a wider range of features than Trello in terms of project/task management while being pretty customizable, which makes it powerful enough to manage the workflow of big companies. The workflow visualization is very detailed in Jira, so you will always be up to date with what everyone's working on right now. The same with reporting: you have lots of data available to choose particular metrics, such as task history or time logs, to get a full image of the progress.

2. Communicate

Communication is key in any remote collaboration, so ensuring that it's well-established is crucial to successful project completion. Google Hangouts can be useful for daily standups, sprints and other meetings. Skype is another useful tool to keep in mind, especially for calls and file exchange. In addition, use emails for reports and file exchange as well as for any other cases where a messenger is not enough. Regular emails also help to keep everything documented. In general, you have to establish strict rules regarding your need for communication. This will make it regular and simpler to handle. In case of an issue, you will have the ability to access the team in an agreed way. Remember that letting the team know that you want to keep the communication channels active in the very beginning will help to improve your cooperation.

3. Test Frequently

Since software development is conducted remotely in outsourcing, frequent builds are important to run the process smoothly. Automate testing, in turn, will prevent the occurrence of errors and eliminate the need for going back to make corrections. Eventually, any issues can be solved as soon as they occur without delaying the progress. This approach can also add to project tracking by identifying how smooth everything flows and helping to estimate timeframes.

4. Use Project Management Metrics

Not just tracking and documenting stuff can help you get an overview of the progress. Using various metrics will help you estimate the project more accurately, perform and manage tasks more effectively and make the progress measurable, which means easier to report. Here are some management metrics you can choose: 
  • productivity
  • gross profit margin
  • ROI
  • earned value
  • customer satisfaction
  • employee satisfaction
  • actual cost
  • cost variance
  • schedule variance
  • cost performance index
 The following image illustrates each metric well:

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 Some of the examples on what to take into account when choosing metrics are: 
  • time (accomplishing the project quickly)
  • cost (choosing approaches according to the budget)
  • scope of work (managing the workflow to get everything done at any cost)
  • quality (customer satisfaction)
 Having decided on which metrics to track and actually doing so, you’ll notice enhancements in the team’s performance and won’t struggle with keeping the client updated on the progress.

Sum-Up

Requiring your team to provide you with updates on how the process is going is crucial to make yourself feel like a part of the team. As long as they are responsive and eager to achieve common goals, you’ll have mutually trusting and reliable relationships with the team, which is crucial for successful cooperation. Tracking the project completion in any convenient way plays a vital role in it, and sticking to the listed practices will make it easier for the team to share information on the progress. Wanna keep your project into the right hands and minds?Let Ralabs do software for you.