The guide to effective project monitoring

March 23, 2023

What is project tracking and why is it important?

Project monitoring is the action of regularly analyzing the progress of a project and its financial performance, compared to an initially set objective.

It is generally the project manager who is responsible for monitoring the project. This responsibility involves respecting a time objective (fixed duration or deadline set to complete the project), an objective of quantity of deliverables, an objective of quality of deliverables as well as an objective of respecting the budget for carrying out the project.

Project follow-up is a necessary action to guarantee the success of a project. There are many reasons why a project can fail. It is therefore imperative to have access to the information needed to monitor the project: progress of tasks, adherence to budget and margins, updates on work remaining to be done, etc...

In addition to enabling you to anticipate risks and take corrective action, project tracking allows you to take a step back to better prepare and budget future projects. When a business requires a large number of projects, you need to be able to analyze historical performance to identify any corrections that need to be made. For example, if margins are consistently below target, you need to understand why.

  • Are project times frequently higher than budgeted?
  • Is the distribution of time between different roles aligned with budgets?
  • Are subcontracting costs and purchases properly budgeted?
  • Is project pricing too low?

So many possible reasons to confirm in order to improve future performance.


How to set up effective project monitoring?

Which projects require monitoring to be implemented?

Ideally, all projects are worth monitoring. Even internal projects that do not generate revenue should be monitored so that the data can answer the following questions: who are the employees who worked on this project? Overall, how much time do employees spend on internal projects? How much do internal projects cost?

For projects that generate turnover, it is even more important to ensure project monitoring for the reasons mentioned above.

To find out more, read our article on the phases of project management.

Who should monitor the project?

It is generally the project manager who must carry out project monitoring. His involvement is decisive. Project managers must be given responsibility by giving them responsibility for project monitoring. They must follow the following:

  • Progress at the right pace of the project
  • The completion of tasks and the quality of the work
  • Monitoring costs and respecting the budget
  • Respect of overall project deadlines
  • Invoicing for the project if applicable


Follow-up of task and resource planning or resource planning

It is also necessary to follow the project schedule to ensure that deadlines are met.

This involves scheduling tasks on each task manager, and checking that the load level is well calibrated. Contributors must not be understaffed or overloaded to ensure the proper execution of the project.

GANTT charts are generally the most appropriate approach for tracking deadlines for different tasks. The planned deadlines must be regularly reviewed by the project manager. If it is necessary to plan a greater load than expected on a task, the schedule must be updated immediately.

Ideally, the project tracking tool allows you to recalculate future costs as the project schedule is adjusted

What actions can be taken when project monitoring indicates underperformance?

  • Rearrange the resource planning of the future project with perhaps more junior collaborators therefore representing a lower cost but having the capacity to carry out the task with the same level of quality
  • Reorganize tasks to reduce the time remaining on the project
  • Re-negotiate the price of the project with the client to allow for a budget extension

To find out more about resource planning, see our article on how to set up an effective resource planning, or resource allocation, management system.



Monitoring financial KPIs - Project accounting as a basis for project management


Too regularly, financial teams or management controllers carry out analyzes on their own without sharing the information in real time with operational teams. This leads to inertia in project monitoring and prevents companies from quickly and efficiently improving their profitability.

What are the KPIs to follow?

The indicators to put in place to ensure effective project management are as follows:

  • % of project progress 
  • Turnover recognized to date
  • Project margin to date and margin to completion (taking into account what remains to be done)
  • Task progress rate
  • Invoicing to date vs Revenue recognized to date   


To find out more about KPIs, see our article: Twelve indicators to track in project management

Project accounting remains the heart of the project monitoring reactor. Project accounting makes it possible to monitor the financial side of the project more effectively, and thus the project's overall performance. Go deeper and (re)discover how to set up efficient project accounting