How to Use Tracking Tools in Project 2013

By Cynthia Snyder Stackpole

Sometimes, it seems that Project 2013 provides a handy button for everything you need to do on a project, so why should tracking be any different? The tracking tools at the top of the Schedule group on the Task tab perform updates on selected tasks in any sheet view.

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These tools make specific updates to selected tasks:

  • Percent Complete: Click this tool to quickly mark a task’s progress using a calculation of the percentage of hours of work completed.

  • Mark on Track: Selecting a task and clicking this tool records activity automatically to the status date as you scheduled it in the baseline.

  • Update Tasks: To display a dialog box that contains tracking information about the progress, duration, start, and finish dates, find this tool on the menu that opens when you click the down arrow on the Mark on Track button. For example, you can indicate whether a task’s actual start date varied from its current start date.

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You can use a few more tools, found elsewhere in Project 2013, to track and illustrate progress:

  • Update Project: Mark all tasks in a project as complete to a specific status date. You can also use this tool to reschedule uncompleted work.

  • Move Task: Reschedule all or part of a selected task. You can use this tool, found in the Tasks group on the Task tab on the Ribbon, to move a task forward or backward or to reschedule parts of it by the status date.

  • Add Progress Line: Turn on a type of drawing tool. On the Format tab, in the Format group, choose Gridlines. Click the down arrow and select Progress Lines. A dialog box appears so that you can, at particular dates, set up progress lines: They indicate which tasks are ahead of or behind schedule by way of a vertical line that connects in-progress tasks.