Maintaining the Timing Chart

Anyone who has used project scheduling software (timing charts) knows that they can be very time consuming to build and maintain with any degree of accuracy.  To make it worse, the time required seems to go up exponentially as the number of activities increases.  If every detail is put in a timing chart, the timing chart itself can become a full time job.  Because of this, it is not unusual for a timing chart to become simply a 'showpiece' for management reviews rather than a tool used by the project manager.

Even though project schedulers have some means of reporting the status of activities, it is not nearly as powerful as the reporting capabilities of PTracker.  Almost every project manager uses some form of issue list - usually in a spreadsheet - to track action items.  PTracker can be thought of as an issue list on steroids.  PTracker is easier to use and provides a means of tracking issues by follow-up date, person responsible, or just by task number.  It makes updating easier because there are no cells to move, color, or delete; tasks can be marked 'complete' with one keystroke; and overdue dates automatically appear in red.  It also provides multiple reports designed to improve communications to team members as well as management - even meeting minutes are easier with PTracker.

By using PTracker for follow-up and reporting on the smaller issues, the complexity of the timing chart can often be reduced.  This reduces the time required to maintain the chart and increases its overall useability and accuracy.  PTracker even has a simple graphic report that can be used when updating the timing chart.

As a result, the timing chart can now be used as a real tool, more useful reports can be generated automatically from PTracker, and it becomes easier to manage the project to avoid issues rather than reacting to issues as they occur.

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