Task Progress Report

Summary

Establishes a graphical timeline for various tasks of a project and shows the following:
  • Relationship between the tasks (sequential or simultaneous)
  • Planned start and completion dates
  • Percent of a task that is complete
  • Milestones (labels and dates)
Answers the questions:
  • What tasks must you complete?
  • In what order must you complete the tasks?
  • How long do you need to complete the tasks?
  • How long did you take to complete the tasks?
When to Use Purpose
Early in the project To identify and plan the major tasks as well as establish an estimate of time to complete them (or meet an intermediate goal or milestone).
Throughout the project To maintain management oversight on task progress and identify bottlenecks that can delay the project.
In subsections of a project You can use individual task progress reports for any multiple step project; for example, identifying, designing, obtaining, and installing a new gage system to replace one that failed Gage R&R.

Data

List of tasks required including:
  • Start date (planned or actual)
  • Completion or due date (planned or actual)
  • Progress (% complete)
  • Assigned to
  • Notes

How-To

  1. Identify and list each task sequentially.
  2. For each task, establish a planned start date, due date, and person assigned.
  3. Enter any milestones such as a planned design review or a run-off at the vendor.
  4. As the project progresses, enter the percentage of in-progress tasks that are complete. Enter the percentage as a number (20) or a percent (20%).
  5. As the project progresses, enter any newly identified milestones.

Guidelines

  • Caution: A famous Six Sigma saying is "You don't know what you don't know." You should not try to plan all of the project's tasks at the start of the project because the conclusions reached at any stage of the project can result in dramatic changes in direction. For example, you might have thought at the start of a project that you could accurately measure the process output, only to discover that you need to develop a new measurement system before you can proceed any further.
  • Because the potential for changes to the task list is high, you should not add tasks to the task progress report until they are actually assigned to a team member. This delay should reduce the need for removing tasks you planned but later dropped.
  • Think of the task progress report as a living document that must be updated regularly throughout the project. It is a communication tool to convey to the team how much progress they are making in critical project activities. As such, the information should be kept as current as possible.
  • Size the tasks appropriate to your intent:
    • If you want to maintain general oversight of an entire project, you might have 12 tasks (one for each of the 12 steps used in the 12-step project template).
    • If you are managing a time critical process, you can break down the tasks into more defined steps such as Create Design, Review Design, Draft, Proof Blueprints, Make Prototype, and so on.
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