Work can be difficult to stay on top of. No matter how many paper planners, wall and desk calendars, digital notifications and other scheduling advantages you may have, it still feels like things could slip through the cracks at any moment.
Aside from your run-of-the-mill calendars and to-do lists, the act of setting goals and tracking the steps to get there could improve your business and functionality. Keeping track of your progress keeps your goals top of mind, and is said to help companies grow up to 30% faster than businesses that don’t set and track their goals.
As a working human who needs to keep tabs on projects – whether you are a piece of the project’s puzzle, the project manager, or a higher-level player who needs to check in from time to time – the digital age can make you feel like everything is upside down. Who knows what the best solution for tracking productivity and progress really is?
Tracking Your Team’s Progress Just Got Easier
1. Choose a Default View to Track Progress
To create a project, log in to your dashboard and click the “Projects” tab on the left-hand toolbar. Go through the steps of naming your project, setting a due date, indicating other colleagues who will be affiliated with the process, and choosing a layout. Get everything organized upfront to increase your chances of success.
Project managers, or the point on the project, will have the unique advantage of setting the default layout for Hive. There are 6 distinct layouts with their own advantages.
With this option, there are header cards laid out from left to right. Each card represents a status within the project. For example, “not started,” “in draft,” “ready for review,” “in review,” “changes needed,” “ready for publish,” and “completed” are card options in many editorial workflows for writers. Pick and choose from this list and more actions to create your project’s ideal trajectory list.
Once you have your header cards sorted out, you can drop each task under them as they go through the workflow. When keeping tabs on the project, you can see where the hiccups are a little easier. Are there more cards under “in review”? Maybe speak with the person in charge of this part of the process to see if they need additional help or if they have everything on their radar for a turnaround soon.
“Team view” is strikingly similar to “status view”. However, in this case, each header card is representative of a team member. When it is that team member’s turn to work on their task within the workflow, the task card is dragged to their column. Once completed, they can drag the card to the column of the person in charge of the next piece of that task. Or, in some instances, they can archive or mark the card as complete.
“Label view” is also catered to more visual personalities, and takes the same outline as the previous two layouts. This one is different because it is often organized by project. So, for instance, you may mark your header card as “Website”. All tasks in website updates should be added under that card. The same would go for a header card like “blog” or “press outreach”.
Label view is often utilized for marketing campaigns, and product and website launches, among other projects.
“Calendar” presents exactly as it sounds – in a grid layout as a calendar, viewable and editable by all team members. This layout helps you to visualize a rhythm a workflow may be taking, and identify which days make sense to add more work or adjust the level of tasks – for yourself and the entire team. It is also great for people who work on deadlines to be able to see the days of the week outlined for them and tangibly identify how much time they have left for task completion.
Gantt charts give a more high-level overview of project tasks and timetables. They identify the way each task relates to each other in the project with a quick scan, and are catered to visual learners. In fact, they are ideal for resource planning and pivoting during the course of a project. This view can also help you to organize the project into more manageable tasks when you notice any inconsistencies within it.
If you enjoy spreadsheets and tables, “Table view” might be your bread and butter. Each action or task is laid out like a spreadsheet, with the most time-restrictive options showing up at the top. Of course, you can always adjust how you’d like to view your information and filter or sort your tasks once you are toggling within the table.
In all instances, feel free to adjust the cards and header verbiage, and create templates that will help to automate your workflow.
2. Toggle Between Views
Remember, tracking can be viewed in six different ways in the Hive project management system. While a default view is necessary to set the project up, you can change your own viewing options every few minutes, if you’d like. Simply click the project name in the left toolbar under “Projects,” then navigate to the light gray “Change layout” option in the second header menu. (You will find it toward the right of your layout view.) Choose your new setting, and gather the details you need to make informed decisions moving forward.
As a project manager, you may want more details on action items and choose one of the first 3 viewing options listed above. This will allow you to message workers about task status, and offer feedback or support as you can. As a CEO, you may want to view a high-level chart like the Gantt view just to get an idea of what to discuss at your department meeting or with the client the project has been assigned.
3. Check-in On Progress Frequently
Whether it is your own project or something your team is in charge of, checking in on project status frequently can be key to reaching your company’s goals. The more often you check in on progress, the better detail you can remember or note about how the project is going, what issues may be found in its dependencies, and other vital information. Tracking can keep you informed about how your team operates, and help you to create a more streamlined workflow for everyone.
4. Avoid Obsessive Progress Tracking
Be sure not to get obsessive and go overboard. Sometimes checking on projects too often can make you feel like things are moving at the pace of molasses. Long-term projects require a system check-in every week or so at most. This is especially true if your team engages in open communication practices. When colleagues feel welcome to pop in to chat with you or ask a couple of questions, they are more likely to embrace the work instead of procrastinating on it out of annoyance or fear.