One of the most important parts of project management is to regularly check the progress of the project against where it was anticipated that the project would be at this stage when it was planned. A failure to measure progress makes it likely that the project will not hit deadlines and will end up being completed later than expected, which often has financial implications for the company.

It can be tempting for a project manager to let these progress checks lapse if everything seems to be going fine and/or they have a lot of other work to do. However, as stated in the opening paragraph above, failing to check that the project is still on schedule can often have an impact on future completion dates, which is also a particular problem if future elements of the project cannot are due to start on a certain day but cannot commence until a previous process has been completed. For example, decorators cannot start work until a building is actually finished being built!

Some project managers have been given this management role because they have many years of experience in certain areas. This means they may have the skills needed to do some of the work (e.g. a master craftsman), and so actually do certain tasks rather than purely manage the project and let others do the actual work. In this case, the project manager must be careful not to get so caught up in the piece of work they are doing that they forget to ensure the rest of the people working on the project are doing what they should be doing. They may also fail to check the progress of others and the project as a whole if they concentrate too much on their little bit of work.

So checking progress is a vital piece of the project management jigsaw, and is necessary to ensure that the project stays on track and is sticking to deadlines and targets.