Definition: A project tracking spreadsheet is used by project managers to track the progress and
duration of a project and all of the associated tasks.
Objective: The purpose of a project tracking spreadsheet is to plan all of the associated tasks that must
be completed and determine which can be completed at the same time to calculate the fastest route that
a project can be delivered. Project managers will usually build a little resiliency in, e.g., a little extra
time for each task, to ensure that project stakeholders' expectations can be met in situations where
issues arise. Up-to-date project tracking helps inform stakeholders if the work is progressing on
The spreadsheet has a number of different fields that must be completed. To see an example of how the
spreadsheet will look when it is completed, click on the "Example Completed Spreadsheet" tab. It is
possible to see in the example how times (numbers of days) have been assigned to each task. Tasks that
are dependent on one another cannot happen at the same time. In this example, this can be seen with the
example of web development and testing. Clearly, the website cannot be tested before it has been
developed, so the testing occurs after the development task. However, it is possible to schedule tasks
that can be done at the same time (that do not depend on one another) to be carried out at the same time.
For example, the writing and editing tasks can be carried out at the same time as the development tasks.
Procedure to complete the spreadsheet:
1. Before entering anything into the spreadsheet, make a list of the tasks that need to be done and who
2. Find out from the people that will do the tasks how long each task will take.
3. Determine which tasks can be carried out at the same time and which are dependent on one another.
4. Enter the list of tasks into the spreadsheet in groups of tasks that relate to each other (as per the
5. Enter the names of those responsible for each task.
6. Enter the time taken for each task, being sure to not overlap tasks that are dependent on one another.
7. Update the spreadsheet when changes occur (e.g., a task taking longer than expected).
8. If a change occurs to a task on which other tasks are dependent, be sure to up