Tracking Multiple Projects - Best Methods?

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Just an FYI - if you're focused on using MS Project to manage projects and not everyone on the team - or the customer - has MS Project, there are some MS Project viewer options out there. Some even allow some collaboration and the cost a fraction of the cost of a MS Project license. Seavus has one for sure that I know of. And there are others out there. In the past I've always had to go the PDF route as discussed earlier in this thread, but there are now other options.

As for quick glance project health, Excel can be a decent tool. One thing that will help as you report upwards is to create a color coded dashboard that indicates project health in different project phases as well as different project areas like budget, resource allocation, issues and risks. Can be very helpful - even in Excel format - when reporting high level project portfolio info to PMO directors and senior management in an organization.
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RobR wrote:Hey guys,

I've been thrust into a PM role and I've been toying with the best way of managing things. The projects I'm managing all fall into the software development category, and with multiple developers there's never just one project to consider. At the moment we've got between 30-40 projects at different phases - from proposal to awaiting deployment.

At the moment I'm keeping all of this in an Excel spreadsheet with just one row per project, with smaller projects which don't have any milestones (e.g. just requirements -- development -- testing -- deployed') this just about works, with a larger project with multiple
solar panels I don't think this is going to work well at all.

A key part is being able to see all projects at once at a glance, which is why the Excel method works well. I've downloaded a trial of project but not used it that much if I'm honest, most tutorials seem to focus on how to manage one project in masses of detail.

I can see the whole master/sub project idea in Project but I'm not convinced that's the best way to go.

So, for people in a similar sitation, where you've got to keep track of lots of smaller projects mainly but a few large ones, all at once, all at different stages what approaches do you use?
I am using your multiple project tracking method and it is working fine for me.. Have you got any other good way?
Megan Wale
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It has become an industry norm for project managers to work on multiple projects. Keeping track of multiple projects is very challenging and having a mechanism to be able to track tasks effectively is key in the whole process. For any project manager working on multiple projects this should be part of Excel Project Management Templates.

Some Tools which can help you in tracking projects

MS-Project: The designated MS tool for tracking the timeline, tasks and milestones. It has base lining capabilities and is planned to be used as a tracking tool.
Primavera: A project portfolio tool that like MS-Project is planned to track projects and allow the users visibility of the PvA. It has a less friendly look & feel, but its output is regarded to be more helpful.
Excel: The spreadsheet tool wasn’t planned to track progress of timelines, but can be used to do so in simple short term projects. The main use of this tool is to track the budget of a project, and can easily produce a PvA graph for this. have all project management templates in excel formats.
IPWC (IBM Program Work Centre): A tool designed by IBM for use by its employees and clients for tracking projects, risks, issues and tasks. Its main advantage is that it is compatible with most MS tools, and they can be used as input and output of the tool.
Megan Wale, PMP