Never ask how a project is going. You'll get information that isn't helpful…and it's your fault. Ask for status, and define what status is.
The average reported status of all projects all the world over is always "fine". That's not to say the projects are actually fine - they're all mostly crap. But we managers have a bad habit of asking the wrong questions of project team members of directs. And directs are smart enough to obfuscate.
Let's get better at asking.