PM/U4 Topic 2 Performance Management and Control: Introduction
Monitoring and Controlling Project Work involves tracking the actual project performance with the planned project management activities. It can mainly be looked as a Control function that takes place at all stages of a project i.e. from Initiation through Closing. For small projects, monitoring and control project work is comparatively an easy task. However, as you are aware, Project Management is more stringently required for large projects where the project manager requires a formal effort to monitor and control how the processes are going. He or she will not be personally involved in performing project work in large projects.
Please note the confusing terms. In the exam, Monitoring and Controlling Project Work may just be referring to the integration process and may NOT be talking about the entire monitoring and controlling process group.
Some of the outputs of the Monitor and Control Project Work include:
- Change Requests (including CAPA and defect repairs, CAPA – Correct and Preventive Actions)
- Updates to the project management plan
- Updates to project documents
This process of monitoring and controlling project work is extremely important as it can happen that you are able to complete the project on-time, however, have not been able to meet the desired quality levels. Similarly, your project has increased scope, however, have exceeded limits of time and cost. The project manager must balance the requirements of different knowledge areas to control the project through Monitor and Control project work. Project Managers create performance measures or use existing organizational performance measures to identify project performance at regular intervals during the course of the project. Monitoring and Controlling project work involve monitoring any other performance measure that the project manager has created or used for this project.
When you think about monitoring and controlling project work, you should take into consideration that it is measuring against the project management plan.
Changes are inevitable. In spite of planning the project to the minutest detail, a project manager will come across changes during the course of the project. These changes are additions to the projects. They may also be changes to the existing policies and procedures used on the project.
Taking corrective actions is a reactive approach whereas taking preventive actions is a proactive approach. It means dealing with anticipated or possible deviations from the performance measurement baseline. Knowing when to take preventive actions requires more experience than a mere understanding of the project management framework, hence, the process of taking preventive actions is not as clear as corrective actions. Some of the examples of preventive actions include:
Changing a vendor because their products nearly failed to meet the acceptance criteria
Cross-skilling the team members on certain specialized tasks to manage to staff and work in case the specialized staff inadvertently falls ill or misses work
Perform Integrated Change Control will also be applicable to any preventive action. Preventive actions could change the project management plan, baselines, policies or procedures, charter, contract, or statement of work.
Another word for Defect Repair is “Rework”. When a component of the project does not produce the required output or does not meet the required specifications, a defect repair may be requested. A defect repair may change the project management plan, baselines, policies or procedures, charter, contract, or statement of work, hence, it has to go through a Perform Integrated Change Control Process.