Project Monitoring and Control
The project management monitoring and controlling starts as soon as a project begins. Monitoring and controlling project work is the process of tracking, reviewing, and regulating the progress in order to meet the performance objectives. It is the fourth process group in Project Management. From the perspective of Knowledge Management Area, this involves the management tasks, such as tracking, reviewing, and reporting the progress of a project. Moreover, this process is majorly concerned with:
- Measuring the actual performance against the planned performance
- Assessing performance to determine whether or not any corrective or preventive actions are indicated, the status is reported and/or appropriate risk response plans are being executed.
- Maintaining an accurate, timely information base concerned with the project output and its associated documentation till project completion.
- Providing information to support status reporting, progress measurement and forecasting.
- Providing forecasts to update current cost and current schedule information.
- Monitoring implementation of approved changes as they occur.
Step 1: Take action to control the project
Necessary steps, control points, and actions are taken to monitor and control the project. These actions provide if the project is deviating from the planned baseline.
Step 2: Measure Performance
You should measure the performance in order to check whether the project is going well. For instance, cost performance of the project will give an indication whether the planned budget will be sufficient to complete the project. Schedule performance of the project will give an indication whether the planned schedule and dates can be reached.
Step 3: Determine variances and if they warrant a change request
If there is a lot of variance from the baseline, for instance, if it is expected that the project duration will exceed the planned duration by 20%, then regarding actions must be taken to meet the project targets.
Step 4: Influence the factors that cause changes
Changes are inevitable in a project. But, preventive actions can be taken to influence the factors that cause changes. For instance, a detailed scope and requirement clarification with the customer will reduce the changes that will be coming from the customer.
Step #5: Request changes
If there is a deviation from the planned values, then a change can be requested to meet the planned values again.
Step 6: Perform integrated change control
Changes in a project must be implemented in an integrated manner. Because a small change in one aspect of the project might impact the overall project. Performing an integrated change control evaluates the changes and its impacts on the project. Then, a proper change implementation is planned to minimize the risk of changes.
Step 7: Approve or reject changes
Project monitoring and controlling process may approve or reject changes. Changes are evaluated by the change control board and if this board rejects the change, it won’t be implemented. If a change is approved, project plan revisions must be done and change should be implemented properly.
Step 8: Inform stakeholders of approved changes
If the decision of the change control board is approving a change. This must be communicated to the stakeholders. Because, the previous plan, scope, and targets have a change. So the stakeholders must be notified about this change.
Step 9: Manage configuration
The configuration of a project describes the meaningful and properly working combination of different modules or parts. In order to ensure healthy project progression, the configuration is managed.
Step 10: Create forecasts
Project monitoring and controlling process group activities create forecasts. What will be the budget of the project on completion? What will be the end date of the project if the project performs as it performed till now? These types of forecasts help to see how far the project is from its targets.
Step 11: Gain acceptance from customer
Once the project deliverables are completed, they are presented to the customer. If the deliverables meet the requirements agreed with the customer, in the beginning, the customer accepts the project and closing phase is triggered.
Step 12: Perform quality control
Quality control activities check the quality attributes of the delivered outputs. For instance, the product of a project might meet the budget and schedule targets. But the quality requirements might not meet the customers’ expectations. In this case, the project will be considered as failed as well. Therefore, performing a quality control is important.
Step 13: Report on project performance
Since forecasting and project performance is measured during monitoring and controlling, project performance reports are sent to relevant stakeholders during this phase as well.
Step 14: Perform risk audits
Risks may affect a project drastically. Therefore, each anticipated risk must be documented, and risk response strategies for each risk must be planned in case a risk occurs.
Step 15: Manage reserves
Reserves are planned to accommodate costs of risks and unexpected situations in projects. For instance, if the project budget is 100,000 USD, a 10% reserve can be planned to accommodate impacts of risks. Or, if the project duration is 12 months, an additional 2 months can be planned as a buffer to overcome any kind of risks that might occur during the project. These reserves are managed in monitoring and controlling phase.
Step 16: Administer procurements
Tools, equipment or resources can be outsourced from a supplier during a project. Administration of these purchases, outsourcing, and leasing activities are done during monitoring and control phase of a project.
If a successful monitoring and controlling process can be implemented, the whole project has a better chance to be a success. So the outcomes of closing process group activities will be as planned in the planning phase.