All the projects have five process groups and these process groups include various activities. After the first process group which is the project initiation, project planning process begins. Most of the work is done during the project execution phase as explained in the online PMP training. But how would you know that whether the project going as planned? Without monitoring the project you do not have a chance to know that. So the project monitoring and control phase is really crucial for a successful project management. In this article, we are going to overview the project monitoring and control process. If you want to learn more about this project management process group, you can find more detailed information in the CAPM training course as well. Let’s begin by reviewing the objectives of the project monitoring and control.
What is the objective of project monitoring and control process?
Project monitoring and control processes help to check whether the project is going as well as planned. These project monitoring and control processes identify if there are any deviations in actual results from the planned values. For instance, whether the project is under budget, whether the project will be finished on time, whether quality requirements are met etc. are all checked and evaluated with the help of project monitoring and control processes.
What is done during the project monitoring and control process?
Measuring performance of the project to the project management plan is the main objective of project monitoring and control processes. For instance, if the overall project budget is 250,000 USD for a project and 6 months is the duration, project monitoring and control processes check whether these budget and time targets will be met. These are just for giving examples. There are several other aspects that need to be measured in a project and these are measured with the help of project monitoring and control processes mainly.
Approving change requests. Although the scope is determined, plans are finalized and project management plan is developed, changes might arise during project execution. Because, as the project progresses, outputs and deliverables of the project are provided to the customer. Based on the actual results, the customer might come with new requests or change its existing requirements. These changes are evaluated by change control board and approving/rejecting change requests are done during project monitoring and control phase.
Recommended corrective and preventive actions are proposed with the help of project monitoring and control processes. Based on the performance checks of a project, if there are negative variances from the planned values of a project, corrective actions must be taken to get back on track. For instance, if the current measurements of the project show that the project will be completed 2 months later than the planned date, appropriate actions must be taken to complete the project on time. And preventive actions are for taken for reducing the impacts of any risks that might affect the project.
Defect repair. Produced product might not work as planned in the beginning. For instance, let’s consider that you are working on a smartphone development project. Once the smartphone is produced, during tests, it is discovered that camera of the device does not shoot bright pictures as it was planned. This is actually the defect of the product that is observed during project monitoring and control phase. And it must be fixed before project closure.
What are the three roles of the project manager during the project monitoring and control phase?
The role of the project manager in the project monitoring and control phase can be summarized briefly in three items:
- The project manager is accountable for meeting the performance measurement baseline. Performance measurement baseline includes budget, schedule, and quality etc. targets of the project. And meeting these targets are under the main responsibility of the project manager. Project manager manages the project team and stakeholders to meet these targets by the end of the project.
- The project manager takes actions to correct any variances. If there are any problems that are causing to meet project objectives, these variances must be corrected. For instance, if the total budget will be exceeded, how to find additional funds for the project must be checked.
- Any deviations from the plan should be made up rather than requesting a change to the project to accommodate them. If there is a deviation, before changing the targets of the project, whether this deviation can be handled by alternative solutions must be analyzed. Requesting change, asking for funds, an extension of the schedule etc. must be the last options for accommodating deviations in a project.
The 3 reasons why the project monitoring and control phase is initiated
Now let’s describe what reasons initiate the project monitoring and control processes and in what cases project monitoring and control processes trigger other process groups.
There are 3 main reasons to trigger project monitoring and control processes. These are:
- Requested changes
- Initiating Process Group to review Project Charter
- Planning Process Group to Re-Plan
- Executing Process Group is to repair defects
- Closing Process Group if project is finished
- Work performance information
And as you see, based on the progress of the project, changes, and deliverables, the initiating processes can be triggered to review the project charter. The planning processes can be triggered to revise planning. The executing processes can be triggered to repair defects or implement approved changes. Lastly, if all objectives of the project are met and results are as planned, closing processes are triggered.