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Monitor and Control Project Work

This takes place as part of the executing process group.

This is the process of tracking, reviewing, and regulating the progressed in order to meet the performance objectives defined in the project management plan.

In addition to reviewing the work that is being performed, this process also makes sure that the deliverables themselves, plus the way in which they are being delivered according to the project management plan.

This is a macro integration process and looks at the progress of the overall project taking corrective action as and when needed via change requests.

The focus here is on identifying any variances from the project management plan, to carry out problem-solving in order to determine appropriate corrective and preventative action, perform root cause analysis of such variances, and to manage the time and cost reserve allocations.

The corrective action that the project manager should be making here is based on how the project has been progressing and from this how things are forecast to continue.

The results of the work being undertaken are compared to the baseline is within the plan and appropriate adjustments made to ensure that the two are harmonised.  Such adjustments and changes to the work are both identified and implemented within this process.

Another key aspect here is to ensure that risks are being managed properly, new risks identified, and that the overall project performance remains on track.  This particular process is aligned closely with the direct and manage project execution process and it is used throughout the project as long as there is remaining work to be carried out.

There are four inputs to the monitor and control project work process:

Project management plan.

This is one of the many common inputs and is an obvious choice as it summarises all of the planning processes, the various plans, strategies and baselines.  Since monitoring and controlling project work is ensuring that the results are in line with the plan, this is a key input.

Performance reports.

These provide information on the status of the progress of the project work and represent actual performance so that it can be compared to the plan.  Such evaluation can then be used to take any need necessary corrective action.  These reports give valuable information of progress against the scope, time, cost, and quality baselines.

An important part of the project manager’s job is not just to capture actual information but also to look ahead based on current performance.  This information will allow the project manager to make informed choices about implementing preventative actions and therefore resolve problems before they arise in the first place.

Enterprise environmental factors.

The manner in which monitoring and controlling of the project work takes place will depend upon factors such as laws and regulations, your organisation infrastructure, and elements such as the organizations appetite for risk.

Organisational process assets.

In a similar way to the above, an organization may have monitoring and reporting documentation templates, or policies procedures or guidelines for reporting, in addition there may be lessons learned from previous similar projects recommending the type and frequency of such monitoring and controlling.

There are three outputs from the monitor and control project work process:

Change requests.

As work is performed, it is quite natural for changes to be requested.  Such changes may for example request the scope of the project to change, timescales to change, budgets to change, or functionality to change.

All such change requests need to be brought into the process for impact evaluation on the project, where they will either be approved or rejected.  Such change requests normally emanate from the need for corrective action which is to bring future results in line with the plan, or from preventative actions which were raised to avoid the occurrence of a future problem, or possibly changes may be because of the need for defect repair.

Project management plan updates.

As a result of taking corrective action as well as capturing work progress, then changes to the various documents within the project management plan need to be updated to reflect current progress and future forecast.

Project document updates.

Other documents that may need to be changed should also be updated.  Examples here could be logs or registers.

There is only one tool within the monitor and control project work process:

Expert judgement.

Since of is the project manager that is responsible for monitoring and controlling the project work, then it is their judgment than is needed to weigh the evidence of project performance so that this can be evaluated and if necessary take appropriate corrective action.

In making these decisions, the project manager may also need to consult with other knowledge or experience specialists such as the project team or consultants.

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