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Process Focus: Monitoring and Controlling

Throughout the executing process, there is also another project management process group of stages that is happening. Monitoring and controlling often happens concurrently with executing, but this particular group offers its own separate list of tasks. Often what is associated with monitoring and controlling is checking to make sure that the work output from the executing processes match what the end objectives of the project are. It also involves making adjustments as needed.

The monitoring and controlling phase can be made easier by the use project management software. Monitoring progress against the values entered into the computer program during the initiating, planning, and executing stages, one can get a clearer picture of what is happening with the project. But it is not enough to merely monitor the project; the project manager must also control the project, nudging it back on track when it strays a little and ensuring that the end result is of high quality. Part of controlling is also addressing problems and making sure that issues are resolved as they arise.

While monitoring and controlling, it is also necessary for a project manager to revisit the project plan and also the scope. As projects progress, especially if they are projects that are slated to last for more than a year, often the scope and direction will need adjustment. A plan should not be written in stone, and if the project manager or his or her superiors see a need for some tweaking of the objectives, goals, or scope, the project plan should allow for that.

Inspection of the product or results of tasks as they are fulfilled is also part of this project management process group. The project manager should make sure that the results of the execution match up with the objectives. Quality should be looked at, ensuring that the sponsor of the project is satisfied. This is monitoring. The controlling comes in when improvements need to be made. If quality needs to be improved, this takes place at this time. The sponsor of the project informally approves the end products of the work, and expresses whether or not he or she is generally satisfied with the results.

Finally, part of the monitoring and controlling project management process group is making sure that there is a lessons learned document drafted and that evaluations are completed. The lessons learned is a list of important things that should be remembered for next time. It can also serve as a helpful guide if someone else is performing the follow up or is taking over the next part of the project. Evaluations should be made for each team member as well as for the results. It is important for the project manager to monitor each member’s performance and form an opinion as to how she or he did. It is also necessary for evaluations to show whether or not the product of the project fulfills expectations and objectives.

Effective project management means that one must be careful to know what is happening on the project, and whether the result is desirable. It is about quality control and keeping everything running as on time as possible.

Article by Remedysoft, Inc.
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