Performance monitoring in project Management
1. Monitor The Work
Once the team is executing the work according to the project plan, the project manager must always be diligent in monitoring and tracking the work that is being performed.
This is done in order to:
- Ensure the team is working on the correct activities
- Ensure the team is on-schedule
- Ensure the team is on-budget
- Ensure the quality of the work is acceptable
- Ensure project control activities can be performed if deviations from the plan are identified
The monitoring project management step is done in parallel to the other project processes (planning, execution, etc.) to ensure those activities are also being done in order to meet the project requirements. Considering that most of the project activities (and costs) occur during the execution phase, however, you should put most of your monitoring effort on this part of the project. You may have to assign additional personnel to help you with monitoring the work that is performed. Often a project controls person is assigned to help (on larger projects) with this activity.
- Are any course corrections required?
- How much of the budget have you spent to date?
- How much is remaining?
- Do you have a revised estimate to complete the work?
- Is your team working on activities that are in-scope or out-of-scope?
- Have any changes occurred that will require a scope addition?
There are additional things, such as Key Performance Indicators, that you may want to monitor throughout the project but the ones mentioned above are the bare minimum. It is very important to monitor the progress on the project to ensure it does not get too far off of your original plan. Once you veer away from your plan, it can be very difficult (sometimes impossible) to get things back on track with the original plan.
As with other aspects of the project, you must determine the frequency in which you are going to monitor project activities. Monitoring is really an on-going activity, however, you have to strike a balance between how much time you spend tracking activities (you do not want to micro-manage your team) and the value of the effort. I would not recommend collecting cost & schedule information, for most projects, any more than once per week, or any less than once per month. This is a general guideline that will work well for most projects.
Monitoring the project will allow you to perform the next project management step…..control the project.
2. Control The Project
Controlling the project is the next critical project management step that you absolutely must do in order to deliver an effective project. Controlling the project refers to the actions that you take as the project manager to ensure your project progresses according to the plan and actions you take when a change to the original plan is required.
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