Monitoring and control
Monitoring and control is the continuous process of tracking, assessing and regulating the progress of a project. It involves collecting and analyzing data relating to project performance metrics and taking corrective action to ensure the project remains on track and meets defined goals. This process involves regularly reviewing the project plan and comparing it to actual outcomes. Any discrepancies are identified and corrective action is taken to bring the project back in line with expectations. Monitoring and control is a continuous process that helps ensure the project is delivered on time and within budget.
Example of monitoring and control
- Establishing a baseline: The project manager can use monitoring and control to establish a baseline for the project. This includes setting objectives, creating a timeline and budget, and defining success criteria. The baseline is then used to measure progress against the project plan and identify any discrepancies or deviations.
- Measuring progress: Monitoring and control includes measuring the progress of the project and comparing it to the project plan. This can be done through regular project reviews, progress reports, and other methods. This helps to identify any areas where progress is lagging or projects are behind schedule.
- Taking corrective action: If progress is not meeting expectations, corrective action must be taken in order to get the project back on track. This can involve adjusting timelines, budgets, or resources. It could also involve re-evaluating the project plan and making changes to ensure the project is successful.
- Monitoring project risks: Monitoring and control also involves tracking and managing project risks. This includes identifying potential risks, assessing their impact, and taking steps to mitigate them. This helps to ensure that the project remains on track and any risks are addressed in a timely manner.
Best practices of monitoring and control
- Establish Clear Goals and Objectives: Establishing clear goals and objectives is the first step in successful monitoring and control. These objectives should be specific and measurable so that progress can be tracked and evaluated accurately.
- Set Clear Expectations: Setting clear expectations and specific deadlines is an essential part of successful monitoring and control. This ensures that everyone involved is aware of their responsibilities and has an understanding of the project timeline.
- Develop a Monitoring Plan: Developing a monitoring plan is the key to successful monitoring and control. The plan should outline the processes and procedures that will be used to monitor project progress and evaluate performance.
- Define Metrics and KPIs: Metrics and KPIs (key performance indicators) should be established to provide a clear understanding of the project’s performance. These should be regularly monitored and reported on to ensure progress is being made towards the project goals.
- Identify and Address Risks: Identifying and addressing risks is an important part of successful monitoring and control. This involves identifying potential risks that could impact the project and taking steps to mitigate them.
- Monitor and Report Progress: Progress should be monitored and reported regularly to ensure the project is on track. This should include reports on progress against objectives, milestones, budget and any other agreed upon metrics.
- Take Corrective Action: If any discrepancies between the project plan and actual outcomes are identified, corrective action should be taken to ensure that the project remains on track and meets expectations.
- Track Changes: Any changes to the project plan should be tracked and reported on to ensure that the project is still on track and that any changes are documented.
- Communicate Regularly: Regular communication with all stakeholders is essential for successful monitoring and control. This helps ensure that everyone is kept up to date on progress and any changes that have been made.
When to use monitoring and control
Monitoring and control should be used throughout the life cycle of a project. It can be used to:
- Track progress and identify areas where the project is falling behind schedule;
- Monitor project costs and identify areas of potential cost overruns;
- Assess project risks and develop strategies to mitigate them;
- Identify changes in scope and ensure they are incorporated into the project plan;
- Monitor performance and ensure quality standards are met;
- Analyze project data to identify potential problems and take corrective action;
- Track changes in technology and ensure they are incorporated into the project plan;
- Monitor external factors that may affect the project, such as changes in laws or regulations;
- Track project stakeholders and ensure their expectations are met.
Advantages of monitoring and control
Monitoring and control is an essential component of successful project management. This process helps to ensure that the project is kept on track and meets the desired goals. The following are some of the advantages of monitoring and control:
- It facilitates better communication and coordination between team members, which can help prevent costly mistakes.
- It provides early detection of potential problems, allowing for timely corrective action.
- It enables the project manager to make timely decisions based on accurate and up-to-date data.
- It helps to ensure that the project is completed on time and within budget.
- It provides visibility into the project’s progress and can help to identify areas in need of improvement.
Limitations of monitoring and control
Monitoring and control is an essential part of project management, however, it has some limitations. These include:
- Cost: Monitoring and controlling the project can be costly, as it requires additional resources and personnel to implement.
- Time: Monitoring and controlling a project takes time, which can be difficult to fit into already tight project timelines.
- Complexity: Monitoring and controlling a project can be complex, as it involves tracking and assessing a wide range of data points.
- Rigidity: Monitoring and controlling a project can be rigid, as it requires strict adherence to established processes and procedures.
- Miscommunication: Miscommunication between stakeholders can lead to misunderstandings and result in errors in the monitoring and controlling process.
|Monitoring and control — recommended articles|
|Mechanisms of control — Measures of success — Project monitoring and control — Traditional project management — Programme planning — Project governance model — Aspects of project management — Plan and schedule — Quality of planning|
- Hazır, Ö. (2015). A review of analytical models, approaches and decision support tools in project monitoring and control. International Journal of Project Management, 33(4), 808-815.