“Guide to Project Monitoring and Control Phase of Project Management” on Smartsheet, March 8, 2022.
What Is the Main Purpose of the Project Monitoring and Control Phase in Project Management?
The primary purpose of monitoring and control in project management is to identify problems before they occur and make adjustments. These changes may require reevaluating and updating the project plan.
Alan Zucker, Founder of Project Management Essentials, LLC, who has more than 25 years of project leadership and management experience in Fortune 100 companies, identifies the purpose of monitoring and control: “Project managers regularly track performance focusing on cost, schedule, and scope. If the project is off-track, the project manager takes corrective action.”
mportance of Project Monitoring and Control
Project monitoring and control are essential to completing a project on time, on budget, and within scope. Monitoring and control processes identify deviations from the project plan. Project monitoring and control ensure that performance is seamless, efficient, and on track.
Alan Zucker describes the importance of project monitoring and control for delivering a successful project: “Project managers know that no project proceeds perfectly according to plan. We must be diligent in tracking performance to see if it meets our expectations for success. If not, we must determine what is needed to keep the project on track.”
Project Monitoring and Control Best Practices
Project monitoring and control best practices require constant attention to detail. These best practices can empower project managers and teams to balance time, cost, and budget.
- Define Project Management Team Roles: Make sure that team members know the expectations and the timelines to meet.
- Identify a Point of Contact: When problems arise, there should be a dedicated person who is responsible for tracking, documenting, and monitoring any issues.
- Determine the Frequency of KPI Reporting: When developing the project plan, decide how often you’ll conduct KPI reporting and stick to that schedule. This data is essential for monitoring and control performance.
- Define Variance Thresholds for Schedule, Budget, and Cost: Decide what percentage of change is acceptable and the variance threshold figure that requires change.
- Determine if Variance Cause Is Common or Unique: Work continues without change under expected and acceptable variance. If the variance is caused by the unexpected, identify and implement the proper change.
- Scrutinize Change Orders: Review documented change requests with the project team to approve or reject them.
- Monitor and Control Scope Creep: Mitigate scope creep to maintain project parameters and recognize that project change may impact outcomes.
- Conduct a Rigorous Approval Process at Completion: Make sure to document and file all approvals appropriately.
Zucker adds, “Soft skills are often missed, so focus on communication and effectively maintaining stakeholder interest. Projects can benefit from a fresh perspective, and an advisory board of specialists provides oversight and guidance for project managers.”