Project managers using the Project Management Institute’s Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®) Guide to help add successful infrastructure to their projects can feel more confident about every stage of the process knowing that over 650,000 project managers around the world trust the expert information contained in this best-practice publication.
Among the five process groups detailed in the manual is the “Monitoring and Controlling Process Group” which indicates key elements a savvy project manager should address when overseeing a project that is in its most active state. While all the process groups overlap somewhat and allow for custom tailoring, collectively they serve to elucidate the mystery of what makes great projects work like magic.
The Monitoring and Controlling Process Group addresses the skills needed to review progress and document benchmarks. After initiating, planning, and executing a project, the project is then officially underway though the project manager has been hard at work since the initiation process.
Keeping an eye on team performance and reacting quickly and appropriately to any emergent issues is vital for maintaining positive forward momentum. Re-visiting the previous process groups and making adjustments to the project may be necessary as the project reaches its most active stages. Specifically, a thorough coverage of the necessary tasks in this process group includes:
Keeping stakeholders up to date on progress and team performance through reports and on-going documentation contributes to project success. Regularly assessing progress related to scope, benchmark goals, timeline, and budget helps to ensure that there are no unpleasant surprises as the project unfolds.
Even well-planned projects are going to require a change from time to time. The larger the project the more change there usually is. Keeping track of change in light of the timeline and budgetary considerations is an important task that must be addressed. Ongoing documentation and follow-up related to change orders and related costs is an essential part of any project manager’s job.
As the project progresses through each phase, it is important to secure the documentation related to completed portions of the project. Re-visiting another process groups to be sure that objectives have been met reflecting any changes is part of the follow-through needed as the project continues toward completion.
If there have been adjustments to the budget, timeline, or the desired end-product, it is important to re-visit the documentation related to the scope and mitigate any unresolved challenges. Maintaining effective communication with stakeholders and related constituents will keep everyone updated and engaged in the project’s success.
Every project has a schedule baseline. As the project progresses adjustments are often necessary to address unforeseen circumstances. Monitoring the project properly can decrease the chances that schedule issues become major setbacks.
Many factors will affect cost throughout the project timeline. Keeping track of any changes in the budget is important so that communication around the control of costs is clear and accurate.
Quantifying and reporting quality control issues are necessary – and ongoing – to support the accuracy and responsiveness of the project. Based on findings from monitoring, process adjustments can be made.
Collecting and reporting performance data is important to complete proper forecasting with regard to timeline and phasing. Keeping stakeholders aware of team progress toward benchmark goals supports positive project relations.
Tracking risk, responding to documented risk, and evaluating response to risk is all a part of ensuring the project progresses effectively through each phase of the timeline.
Team needs will change throughout the project, additional items may be required while other items and services may not be needed at all. Keeping track of all paperwork that documents any changes in contracts is vital to delivering the project within budget, or as close as possible.
The Monitoring and Controlling Process Group presents a detailed set of skills and knowledge directly applicable toward implementing the decisions needed to sustain the most active part of the project. While moving forward with a project, a top project manager continuously reviews progress and makes necessary adjustments to increase workflow effectiveness.
Project managers looking to increase their understanding of the PMBOK® can seek the advice of leaders in the field through becoming active in a local chapter of the Project Management Institute or by enrolling in a class taught by an industry leader through one of Villanova’s reputable and convenient online programs.