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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Chapter 72: Introduction to Monitoring & Controlling Project Work

Let me begin by congratulating you on completing 3 process groups: The Initiation group, Planning group and the Execution Group. At the end of these 3 phases, we have planned our project efficiently and acquired a team to execute the project. Once the project execution begins, our work isn’t over. In fact, it has just started. We need to continually monitor and control our project; that is, monitor and control the project activities against the project management plan and project performance baseline.

This is because executing a project means executing the project work according to the project management plan based on some baselines, such as a schedule baseline, a scope baseline, and a cost baseline.

This is what we are going to do in this part of the PMP Exam Preparation. “Monitoring & Controlling the Project”.

What is Monitoring & Controlling?

In general, monitoring means watching the course, and controlling means taking action to either stay the course or change the wrong course. You monitor the project by generating, collecting, and distributing information about project performance against the baselines. Performance reports are used to monitor and control the project work. Deviations of performance results from the plan might indicate that some changes to the original project plan are required. Other change requests might come from stakeholders, such as expanding the project scope by adding new requirements. You control all these changes by influencing the factors that generate them, processing them through a system called the integrated change control system that contains a process called the Perform Integrated Change Control process, evaluating their impact across the project, and ensuring the implementation of the approved change requests.

In addition to the schedule activities that need to be executed, the project management plan also contains a list of risks and the risk management plan. You monitor the risks by looking out for the risk triggers (the alerts that tell you a risk has occurred or is about to occur) for the already identified risks and by identifying new risks as the project progresses. You control the risks by executing the risk response plan and taking corrective and preventive actions. Quality is an integrated part of any project. Therefore, monitoring and controlling the project work includes controlling the quality. All these aspects of the project are monitored and controlled by using two high-level processes that belong to integration management: the Monitor and Control Project Work process and the Perform Integrated Change Control process. This also includes administering the procurement part of the project, which is another high-level process by its virtue.

So, in this part we will be covering these one by one.

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