Project Monitoring and Controlling Phase
Monitoring and controlling is an important phase of project management, as it helps in realigning activities with a project’s aims. Once the project execution phase gets underway, the project monitoring and controlling phase also kicks in.
This parallel stage keeps the project on track and lined up with its initial purpose, allowing teams to correct course where necessary.
Table of Contents
- What is the monitoring and controlling phase?
- Why monitoring and controlling is important.
- Report key performance indicators (KPIs).
- Monitor change requests.
- Keep track of scope.
- Control costs, quality, and risk.
- Facilitate stakeholder communication.
- How to use tools for project monitoring and controlling.
- Frequently asked questions.
What is the monitoring and controlling phase?
In the project life cycle, the project monitoring and control phase happens in tandem with the execution phase. What it involves depends on how a project is organized and defined.
Project management monitoring and controlling means actively reviewing the status of your project as it proceeds, evaluating potential obstacles, and implementing necessary changes.
During this phase, organizations need to juggle several responsibilities, including:
- Keeping to the schedule
- Staying within budget
- Avoiding scope creep
- Managing risk
Here’s a review of the parallel processes you’ll need to prioritize while monitoring and controlling in project management.
Why monitoring and controlling is important.
The controlling phase of project management allows a project manager to receive live feedback on the progress, successes and failures of an ongoing project. It’s an important tool to avoid some of the most common project management pitfalls.
Extracting data on project progress helps you avoid making assumptions, for instance. This may help to identify a real-world problem, even with project planning techniques that have worked before.
Without monitoring and controlling, it’s also easy to find yourself unable to track down the cause of a problem.
- Did your IT project throw up more bugs than anticipated?
- Was there a process breakdown?
- Did ad-hoc projects distract your core team?
The controlling phase helps you find out the answers to these questions, often while resolutions are still possible. Correct controls put in place may also help project managers to delegate responsibilities more effectively.
Report key performance indicators (KPIs).
During your planning phase, you may have established a series of checkpoints or milestones for your project. Alternatively, you might have set goals of completing a specific number of deliverables per day, week, or month.
Quantifiable measures like these, which are used to evaluate the success of your project, are called Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
During the project monitoring and controlling phase, keeping tabs on KPIs is essential to ensure your team is on the right track. If you start falling behind on production, you may not make your deadline for your deliverables.
One way to keep your entire team up to date is to set up automated status reports that go out to all interested parties. Instead of relying on someone to send out daily updates, you can systematize the entire process using work management software.
Monitor change requests.
Even the best planning can’t eliminate all challenges. During the monitoring and controlling phase, you’ll need to review and address change requests from team members, clients, and other stakeholders. In some cases, you may have to overhaul entire processes.
Using a centralized request hub can make monitoring change requests a breeze. In many cases, work management software enables your team to create intuitive request queues that organize input from internal and external sources.
Keep track of scope.
In some cases, your client may decide to change their mind about the project’s scope after you’ve begun work. During the project management monitoring and controlling phase, you may need to rethink your strategy, to evaluate whether you can accommodate increased scope within the original timeline or budget.
If not, you need to circle back to your planning phase to:
- Clarify expectations
- Update your project charter
- Clarify new roles and responsibilities
Once these steps have been taken, you can then continue on with your project execution.
Control costs, quality, and risk.
Managing costs is an essential part of successful project management. However, change orders, expanded scope, and unforeseen circumstances can put your budget at risk.
During the project management monitoring and controlling phase, make sure to clearly and consistently track and report updates to your projected budget. That way you can keep a close watch on what has changed and how this will affect the profitability of a project.
Tracking the end product from your product is crucial too. Quality management ensures your deliverables will meet your client’s expectations, keeping you in control. You should look to periodically review quality-related KPIs and processes, to ensure you’re on track to meet stated objectives.
During the planning phase, it’s common to identify project risks that could potentially hinder your progress. As part of your project management monitoring and controlling efforts, take time to:
- Regularly review your list of potential risks
- Evaluate their likelihood of occurring
- Enact mitigation measures as needed
Facilitate stakeholder communication.
Effective project management monitoring and controlling requires keeping everyone in the loop and communication is key. Regular meetings with stakeholders, clients, and team members can help prevent misunderstandings and missed deadlines.
For constant and consistent transparency that will keep remote teams on the same page, and save hours of time spent in status meetings, look to a centralized work management platform. This can empower teams to take advantage of dynamic reporting and enables asynchronous work that is vital for project success.
How to use tools for project monitoring and controlling.
Project management tools can be integral at every stage of the life cycle, including the monitoring and controlling phase. Great systems help you to dig deeper and gain insights more efficiently.
You can keep an eye on tasks to check they remain within scope, prioritize to control costs and dig into project data.
In Adobe Workfront, try the following:
- Click the ‘agile storyboard’ icon to view each task’s live status and collaborate directly with other team members. This lets you view the progress percentage and identify any delays.
- Use the portfolio optimizer tool to prioritize and deprioritize subtasks. When the pedal is to the metal, this can help you to invest resources where it makes sense. Uncheck the projects with lower scores to eliminate the high cost and low priority activities.
- View all comments and file versions in tandem for a smoother quality control phase. Click ‘make a decision’ to notify all stakeholders.
Managing parallel workflows can be challenging, especially when clients request scope changes. However, with an enterprise work management solution, keeping an eye on variables, and encouraging open communication, you can successfully monitor and control even the most complex projects.
Take a tour and discover how Adobe Workfront can help you keep tabs on your projects today.
Frequently asked questions.
What is the definition of project monitoring and control?
Project monitoring and control is the process of reviewing the implementation of a project. It happens in tandem with project execution in the project life cycle.
By monitoring a project in real time, you can actively ensure work stays to deadline, on brief and on-budget.
What’s the difference between monitoring and controlling?
Monitoring involves collecting and analyzing data gathered from the project. Controlling uses these findings to make changes.
With this data, project managers can actively tweak performance to maintain alignment with the original plan. This can help ensure a project remains on track and stays true to the original objectives and goals set.
What happens after monitoring and controlling?
When all monitored data has been gathered, and then used during the controlling phase, the closing phase begins. This is the final stage of the project lifecycle and is performed in tandem with the execution phase.