Projects are divided into stages to make them more manageable. Everything is important, especially project monitoring. Project monitoring and control is how the project manager ensures that the plan they are implementing along with the project team is carried out without a hitch.
Project management includes many steps to carefully control the project schedule, resources, and costs. Of course, there are project monitoring tools, but like everything in project management, there is a process that we will explain.
Table of Contents
What is project monitoring and control?
Before we get into the steps for monitoring your project, let’s put the concept in context. The project management process consists of five phases: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring, controlling, and closing. Project monitoring and control occurs in tandem with the execution phase in the project life cycle.
Project monitoring and control is the phase of project management dedicated to measuring the performance of the project and ensuring that it matches what has been established in the project plan. Project managers will closely monitor the progress and performance of the project, check the status of the project, identify potential problems, and take corrective action when necessary to keep the project on schedule and on budget.
To find issues in a project, you need project management software that can track progress and performance as they are deployed. ProjectManager is an award-winning project management software that gives you the tools you need to monitor and manage your projects in real time. Project managers can get an overview of their project by switching to the live dashboard. It automatically collects project data by metrics such as time, cost, workload, and more, which are displayed in easy-to-read graphs and charts. Unlike lightweight software, there is no need for time-consuming setup. Our toolbar is ready when you are ready. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.
Why is project monitoring and control important?
Project monitoring and control is so important to project management that it is one of the five project management processes. As noted, project monitoring goes hand in hand with project execution to ensure that as tasks are completed, they remain on schedule and on project budget.
In addition to staying on schedule and avoiding cost overruns, project monitoring is also a great way to manage risk and prevent scope creep. By monitoring various metrics, the project manager can identify a risk earlier, when it manifests itself as a problem in the project. Earlier detection means earlier mitigation. The same goes for scaling up. When changes are made to a project, control procedures such as change requests can help prevent them from adversely affecting the schedule.
To neglect project monitoring and control is to leave your project in the hands of fate. Maybe everything will fit, maybe not. But that’s not what a project manager should do. Not only do they plan the project and assign the team, but they are also responsible for ensuring that the team completes their tasks according to the project schedule without additional costs.
Connected: 12 Best Project Planning Templates for Excel
Stages of project monitoring
Once the project manager has planned the tasks and created the project plan approved by the project sponsors, it is time to move on to the project execution phase. As defined above, project monitoring is carried out along with project execution to ensure that the project is progressing on schedule and on budget. Below are eight steps you need to take to ensure that your project is properly monitored.
1. Create a basic project scope plan
The scope of the project determines the expectations and requirements of the project stakeholders. It is used throughout the project to track progress. The Project Scope Baseline captures these expectations and requirements and can be used to measure planned effort versus actual effort to ensure that project execution is on track with the project plan. The scope baseline can be reviewed and revised during the course of the project, but only through a formal change management process to avoid scope spillover.
2. Make a basic project schedule
Once your schedule has been approved by key stakeholders, save it. This is called the project schedule baseline. It can then be used throughout the project as a baseline, but in this case it is used to compare your actual progress against the planned process. This allows project managers to track deviations in the project and take corrective actions to get the project back on track. It also helps in communicating with stakeholders, as they are always interested in whether the project is on schedule. A project schedule baseline is another essential project management element.
3. Estimate the cost of the project and determine the project budget
The more accurate your project cost, the more accurate your project budget. Once you have submitted the budget and it has been approved by the stakeholders, the last thing you need to do is request additional funds to carry out the project. There are various methods that can be used to accurately estimate costs and budget accordingly. Now you need to keep track of all project costs and use change management systems to keep track of project costs and respond to any discrepancies. You can also create a budget baseline to use to compare actual and planned costs as a way to control spending.
4. Use a risk journal
One of the most important things to look out for when monitoring a project is risk. During the planning phase, you can create a risk log that collects the risks that you think might be exposed to the project. You can then note the potential impact of the risk on the project and those responsible for identifying and mitigating it. You can also set priorities to determine which risks need to be addressed immediately or which can wait. While you are monitoring the project, the risk log will help you keep abreast of issues that could affect the project, for better or worse. If a problem is identified, you can respond quickly and effectively.
5. Use the changelog
Project monitoring is about detecting changes. When you do this, you will need a changelog to control it. A changelog is a document that lists the changes made to a project in chronological order. This acts as a summary of the changes you’ve made and allows project managers to track and report any changes that have occurred. It also gives project managers another communication tool to keep project stakeholders informed so that they understand the changes that have taken place and that they have been properly managed.
6. Establish quality control procedures
The importance of delivering projects on time and on budget is often discussed, but don’t overlook the importance of quality. If a product or service does not meet quality expectations, it is a failure. Quality control procedures ensure that a product or service is tested and meets the standard set during project planning. It also works to reduce errors. Thus, establishing quality control procedures is a key part of any thorough project monitoring.
7. Use project monitoring tools
Project monitoring tools are essential for project monitoring. Project management software has many features that give project managers a window into a project, whether it be costs, resources, or time. There are dashboards that provide a high-level view of project progress and performance, detailed status reports and other types of reports for more information, and even resource management features to keep track of your team’s performance. Be sure to look for project management software that has these features and is cloud-based so you can get real-time data for deeper monitoring.
8. Create Project Reports
We’ve just touched on project reports, but they deserve more details. Project reports provide a description of the current status of a project. Status reports collect data for a specific period of time, while portfolio status reports do the same but for multiple projects. However, there are more reports on project deviations, workload, and more. All reports are important for project monitoring and should be made available to stakeholders to be updated by the project.
ProjectManager – Reliable project monitoring software
ProjectManager is an online project management software with tools that project managers want to control and control their projects. Our software provides real-time data so you see the project as it is, not as it was. Plus, our collaboration platform keeps everyone connected, whether they’re in the office, in the field, or somewhere in between. This facilitates communication and issues are quickly identified and resolved to keep the project on track.
Dashboards are great when you need an overview of a project, but if you want to dig deeper into the data, use our customizable reports. With just a couple of keystrokes, it generates reports on project or portfolio status, workload, variances and more. All reports can be filtered to show only the information you want to see. Project managers can not only monitor their projects, but each report can be published in various formats or printed for presentation to stakeholders.
Keep track of your resources
Monitoring your resources, whether it be your team, materials, or equipment, is an important part of the project monitoring process. Our resource management tools have a color-coded workload chart to easily see who reallocated resources. You can redistribute the tasks from this chart and balance the team’s workload so that they work at full capacity. The productivity of the team helps to keep up with the schedule. You can also use our secure time sheet tool to not only streamline payroll, but also view team logged hours and ensure project plan adherence.
The ProjectManager has several project views that allow everyone to work with the tool they like. Whether it’s a Gantt chart, a Kanban board, a task list, or a calendar view, all data is updated in real time at the same time, allowing everyone to work together. We also have risk management features to help you identify and monitor project risks to stay on schedule.
ProjectManager is an award-winning project management software that allows teams to plan, manage and track their projects in real time. Our many monitoring and control features mean that project managers are always aware of and manage changes throughout the project life cycle. Get started with ProjectManager today for free.