Monitoring & Controlling

Monitoring and Controlling includes all of the activities, processes, and metrics needed to ensure the project is proceeding in accordance with the Project Management Plan (PMP). This includes ensuring that the project remains within the approved scope, schedule, budget, and quality thresholds so that it can proceed with the least possible risk. Actual project performance is compared to planned project performance, with corrective or preventative actions approved, planned and executed as necessary.

See a graphic of all six Key Elements for Monitoring & Controlling. For a broader view, the CA-PMF Key Elements Table (.pdf) compiles all Key Elements across the Project Management Lifecycle (PMLC). This 11 x 17 inch document can be downloaded and printed for easy reference.

Recommended Practices

Monitoring and Controlling incorporates multiple, proactive processes and activities to help determine if a project is still on track. If changes are required, preventative or corrective actions are implemented through Change Requests and/or changes to project plans. Constant vigilance is required of Project Managers and the project team to maintain effective Monitoring and Controlling activities throughout the project. The following practices are recommended to assist project teams with conducting Monitoring and Controlling.

Continually Monitoring and Controlling Throughout the Project

Monitoring and Controlling does not have a finite beginning or end during the project lifecycle. In most projects Monitoring and Controlling starts in the Initiating Process Phase and concludes at the close of the project. Depending on the project, its processes and activities are conducted continuously. Monitoring and Controlling spans the breadth of project activity, including integrated Change Control, schedule, costs, scope, risks, issues, communications, contracts and procurements (including contractor performance, and quality).

See the Big Picture and Practice Integrated Change Control

Monitoring and Controlling may result in Change Requests and/or updates to project plans or other documentation. Integrated Change Control ensures that these changes are not handled in isolation, but rather are managed in coordination with all of the project’s knowledge and activity areas. Monitoring and controlling the entire project, including changes to project plans and work.

Take Corrective and Preventative Actions Sooner Rather Than Later

Monitoring and Controlling is a continuous process, proactive by nature.  A goal is to use the most up-date-date metrics and progress/status reports for comparison against project plans to identify potential issues or risks as early as possible. This allows preventative or corrective actions to be taken while a problem is still very manageable or has not yet impacted the project in a significant way.

Manage Project Team and Stakeholders in a Way that Encourages Open Communication About Project Progress

Monitoring and Controlling will be much less effective without an open and accurate flow of information how a project is progressing. Maintain an atmosphere that encourages team members (including any vendor staff) and other Stakeholders (including any contractor staff) to maintain accurate status and progress reporting and voice any concerns based on their perspective of project work. Ensure that external Stakeholders are “kept in the loop” and know how and where to provide feedback as provided for in the project’s Stakeholder Management Plan and/or Communication Management Plan.

Maintain a Clear View of  Ongoing Contractor Performance
If the project is contracting out for some part of its work, ensure that the correct state procedures are being followed to ensure that the contracted work is being performed on schedule and with the expected quality. Consult the contract(s), the project’s Contract Management Plan, and legal counsel as necessary if reporting and/or performance issues arise.

Roles

The following table identifies primary participant roles and responsibilities during Monitoring & Controlling. In some cases, a project might have unique requirements that call for additional roles or responsibilities depending on the project’s size, type, and complexity.

Definitions of all roles referenced in the CA-PMF is provided in Project Role Definitions in the Additional Resources chapter.

Role

Responsibilities

Executive Sponsor(s)

  • Provides agreement for executive intervention to overcome organizational roadblocks.
  • Key to driving the project goals and objectives to align with the organization’s strategic direction.

Project Sponsor

  • Key to driving the project goals and objectives to align with the organization’s strategic direction.
  • Key to resolving escalated issues related to the Triple Constraint: scope, schedule, cost, and quality.

IT Sponsor

  • Provides technical information, resources, and support to complete Monitoring and Controlling activities.

Business Owner(s)*

  • Provides information pertaining to a preferred product or solutions.
  • Able to validate that requirements are met.

Project Manager

  • Responsible for directing, managing, monitoring, controlling, and communicating all work associated with the project outcome.

Stakeholders

  • Any person or group that has an active interest in the project outcome or process, and wishes to participate, or is invited to participate, in the tasks associated with Monitoring and Controlling activities.
  • At this point in the project, a Stakeholder is usually receiving project status reports.

Department of Technology (CDT)

  • Provides input, guidance, approval/disapproval of the project and/or project activities.
* May also be referred to as Business Sponsor.
Processes

The following processes are associated with Monitoring & Controlling. The list below contains a high-level description of these processes. See the Processes and Activities section for more detail.

  • Monitoring Change Requests and performing Integrated Change Control (Most Process Phases) - Once the project has established baselines, the Project Manager and project team adhere to a Change Control Process. This process is in the Change Control Management Plan. Requests to change a project baseline can often have an impact across multiple project areas, including scope, schedule, cost, quality, and risk. Therefore, the project team must follow a formal, coordinated process for evaluating, approving, and managing changes to ensure that they align with project objectives. Change Request Forms are completed to initiate Change Requests based on monitoring activities. The Change Request Log is updated to reflect the status of all Change Requests.
  • Project Sponsor and Manager Monitoring and Reviewing the Outputs (Initiating) - Monitoring and reviewing activities include reviewing the outputs of the process phases beginning with the Initiating Process Phase.  This includes collecting, measuring, and reporting actual project performance-related data and comparing it with the baseline (schedule, cost, scope, quality). Project status reporting is a project management monitoring and controlling function performed throughout a project. Internal Project Status Reports describe project accomplishments and revised estimates of work to be completed, and can often assist Project Manager’s Monitoring and Controlling activities.
  • Monitoring Risk, Issues and the Project Schedule (Most Process Phases) - The Risk and Issue Management Plans outline the methods and processes used for monitoring and controlling project risks and issues. This includes identifying and resolving issues, identifying new risks, tracking risks, and implementing risk mitigation plans. The Project Manager and project team should continuously monitor for new, changing, or outdated risks, and confirm whether previous assumptions still apply. Project schedule management is a collective responsibility of the entire project team, and team members must report work that is in progress or completed timely to provide an accurate view of project work activities. This allows the Project Manager to make informed decisions when issues arise, and also make an assessment of the overall progress and resource utilization. Changes that are outside of approved parameters outlined within the Schedule Management Plan must go through the Change Control Process.
  • Continued Oversight of the Project Work (Executing) - The monitoring and controlling processes including overseeing the tasks and metrics needed to ensure that the project is within scope, on time, on budget, and within quality thresholds. Key activities include schedule management; cost management; scope management, requirements management, and change Control; quality management; performance reporting; risk and issue management; contract management; project surveys, and maintenance and operations (M&O) transition.
  • Analyze and Review Project Work (Executing) – Analyzing and reviewing the performance of project work is key element in monitoring the overall status of a project. Actual project performance is compared to planned project performance, with corrective or preventative actions approved, planned and executed as necessary. Problems that arise may generate Change Requests affecting schedule, staffing, or other parameters. This is primarily conducted during the Execution phase.
  • Manage Stakeholder Engagement (Most Process Phases) - The Stakeholder Management Plan outlines the methods and processes for monitoring and controlling project Stakeholder relationships throughout the project. This includes monitoring engagement activities to ensure Stakeholder needs are met in the most efficient and effective manner possible.
Activities

The following activities are undertaken in support of the processes that are associated with Monitoring & Controlling. The list below contains a high-level description of these activities. See the Processes and Activities section for more detail.

  • Manage Change Control, Procurements, Costs, Issues, Project Work, Quality, Requirements, Risks, Schedule, Scope, Communication, and Stakeholder Engagement (Executing) - Monitoring and controlling involves comparing actual performance with planned performance, and taking corrective action to reach the desired outcome when significant deficiencies exist. Monitoring and Controlling is likewise very much part of the Project Management Lifecycle (PMLC) as described in the CA-PMF. In the CA-PMF, the Monitoring and Controlling processes are continuously performed throughout the life of the project starting in the Initiation Process Phase. However, many Monitoring and Controlling activities occur during the project’s Execution Process Phase.
  • Update and Edit the Process Phase Documents (Initiating) - The Initiating Process Phase introduces monitoring and controlling activities. This includes the Project Sponsor and Project Manager updating and editing the process phase’s outputs to ensure quality and timeliness of completion. The Charter, PMP, and other project plans are updated based on information collected from monitoring activities and approved Change Requests.
  • Complete Change Request Documentation (Most Process Phases) - The Change Control Process description in the Change Control Management Plan should include the person or governing body (board) responsible for reviewing, evaluating, approving, delaying, or rejecting changes and communicating the decision. In some cases, major corrective or preventative actions may trigger reporting requirements to Control Agencies or development of a Special Project Report (SPR). The project should accurately complete all documentation related to Change Requests and Change Control management and ensure it is readily available for review in the project library.
  • Review and update the Issue Log, Risk Log, and Project Schedule (Concept, Planning, and Executing) - Monitoring includes project risks, issues, and schedule. Tools include the Issue Log, Risk Log, and Schedule, which are analyzed and updated as required. This is primarily conducted during the Planning and Execution Process Phases, though initial risk analysis takes place in the Concept Process Phase. Conducting Risk Management activities will in turn require periodic updates to the risk, issue and change logs as necessary for proper monitoring and controlling of the project. The Issue Log is updated based on information collected from monitoring activities per the project’s Issue Management Plan. The Risk Log is updated based on new risk information collected from monitoring activities per the project’s Risk Management Plan. The Project Schedule is updated as necessary based on information collected from monitoring activities and approved Change Requests.
Tools

A number of project management documents are used during the Monitoring & Controlling of a project. Those listed in the table below may be updated and revised throughout the Monitoring & Controlling process. Additional project documents may also be revised or updated depending on the specific nature of the project.

For a complete list of all tools that are part of the CA-PMF see the templates page.

Tool/ Output

Definition

Risk Log

The Risk Log is updated based on new risk information  collected from monitoring activities per the project’s Risk Management Plan.

Issue Log

The Issue Log is updated based on information collected from monitoring activities per the project’s Issue Management Plan.

Project Status Reports (Oversight)

Project Status Reports are created/updated based on internal status reports and information collected from monitoring activities.

Project Schedule

The Project Schedule is updated as necessary based on information collected from monitoring activities and approved Change Requests.

Project Plans

The Charter, PMP, and other project plans are updated based on information collected from monitoring activities and approved Change Requests.

Change Request Forms and Change Request Log

Change Request Forms are completed to initiative Change Requests based on monitoring activities. The Change Request Log is updated to reflect the status of all Change Requests.

Outputs

As Monitoring & Controlling is an activity that transpires through much of the project life cycle, project documentation is updated at various stages. Specific deliverables associated with each process phase are developed as a result of the processes and activities conducted during that phase. Outputs associated with Monitoring & Controlling are listed below:

  • Updated Risk Log
  • Updated Issue Log
  • Change Requests
  • Updated Change Request Log
  • Updated Project Schedule
  • Updated Project Plans and Documents as needed
  • Updated Project Status Reports
Monitoring & Controlling