Monitor and Control Project Outputs

June 22, 2010
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Introduction
Monitoring and control of project is essentially about monitoring, measuring
how the project is actually working out compared to the planned progress. When
deviations do happen, which is often, the process must arrange control actions
that can bring the project track to as close to the projected track as
possible. The bottom line then is to track the changes that happen and the
change requests arising from them. Approved changes will lead to changes in the
project management plan and project documents. The project management plan
changes can have impact on one or more of the subsidiary plans integrated into
the master plan.
Significant Outputs
Change requestsdocument the changes necessitated by differences in actual result compared with
planned results to schedule, cost and the complete set of associated issues.
The change requests may be about expanding, adjusting or even to reduce the
project or product scope. Deliverables, project documents and project
management plan will be impacted by these changes. Changes include preventive,
corrective actions and defect repair actions. Depending on the type of project
or the kind o organization it is being worked on, there may be other changes to
be undertaken. Preventive actions provide directions to take actions in
specific ways so that the probability of negative consequences of risks is
reduced. Corrective actions similarly provide the directions for actions to be
taken to obtain future performance to expected levels. Defect repair actions
include documented identification of defects in project components. Recommended
action may be repair actions or a complete replacement of the component.
Project management planand its components will need updates as a consequence of implementing the
approved changes. These include updates to schedule management plan, cost
management plan and quality management plans. Similarly, the important
baselines may need updates too. These include scope baseline, schedule baseline
and cost performance baseline. Schedule management plan gets updates as
additional times required by the preventive/corrective actions will have to be
accommodated in the schedule management plan. The schedule changes are done as
soon as the need is identified. Without the schedule being current at any time,
it will be very difficult to manage the complex interplay of the times required
for various tasks and their interdependence. Cost management plan too must get
updated by any cost implications of any of the actions to be taken as a
consequence of changes happening. Quality management plan is the next most
important thing after the schedule and cost management concerns. Quality
management actions that comprise the quality assurance and the quality control
actions ensure that the outcomes of the projects are delivered at the required
quality levels. A supporting aspect of the quality management plan actions is
the process improvement actions. That ensures continuous improvement in the
process.
Baselinesare the benchmarks against which changes are measured thus the important
baselines will have to be constantly update so that next monitoring cycle can
bring out the true changes. Scope and schedule baselines, as updated, represent
the most current needs of the project and the time schedule required to
implement the updated scope. The cost performance baseline reflects the updated
picture of the cost situation and the expected overall costs by the time the
project ends. These are the most important indicators of the project health,
progress, status, etc.
Project documentupdates would include forecasts, performance reports and issue logs. Forecasts
are an indicator of what to expect by the time the project ends due to the
changing situation and after the control actions are undertaken. Performance
reports, the current one as well as the past reports, are able to give you a
complete picture of how the project is progressing. When changes are
implemented performance reports confirm that the changes are indeed doe and
thus needs updates to indicate that. Issue logs reflect all the events thus
must include changes too.

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