Monitor and Control Project Inputs

July 17, 2010
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Introduction
Monitor and control projects process is used for measuring if there are
differences in the current project performance with the planned one. This
monitoring needs to be frequent enough to be effective. Measurements tell you
if the deviations are significant. If they are actions are required to get the
project back on track. The changes from the planned progress triggers change
requests as the main set of outputs from this process. Changes that are
approved cause changes to be made in the project management plans and project
documents. Expert judgment is used to process the inputs and generate the
change requests and the necessary updates to the documentation. The inputs that
are used by the experts include the project management plan and performance
reports. These tell you what was required or expected; as detailed in the
project management plan. The performance reports clearly establish what is
actually happening with the project.
The project management planused as inputs at this stage has a range of outputs that are useful to the
monitoring and control of projects process. The important issues detailed here
are the life cycle selected for the project and the processes that are applied
to the phases. The project management plan details how work will be carried out
to reach the project objectives. Project management team may tailor processes
to be used and the level that is relevant for each of these processes. Tools &
techniques used to implements such processes and how these processes will be
used are also documented. Changes are an important part of the monitoring and
control of projects process. A change management plan that details how changes
will be monitored and controlled are also part of the project management plan.
maintenance of performance baseline is relevant too. Configuration management
and communication plans are important to this process as the control loop
depends on how the change requests are approved and hence need to be
communicated to appropriate authority and the approvals need to trickle down to
the implementing team.
How baselinesare to be maintained is an important bit of information for this process as the
changes affect the performance baselines and maintaining their integrity is
very important to the on-going measurements, monitoring and control. The
baselines that are important and maintained as per the project management plan
are the scope, schedule and the cost performance baselines. These baselines are
the initial references that define what was intended to be done in the project.
The subsidiary plans have an influence on the monitoring and the control
aspects. These subsidiary plans are scope and requirements plans, schedule and
cost management plans. The scope and requirements plans provide details of the
initial conditions. The schedule and cost plans are the designed time
utilization and expenses plan of the project. Quality and the process
improvement plans define the important aspect of quality of the product,
services or the intended outcome. Risk management plan has the picture of
assessed risks. Any changes in the situation then become easy to capture. The
balance subsidiary plans of HR, communication and procurement management are
support plans and serve as the initial reference.
Performance reports, as prepared by the project team at defined monitoring points in time, capture both the positives and the
negatives of the project progress. Thus while achievements like activities
completed, milestones achieved are recorded so are issues and problems that
come up. The issues and problems directly point to the changes that are
happening or are likely to come up. Thus besides current status, significant
accomplishments, scheduled activities, forecasts and issues are recorded.
Forecasts are significant in that they provide an estimate of where things are
going after the effects of latest changes are incorporated.
The enterprise environmental factorsthat have an impact on the monitor and control project executions include,
among others, governmental and industry standards, company work authorization
system and approval structure as well as stakeholder risk tolerances. The
project information management system is a big influencing factor as well.
Regulations from regulatory bodies such as safety, environmental, etc. as well
as the product related standards such as quality, workmanship standards, etc.
are factors of the governmental and industry environments. Project information
management systems will provide support by way of automated tool sets for
storage, retrieval, quick search of information, configuration management,
scheduling tools, web based help such as collaboration sites or even Wiki
sites.
Organizational process assets that are significant to this process include financial control procedures.
These typically cover time reporting, expenditure reviews and standard contract
provisions. Other process assets that may matter are issues and defect
management system, risk control procedures, communication requirements, etc.
Risk control procedures that cover risk categories, probability definition and
impact as well as the probability and impact matrix. Process information
database also influences the actions in this process. Lessons learned database
is always useful and helps determine the best possible action.

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