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Thursday, 27 December 2012

How to monitor and control projects

Monitoring and Controlling is the largest and continuous part of the project management. It keeps eye on everything that’s happing in/out of the project and adjusts as needed.  
A good project manager is constantly monitoring every single thing happing in the project. If you find the problem latter it’s hard and more expensive to solve it.
The below practices need to be followed by a project manager for an effective monitor and control of the project:
Project meetings:
Conduct the project meeting on daily (if you are running agile) or weekly basis without fail and ensure that all the team members joins. If the team is not co-located use the audio conference/video conference. Make the meeting shot, come up with action items and send the Minutes of Meeting at the end of the meeting. Need to follow up with team to close the action items on the agreed target closure date. Discuss on the status/issues and provide help required for the team work on the tasks.
If possible use the online tools to track the action items to closure.

Individual attention to team:
Pay the individual attention to team members by asking the status/problem facing/concerns/help needed. Make it informal, this will solve the communication gaps, team building and helps the project manager to bring the real picture of the status which is not captured in the project meetings.

Change Control Board Meeting:
Conduct the CCB meeting regularly to find the changes that really wanted to make for the project needs.
Decide the changes needed for the project in the CCB meeting.
Evaluate the technical, schedule, and cost impact of the change and make the decision with sponsor approval.
The changes needs to be tracked in Change Control Tracker with status of the change along with justification, impact if not implemented and others.

Collaborative contribution to issues/risks:
It’s very important that the issue and risks are updated on the daily or weekly basis and the necessary actions are taken to close the same.

Timely completion of time sheets:
The time sheets needs to be created by the project manager upfront and shared to the team. The team needs to fill the time sheet on daily basis. Need to ensure that the comments in the time sheet are provided properly and any deviations in the task need to be addressed and the future tasks needs to be changed to accommodate the deviations.
Project manger need to build the discipline to the team to enter the time sheet on daily basis or weekly basis.

Timely updates on tasks status:
If we are using the time sheet effectively, then it helps the project manager to extract the status from time sheet.
You can ask your team to drop the mail or meet you to give you the status of the tasks and the help needed to complete the tasks.

Eye on process checklist:
Keep the eye on the process checklist to make sure the process followed properly. For example if you are running the weekly iteration in the agile project need to check the unit testing, code review and completed features are demoed on weekly basis.

Weekly status reports:
The project manager held with lot of work and it’s not sufficient to fill the template provided for the weekly status report.

The preparation of the week status report helps the project manger to think about what happened on this week, what gone wrong and right and find out the obstacles in the project.
Project Manager needs to re-plan the tasks planned ahead based on the weekly status.
Project Manger need to think on the scope, deliverables, dependencies, schedule and budget on every week and plan the actions accordingly.


  1. Some good tips here for some thought. I have a question. I need to tie together timesheets to payroll. Any suggestions for a software package that could do that?

    Thank you

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