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Chapter 7

CGMS450- Chapter 7- Monitoring and Controlling the Project.docx

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Ryerson University
Global Management Studies
GMS 450
Stan Katz

CGMS450- Chapter 7- Monitoring and Controlling the Project  Monitoring- collection, recording, and reporting of project information that is of importance to the PM and other relevant stakeholders o Purpose—ensure that all interested parties have available, when needed, the information required to exercise control over the project  Control- uses the monitored data and information to bring actual performance into agreement with the plan  Designing an effective monitoring and control system—create an information system that give the PM and others the information they need to make informed, timely decisions that keep project scope as close to the plan as possible 7.1 The Plan- Monitor-Control Cycle  Fundamental items to be planning, monitored, and controlled—time, cost, and scope o Stay on schedule, does not exceed budget, and meets is specifications  Constitutes a “closed-loop” process—continues till project is complete  Complex, challenging, or uncertain projects are initiated—planning-controlling-monitoring effort Is minimized so the ‘real work’ can be done  Planning process was inadequate for the project tasks undertaken—tremendous expense and large losses Designing The Monitoring System  Identify the special characteristics of scope, cost, and time that need to be controlled in order to achieve the project goals—stated in the project plan  Exact boundaries within which these characteristics should be controlled must be determined o Specified performance characteristics for each level of detail in project activities  Manage overall project success control must be exercised the detailed work level for each aspect of project performance  Real-time data must be identified to measure achievement against plan—what is being done, when and planned level off resources usage for each task and subtask  Monitoring is the direct connection between project planning and controlling o Monitor project progress on the MSP Gantt chart  Provides baseline and every time there is a change the “tacking Gantt” chart is updated to reflect change o Earned value chart with its pre-established baseline o Monitor the critical chain buffers (Chapter 6)  Buffer reports in their output which can direct the managers to problem areas where attention needs to be focused  Temptingly easy to focus monitoring activities on data that are easily gathered rather then those that are important for control purposes  Intensity of activity is measured instead of results, this is because— o Measurements of project performance may be difficult o Strong tendency to let project inputs serve as surrogate measures of output  E.g. assuming 50% of budget has been spent= 50% of tasks must be completed 7.1 Data Collection And Reporting Data Collecting  Formats 1. Frequency counts—simple tally of the occurrence of an event is common 2. Raw numbers- actual numbers are used, usually in comparison to come expected or planned amount  E.g. dollars spent, hours required 3. Subjective numeric ratings—subjective estimates of some quality offered by specialists in the topic—ordinal rankings of performance 4. Indicators and surrogates—must be directly related to the variable as possible 5. Verbal characterizations—other variables that are difficult to measure—team spirit or client supplier cooperation, this may take the form of verbal characterizations Data Analysis  Simple aggregation of the data o Averaging the values o Complex fitting statistical distribution functions to the data to assertion relations, effects, and trends 1 CGMS450- Chapter 7- Monitoring and Controlling the Project  Common graph used in quality management techniques—analysis of data o E.g. Sample ranges—largest minus the smallest value—appears to be increasing over time may indicate machine is wearing out or needs maintenance  Sometimes used for the assignment of blame o Strongly encourages team members to avoid taking the risks necessary to achieve a projects goals or from mentioning problems when discovered Reporting And Report Types  Time/ cost reports, variance reports, update presentations  All tables, chars, and especially project plans should be updated to reflect current reality o Alerting team members to potential problems—helps maintain tem moral  Not everyone needs the same reports  Avoid periodic reports except in those cases in which the flow of data is periodic  Project milestones, scope changes, problems, and the projects teams need information dictate the timing of reports  MSP—customized a wide range of information for different audiences o More data is available to collect, and more frequent updating is possible o Can lead to overload of reporting—dangerous as underreporting  Types of reports: routine, exception, and special analysis o Exception reports—primarily intended for special decisions or unexpected situations—need to be aware of changes o Special analysis report—prepared to disseminate the results of a special study in a project concerning a particular opportunity ot problem for the project  Benefits o Provide the mutual understanding between stakeholders in a project regarding the goals, progress, difficulties, successes, and other ongoing events and subtasks of the project o Help communicate o Establish and maintain a communication network for global project o Often changes to the goals and functioning of projects o Maintain the visibility of the project and the project team to top management, functional management, colleagues, and clients o Status reports help keep the project team motivated  Special problem—relationship between the projects information system and the overall organizations information system o Modules of the parent organizations information system may not fit the needs of project monitoring and reporting Meetings  Guidelines to avoid dull meetings o Weekly progress reports should be rarely be held at all o Distribute a written agenda in advance of the meetings o If homework needs to be done before the meeting by the attendees—check to be sure they will be prepared and above all make sure you are prepared o Chair of meeting should take their own minutes  Minutes—final set of action items including what is to be done, by whom and by when o Avoid attributing remarks to individuals in the minutes o Although courtesy is always in order—excessive formality a project meetings its not Virtual Meetings, Reports, And Project Management  Web pages—hold any information that the project manager wants to share o E.g. Progress-to-date on project, resources assigned to a task, status of a particular task, expenses to date o Information is limited only by planning and monitoring processes that are put into place  Software programs—Microsoft Server—utilizes the organizations local area network or intranet o Helps project communication and monitoring o PM can electronically check status of a task or any resources used on the project o Updated information can be automatically entered into project plan 2 CGMS450- Chapter 7- Monitoring and Controlling the Project o Electronic work groups set up to monitor task completion, resource usage, provide individuals who have interest in project status  Internet and the organizations local area network or intranet have enhance project communication and meetings o Facilitated the management of geographically dispersed virtual projects 7.3 Earned Value  Budgeted cost of the work actually performed  Represents a way to capture both in-process performance and cost on a certain date as measured against budget or schedule o Including planned costs and actual costs allows the calculation of spending and schedule variances, where negative values are undesirable  Calculation—multiplying the budgeted cost of the work by the percentages of completion of the task and summing over all tasks for the project o More difficult that it might sound  Budget cost of a task is clear but the percentage of completion is not o Percent of tasks budget actually spent is not in general a particularly good indicator for the percent of activity completed  No satisfactory way to measure accurately the percent of completion of most tasks, let alone to measure accurately the percent of completion of an entire project  Conventions—application to individual tasks on a project
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