The Fourth Process Group is activated from the beginning of the project. Continuous monitoring and control is required to ensure that all the planning is done properly, and nothing is left out. Checks and balances, metrics, standards, and benchmarks are required to be set and measured to ensure that only the promised work is performed, and delivered as per the customer’s specifications.
The Monitoring and Control Process Group is a key element of the Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle.
Without measuring and monitoring the performance against the benchmark, and against the specifications given, there is no point in just executing or planning. This is a very important study area for the PMP Exam.
The Monitoring and control processes are an integral part of all the process groups, and interact with each process in numerous ways.
- Measure according to Project Management plans
- Measure according to performance baselines set during Planning processes.
- Determine variances from the plans
- Scope Verification – which means getting the customer to sign-off the individual items.
- Configuration Management to check against the technical specifications
- Recommend changes, defect, preventative and corrective actions as required.
- Integrated Change Control process revisited
- Approve Changes, defect, preventative and corrective actions through the Change Control Board (CCB), and get them implemented.
- Risk audits to ensure that every new and crucial risk is identified, planned and a risk mitigation strategy is created, with ownership.
- Manage Reserves – both management reserve and contingency reserves need to be managed.
- Issue Logs to track changes, problems, bugs, issues etc. are documented, and acted upon.
- Facilitate Conflict Resolution among the team members, stakeholders, and take continuous action to ensure any small issue does not become big unnecessarily.
- Measure Performance against plans and take action.
- Report on Performance using performance reports, using various communication channels
- Forecasts for budget, timeline, scope, based on the current progress, and the rate of progress.
- Administer Contracts with Third Party vendors, contractors, and sub-contractors as desired and required.
As you can see, there is a huge amount of work to monitor and control. Anything that is being done needs to be audited, checked, verified, and re-verified before it can be passed on to the customer for sign-off.
This is an area often overlooked by the Project Managers, and this area often scores Below Proficient for many PMP exam takers. Pay extra attention to the processes listed here, and identify the gaps in your knowledge. Study and take more mock tests to strengthen this process group.