You made a perfect project plan and are on your way to flawlessly executing it with your team. However, the question remains. How would you know that your project fulfills the specified cost, time, and quality parameters?
Project monitoring and control is an important project management phase that allows you to keep an eye on everything related to your project and rectify any deviation from the plan before it becomes a huge problem.
Why is it important to monitor and control projects?
Any experienced project manager will let you know that meeting deadline isn’t the only consideration when it comes to project management. The way you accomplish goals within deadlines is equally important. Monitoring and controlling is simply the most effective tool to gauge actual performance and to make informed decisions to ensure quality standards.
With updated information, managers can take decisive and corrective action to avoid any crisis and be aware of any potential opportunity that could pop up during the work process. This happens through status updates and supervision of project activities that allow project managers to strike a balance between time, cost, quality, and budget.
Best practices for project monitoring and controlling
There are several tools you can use to monitor a project. It’s a continuous improvement process that mostly requires an attentive touch with not only progress reports but employee engagement as well.
Using the right tools
The best way to implement project monitoring and control techniques is to utilize project management tools. Implementing Earned Value Analysis (EVA), Project Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT), Gantt Charts, etc. within the early stages of the project is the best way to go.
But in the later stages, project management software can help in setting up milestones and in keeping all stakeholders on the same page without overtly complicating the process. Project collaboration and safe communication in project management can also lead the path towards effective project monitoring and control.
Meetings with stakeholders
The completion of a project and its success is not a one-man job. Without keeping your staff and all other relevant project stakeholders up–to–date with new developments, you’ll find a team that simply doesn’t know enough to perform their best. Similarly, if you, as a project manager, are not in the loop with the actual developments in the project, then it’s probable that your planning would simply not reflect the actual reality on the ground.
Meetings with staff and involved stakeholders let you identify blind spots and understand project progress. it’s a fast, effective way to monitor and control project development.
Set up project parameters
It’s difficult and almost impossible to micromanage every aspect of a project. What you need is a way to decisively understand when you need to intervene. Setting up monitoring project milestones with the help of tools like CPM or Gantt Charts can help you set up goalposts from which the overall progress of the project can be monitored.
Manage Scope creep
Scope creep can be a huge challenge that, if not handled, can lead to project delays, unsatisfactory work quality, etc. As a project manager, you need to monitor from where and from whom changes are being requested. And most importantly, find the underlying cause of excessive change requests.
Make forecast and budgets
Project forecast and budgeting are effective tools for milestone management and project monitoring. With forecasting, you can answer several important questions such as what the optimal time for a project completion would be, how much a certain activity would cost, and how long would it take.
Furthermore, with good forecasting, you’ll be able to know beforehand what kind of adjustment you’ll be required to make during a project in terms of human resources, ideal workstations, etc. Going in blind can leave your project extremely vulnerable and without any context for you to monitor and measure the project’s performance against.
With project deliverables clearly defined and knowing the expected slake time you can take advantage of, you will be able to prioritize critical activities.
With appropriate monitoring tools, finding any exceptions to standard project management practices would take little effort. But over-relying on these tools can create blind spots and possible project risks and issues can escape your notice. So be on the lookout for possible issues and have a proper contingency plan in place as despite extensive monitoring and controlling, several unforeseeable situations can arise.
There’s no point in monitoring a project if you’re not willing to make changes to the initial project management objectives. These changes can be either insignificant or, based on the circumstances, could force you to re-plan the entire project. In either of these cases, the main goal is to accomplish the project and the tasks as effectively as possible.
Make the project engaging
Project collaboration tools can take the dull process of monitoring and controlling and make it more engaging with visual cues, better engagement, and collaboration with project teams. The use of Kanban can help improve efficiency in project handling. The focus on visual engagement can encourage better participation from both the staff as well as the project manager. Because really, who has the time to read long clutter-filled reports?
How does Kissflow Project facilitate effective project monitoring to up your project management game?
If you’re looking for a project management tool that can arm you to monitor and control a project to the best of your ability, you won’t find a better match than Kissflow Project.
Kissflow Project comes with every tool you need to better monitor your project. It allows the use of real-time analytics and creates a simplified activity feed that can let you identify any major issues at a glance. It also lets you collaborate with team members effectively, easily delegate activities, and keep every relevant stakeholder up–to–date on any major development in only a few clicks.
The best advantage of using Kissflow Project is the ample amount of visual project management tools it provides at your disposal. Kissflow Project effectively utilizes a card-based Kanban tool to visually depict the progress of the project and to identify any exceptions to the standards set by you. You can also use the matrix view to keep communications and task delegation clutter-free and simple.
Signing up for a Kissflow account is free and simple, and it can make a world of difference to how you monitor and control your projects, so, what are you waiting for? Check out project pricing plans.