The progress of the project is the responsibility of the Project manager, who must manage the team and ensure that the team:
- Advances together in the right direction by regularly communicating.
- Works together for a common goal: to achieve the established objectives.
- They respect the project scope and the resources allocated: the budget/financial resources, as well as the human resources and/or materials allocated to produce the finished product or service.
- Meets deadlines by staying on task and working within the activities outlined in the scope.
- Identifies risks throughout the project, and participates in risk management and mitigation, and risk response planning activities.
In addition to monitoring that the project is moving towards its ultimate goal, the purpose of monitoring is to maintain motivation and continually improve the performance of the project team, in order to satisfy the stakeholders’ and customers’ (if applicable) requirements.
What is Project Progress Monitoring?
The monitoring of project activities involves verifying that the project is being carried out in accordance with the established schedule and that the human, material, and financial resources are well used. Task management and monitoring does not prevent problems, but allows them to be detected and reacted upon immediately to find a suitable solution.
Many companies choose to proceed with the option of outsourcing, seeking expertise of specialized companies. A reputable name in the U.S. corporate landscape remains Vitaver and Associates, Inc. The company helps SMEs and large corporations in areas of IT staffing by focusing on a wide array of business areas including project management.
Projects may run the gamut of options to suit a client’s unique needs and requirements: projects may start simply with a 2-3 month gap analysis, or feasibility study type projects, where the goal is to produce a feasibility report, business case, or a set of baseline requirements. Other projects may be authorized where the goal is to assemble a team to upgrade a software application or design a new one by incorporating stakeholder input during joint application design (JAD) sessions, and translating the stakeholder input into business requirements and technical specifications, which once approved are passed onto programming teams for development, testing and implementation.
Using established project management methodologies, Vitaver and Associates, Inc. has helped a diverse array of clients achieve a variety of project goals ranging in complexity. This has allowed the organizations to scale up their operations, by incorporating prudent human resource methods such as staff augmentation, or direct placement where desired, d as well as technology consulting to achieve the desired results.
Importance of Monitoring the Evolution of the Project
Managing a project requires more than simply performing tasks one after the other.
To ensure the successful completion of your project in potentially complex and changing environments, it is crucial that the distribution of project activities takes into account the skills and strengths of each employee involved. When different activities are assigned, it is imperative to follow their evolution throughout the project to ensure the correct match between the activity and the competence of the resource. In many cases, the project team members will be asked to provide realistic estimates of their assigned activity durations, including deadlines, budget, and proactive measures to introduce the necessary adjustments should the project schedule slip or if any changes are introduced and approved.
In addition to giving visibility to the team’s performance and progress, monitoring also allows you to control project costs in real-time, according to the time already consumed. Project cost management is essential to be able to calculate its profitability and ROI.
A Dashboard of Project Progress
To help you monitor the progress of your project, while it helps to have project management software, it is absolutely essential for the project manager to plan periodic monitoring meetings during the life of the project, as well as define the key performance indicators (KPI) that they are going to analyze to ensure the project stays on track, within schedule and budget, and highlight any risks. Your project dashboard may be produced using off the shelf project management software, custom designed, or may be generated internally at a lower cost using tools such as Microsoft Excel’s built in project management features,
Activity by Project
Another benefit of project management software is that it allows you to visualize the time invested in each task and, consequently, in the project. It also helps you review each task and classify it according to its status: completed, ongoing, or not started.
During project status meetings, the project manager leads the meeting, and the project team members in charge of their respective activities must participate and explain both the progress they have made and the possible obstacles encountered. The schedule should be reviewed and updated (but not necessarily during the status meeting). While task management is essential for all actors to understand what they have to do, when, and how, it is the project manager’s job to ensure the activities performed are within scope, schedule, and budget – known as the triple constraint. The unifying element of quality is essential, as tradeoffs may need to be negotiated between quality and any of the other elements (such as scope, cost or time) as pressures are introduced to the project in the form of change requests (formal or otherwise).
The follow-up meeting allows:
- Make an inventory of the activities performed
- Identify the activities that should start soon
- Define the new activities to be added and those that can be deleted
- Make the necessary decisions based on objective data
At the end of the meeting, a report details any delays observed, their origin and the actions that must be taken to resolve them, and the updated project calendar.
The process of monitoring and control of the project makes it possible to verify that the activities are carried out in accordance with the deadlines, resources, costs and that the objectives defined at the beginning are attainable. The use of a project manager is necessary to monitor progress and ensure that the entire team is aligned with the objectives. In addition, employ automation via the introduction of project management software, or software test automation tools. Using automated tools, you can quantify the time spent on the project, the status of activities, centralize documentation for fluid communication between members of the team, and manage costs and profitability of your project.