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Overview of Monitoring Progress

Overview of Monitoring Progress

Author: Jeff Carroll

This lesson provides an overview for monitoring project progress

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Source: Image of calendar, bullseye, Creative Commons, Kelly Eddington; Image of dollar sign, arrow, road sign, stethoscope, images by Video Scribe, License held by Jeff Carroll; Image of speed gauge, Public Domain,

Video Transcription

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Hi, I'm Jeff. And in this lesson, we'll discuss how to monitor the progress on a project. It's the project manager's responsibility to continually compare the ongoing progress of a project to the original plan. So let's get started.

A project manager performs their work on the project by adjusting the resources assigned to tasks and to the project as a whole. They communicate the status of the project to stakeholders and help manage the stakeholders' expectations about deliverables. And a project manager serves as the point of communication in the project, facilitating the open and free-flow of information between team members and establishing expectations for the work.

In order for a project manager to be effective in this role, though, they must monitor multiple aspects of the project. They must monitor the schedule and the time or effort spent on tasks. This is watched closely to determine if the original estimates were accurate. Along with schedule, the project manager monitors the cost spent on a project, including the person and nonperson resources.

Scope is closely watched. If too many changes occur early in a project, that can be a sign that the project is more complex than originally expected, and this can impact all tasks going forward. And a project manager continually works to identify risks. If risks can be found and partially or fully mitigated before the issue occurs, that will benefit the project.

As you can see, monitoring progress is the focus of a project manager during this phase of the project since it provides the details that they need to communicate to stakeholders about status. To monitor the health of a project, the project manager must establish a method to track all the tasks on a project. This monitoring should answer the following questions.

Is the project progressing in terms of deliverables? Sometimes decisions are not made quickly enough for work to proceed, so the project manager will need to facilitate these decisions. Is the project progressing to achieve project requirements? The deliverables must meet expectations, or the project will not be a success. Is the project schedule on track to complete as expected, planned? If tasks are slipping early in a project, it's likely the tasks later in the project will slip also. Is the project within the established project budget? As with the schedule, early overruns on the budget are difficult to balance later in a project. And is the project progressing to meet all quality and performance requirements? If the work is being completed, but the level of quality does not meet the standard outlined in the scope, it's the project manager's role to point this out and address the issue.

To accomplish this level of progress tracking, the project manager relies on a few key documents. The project scope is used as the guideline for all project deliverables. The quality and requirements of project deliverables must match what is outlined in the scope. The project schedule and the baseline created at the end of the planning phase.

All project tasks should be compared to this baseline. And the project budget is used to monitor all resources on a project and to determine if the project cost is on track. A project manager must create processes that provide a steady flow of information about all of these details.

All right, nicely done. In this lesson, we learned about monitoring progress on a project and the essential documents the project manager uses to accomplish this work. Thanks, and have a great day.

Terms to Know
Project Monitoring

The action of measuring project progress against baselines established in the project plan.