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Overview of Monitoring Progress

Overview of Monitoring Progress

Author: Sophia Tutorial

This lesson provides an overview for monitoring project progress

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What's Covered

This lesson provides an overview of monitoring project progress including:

  1. Monitoring Progress 
  2. Essential Documents


The project manager continually compares the ongoing progress of a project to the original plan. Adjusting resources assigned to tasks and to the project as a whole is the responsibility of the project manager.  They also communicate the status of the project to stakeholders and help manage the stakeholders' expectations about deliverables.

A project manager serves as the point of communication, 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, monitor multiple aspects of the project is a much. Schedule, time, effort, person and non-person resources, are among elements monitored by the project manager.


If too many changes is a signal that the project is more complex than originally expected, and project manager should be on high alert to communicate any and all changes to stakeholders.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Is the project progressing to achieve project requirements? The deliverables must meet expectations, or the project will not be a success.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Term to Know

Project Monitoring

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


To accomplish this level of progress tracking, the project manager relies on a few key documents.

  • 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.
  • Project schedule and the baseline created at the end of the planning phase.  All project tasks should be compared to this baseline.
  • 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.


This lesson provides an overview of how a project manager monitors progress of a project by comparing essential documents to the original plan.  Scope, budget, and schedule, are a among the essential documents used to manage project resources and manage stakeholder expectations.   

Good luck!

Source: This work adapted from Sophia Author Jeff Carroll.

Terms to Know
Project Monitoring

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