Let's say you have been assigned to lead a project. You will first start by determining the goal and making a plan. You will then assign the work to your team members. But when your plan is good but without regular oversight, can you know whether the plan is being executed correctly?
That is where Project Monitoring is necessary. Project monitoring and evaluation help in assessing a project's success or failure. Thus, being a trained professional in project monitoring could open vast opportunities for you. Earning Project Management training certification could be your first step to becoming a project manager.
What is Project Monitoring?
Project monitoring refers to surveillance and tracking of the project to ensure that all the tasks are completed on time. It includes steps to figure out the hurdles or gaps and resolve them to increase the efficiency of the project. It is also known as project monitoring and control. As soon as a project starts, so does the project monitoring.
What Is the Purpose of Project Monitoring in Project Management?
You may wonder what the purpose of project monitoring is. Project monitoring is not the solution but a way to guarantee the plan's effectiveness. If we have an effective project monitoring system, we can see the project's progress. In addition, project monitoring ensures the project is completed on time and within the defined budget.
Importance of Project Monitoring
Project monitoring plays a vital role in achieving desired results from a plan. Therefore, the project head must pay close attention to all the steps in project monitoring and make modifications if required. Usually, a project involves many tasks that stretch for a long period; only after completion of the first task can we move on to the next. So, Project monitoring ensures that tasks are done correctly and that any doubts or hurdles can be resolved in time.
The benefits of project monitoring are:
- Ensure that the allotted budget is spent correctly and can be altered if needed.
- To make sure that the selected task and deadlines are met.
- To encourage accountability regarding the task assigned by the members of the team.
- To shift the workforce to a particular task if it requires so.
- To boost communication between the team members to increase quality and reduce time.
Types of Project Monitoring
Here are different types of project monitoring:
1. Process monitoring
It is also known as activity monitoring. On the other hand, process monitoring mainly aims to track the resources and inputs while understanding how outputs and results are delivered.
2. Beneficiary monitoring
The primary purpose of this is to track the beneficiaries related to the project. This may also include their complaints and satisfaction related to this project. They can be either direct or indirect.
3. Compliance monitoring
It is used to check if the project complies with the grants, local laws, contracts, ethical standards, and overall compliance with the project.
4. Financial monitoring
It is used to track the financial efficiency of the project. In addition, it helps in analyzing the expenditure of the allocated budget.
5. Result monitoring
It helps determine whether the project is on the right path to achieving the expected result. It also helps collect data regarding the project's overall impact and effects.
Project Monitoring Process
Let us understand the project monitoring process.
In this phase, the outline of the project and the steps and process it may involve is made.
In this phase, the scope and details of the process that must be performed in the execution are made.
It involves completing all the activities defined in the planning part.
This phase includes the completion of the project plan and informing the stakeholders
5. Control and Monitoring
This phase involves ensuring that the project is on the right track and that all the tasks are completed in the defined manner.
One of the best ways to learn about the project monitoring process and implement strategies is to enroll in the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification.
How to Create a Project Monitoring Plan [Step-by-Step]
After learning project monitoring, you will learn how to make a project monitoring plan. Here is the step-by-step guide to making a solid project monitoring plan.
1. Figuring out the goal
Before making any plan, you must identify the project's aim. You need to figure out the project's purpose, the stakeholder's aim, why they want this project, and who your team members will be.
2. Creating a blueprint
Creating a project monitoring plan is like making a blueprint for a building. You need to consider all the factors like budget, workforce, time, and what the stakeholders expect of you. It is important not to overestimate your and your team's expectations. Overestimation will hurt the project as well as the company.
3. Collecting and mapping
Now that you have all the information, you can start creating an outline of the project. Finalize all the information into goals, budget, time, deliverables, and scope. You can also include your research on another page.
4. Share it with your team
Before you send this plan to the stakeholder, it is essential to share it with your team members. Sit down with your team and explain the whole project and your plan.
Communication gaps between you and your teammates can harm the project. Let them know what standards you expect them to maintain. You may ask for their opinion and incorporate them if that makes the plan more effective.
5. Finish making the plan
After discussing the plan with your team, you are ready to settle on a plan. You may want to review the plan again, as this will be the one you will present to the stakeholders. You can also add the issues that come up during the plan and what measures you have prepared to counter them. Ideally, you want to assign the tasks to your team in this phase as it will help stakeholders to communicate with team members in case of any queries related to a particular task.
6. Take the help of a Gantt chart
A Gantt chart can help you track the task's status in detail. You can create this using Microsoft Excel. Update the sheet daily.
7. Putting the plan to motion
Once the planning part is finished and ready to be sent to the stakeholders and your team members, start implementing the plan. Track the progress daily and mark them off as they are completed.
8. Project post-mortem
This happens after the project is completed. Here, the main goal is to figure out how the plan went and the issues you faced throughout the process. First, you should analyze this plan with your initial one to see how it turned out. Then, take the important lessons from this project so that all the inefficiencies can be avoided for the next project.
How to Implement Project Monitoring
Project monitoring happens after the plan is implemented. You need to take a few steps to track the project. First, you need to share the workload according to the capacity of your teammates. You need to figure out the issue you may encounter related to budget and time. Third, you need to share the workload according to the capacity of your teammates.
1. Tracking the project
For monitoring the project, you need Task tracking. This will help you to record all the activities done by your team. First, you must identify the task that needs to be done and what can be finished later. Next, understand where the budget is being spent. Identify who can work more efficiently and if a particular task needs more time and budget than initially expected.
2. Communicate with your team
It is an essential tool for project monitoring. Every team member must know what their tasks are. Communicate with your team frequently to check the progress of the tasks. Take regular updates about the progress of the assigned tasks. You may want to create safeguards for your team to have breathing space and do the task correctly.
3. Post-mortem of the project
You must reflect on your plan and project monitoring techniques and take inspiration from them. See how the project went, what tasks took less oversight, and what required more attention.
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Here are some tools for project monitoring.
1. Project meeting
This means meeting with your team to discuss the status of the tasks. It helps identify the timeline of a task. You can also add additional tasks or make adjustments.
2. Project monitoring software
It involves using tools like Gantt charts, timesheets, resource management, or task manager to record, track and manage the task is done and the workload on each member. This software helps in simplifying task tracking.
Tips and Best Practices for Project Monitoring
Some best tips and best practices for project monitoring are mentioned below:
- Conduct research and meetings to understand the project.
- Create a brief description of the project.
- Develop a project plan.
- Keep clear and constant communication with your team.
- Ask for their feedback and add them if required.
- Make a resource plan.
- Don't create unrealistic expectations for yourself or the team.
- Make sure everything is documented correctly.
- Please review the project plan and take key lessons from it after it is completed.
Project Monitoring Techniques
You can use many techniques for project monitoring. Some of them are-
1. Work Breakdown Structures
It is a way through which the work can be arranged into smaller pieces. It includes a visual representation of all the tasks of the project. You can use it to break down more than just the tasks but also budgets.
2. Gantt Chart
It is another way to represent the data visually. However, it provides more application to a project head. Combining the Gantt chart tool makes the whole technique easier. You can schedule multiple projects with Gantt charts. With Gantt charts, the project head can assign tasks to individuals and allow notifications to be sent to them and keep them on track.
It stands for Program Evaluation and Review Technique. This tool helps with time estimates. Maintaining a schedule is critical. It breaks the tasks into activities, and you can make a map of the activities.
4. Critical Path Method (CPM)
Here, CPM requires you to create a model that contains all the tasks, the time allotted to complete them, and what are the milestones for the project. Using the information, you can figure out what tasks can start the earliest and can be completed without impacting the project's overall schedule.
3 Ways to Track and Re-Plan a Project
Here are three ways to track a project:
- Give priority to the critical tasks first. Time is a crucial factor, and it calls for prioritizing critical tasks first.
- Using effective tools and techniques. Project monitoring tools and techniques will help you track all the activities easily. We have already discussed the tools and techniques for tracking in detail above.
- Take regular updates with your team regarding the status of the task.
Sometimes a plan may not work as expected. You may encounter difficulties and may need to change the whole plan altogether. Here are three ways you can re-plan a project:
- Make adjustments in the resources: While it may not be the sole reason for the plan's failure, changing the allocation of resources can revive the plan if the base foundations are strong.
- Change the scope of the project: You can change the scope of the project. Remember that changing the scope should not change the project's primary goal.
- Communicate the change: Once a new plan is decided, inform the stakeholders and your team members about the changes.
Every project needs monitoring. Budget, quality, and primary goals must be considered when implementing a plan. Hopefully, this article addressed all the queries regarding project monitoring and helped you understand all the necessary elements it contains. We also recommend enrolling for KnowledgeHut's PM Certificate for better job opportunities.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What are suitable methods of monitoring?
As a result, organizational and project monitoring are excellent project monitoring methods.
2. What are the objectives of monitoring?
Some primary monitoring objectives include efficiency, relevance, causality, impact, sustainability, and effectiveness.
3. What are the four forms of monitoring?
The four forms of monitoring are as follows
- Compliance monitoring
- Financial monitoring
- Process monitoring
- Beneficiary monitoring
4. What is an example of project monitoring?
Making project-related details like the budget or monitoring any project's success is an example of a monitoring plan of action.