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What is Project Monitoring? Process, Types, Tools & Techniques

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20th May, 2024
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    What is Project Monitoring? Process, Types, Tools & Techniques

    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. Let us go in detail to understand more about project monitoring through this article. If you are preparing for project management certification, check out PMP Course details which talk about project monitoring tools and techniques in detail. Earning Project Management training certification could be your first step to becoming a project manager.  

    What is Project Monitoring?

    As a project manager, our responsibility is to ensure the project is completed on time, Cost, and meeting the required quality, for this to happen frequent reviews, Audits, meetings are held to monitor the project's progress. In professional terms Project Monitoring is a systematic recording of all the activities and tasks in the project to the stakeholders, implementers and beneficiaries. This process records the project's hurdles and gaps and provides complete control to improve its efficiency. 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.  

    Purpose of Project Monitoring in Project Management

    You may wonder what the purpose of project monitoring is. The primary purpose of the project monitoring in project management is to find the hurdles that might affect the project and overcome them before they occur, this will ensure that we meet the deadline as planned and within the budget to meet a successful project. Every project has several steps such as project initiation and requirement gathering, project designing, execution, testing, project launching and finally support launching and project closing. As project manager we watch keenly over all the steps in the project monitoring and modify them if necessary and make sure that each phase is properly completed before moving on to the next phase.

    This can improve the project’s effectiveness and guarantee an improved performance of the plan by eliminating the gaps and hurdles in each phase which ensures the project is completed on time, budget and within defined scope. Project management time tracking along with scope and cost plays a vital role in achieving the outcome of the project. 

    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: 

    1. Ensure that the allotted budget is spent correctly and can be altered if needed. 
    2. To make sure that the selected task and deadlines are met. 
    3. The workforce can be allocated as per requirement to avoid risk factors 
    4. They offer feedback on effectiveness of policies and program to identify areas of improvement 
    5. To encourage accountability regarding the task assigned by the members of the team. 
    6. To shift the workforce to a particular task if it requires so. 
    7. To boost communication between the team members to increase quality and reduce time. 

    Purpose of Project Monitoring in Project Management

    The primary purpose of the project monitoring in project management is to find the hurdles that might affect the project and overcome them before they occur, this will ensure that we meet the deadline as planned and within the budget to meet a successful project. Every project has several steps such as project initiation and requirement gathering, project designing, execution, testing, project launching and finally support launching and project closing. As project manager we watch keenly over all the steps in the project monitoring and modify them if necessary and make sure that each phase is properly completed before moving on to the next phase. This can improve the project’s effectiveness and guarantee an improved performance of the plan by eliminating the gaps and hurdles in each phase which ensures the project is completed on time, budget and within defined scope. Project management time tracking along with scope and cost plays a vital role in achieving the outcome of the project.

    Types of Project Monitoring

    Here are different types of project monitoring: 

    Types of Project Monitoring
    Process monitoringResult monitoring
    Beneficiary monitoringContext Monitoring 
    Compliance monitoringOrganizational Monitoring 
    Financial 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 beneficiaries monitoring is to ensure that the plan meets the customers need by factors such as accountability, validation, empowerment and environment learning’s related to the project. This can help in the areas of improvement according to their project.  

    3. Compliance monitoring

    Compliance monitoring is used to check if the project complies with the regular audits and meet all regulatory and legislative requirements, create a robust compliance reporting protocol and follow-ups, grants, local laws, ethical standards, and contract according to the project. 

    4. Financial monitoring 

    Financial monitoring is used to track the financial efficiency of the project to ensure the appropriate fund transfer from end to end. In addition, it helps in analyzing the unwanted expenditure of the allocated budget.  

    5. Result monitoring

    Result monitoring helps to assess the effectiveness and impact of the project outcome. It is on the right track to achieve the expected result based on the feedback from the stakeholders. This also helps to identify the issue and adjust resources or strategy according to the objective. It also helps collect data regarding the project's overall impact and effects. 

    6. Context Monitoring 

    I call the same as Situation monitoring, since it helps us identify and measure risks, assumptions, or any unexpected situations that may arise within the political, financial, and policy context.

    7. Organizational Monitoring 

     This topic is self-explanatory, tracking institutional development, communication, collaboration, sustainability and capacity building within an organization. 

    Project Monitoring Process

    To accomplish a successful and proficient outcome, we must ensure that project Monitoring is continuous from the start to the end phase. This process is usually taken care of by the Supervisor. The project monitoring information should be shared with the Team leaders, Team co-workers and stockholders so that they can also have a clear view about the on-going project and help them in making a two- way flow project monitoring for a well-organized product. Let us understand the project monitoring process. 

    • Initiation: In this phase, the outline of the project and the steps and process it may involve is made. 
    • Planning: In this phase, the scope and details of the process that must be performed in the execution are made. 
    • Executing: It involves completing all the activities defined in the planning part. 
    • Closing: This phase includes the completion of the project plan and informing the stakeholders 
    • 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.

    Delve into the most popular KnowledgeHut's Project Management Courses:

    PMP Certification TrainingPrince2 Certification TrainingPMI-CAPM Certification
    PgMP Certification TrainingPrince2 Foundation CertificationProject Management Masters Program
    Prince2 Agile CertificationPMI-RMP Certification TrainingPrince2 Practitioner 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.  

    How to Monitor Projects? 

    Now consider that we are entering the execution phase in a project where we have inputs such as baseline for scope, schedule and Cost. Keeping these as inputs, the project can be monitored against the plan using burn up or burn down charts along with the Gantt chart.

    Project Baseline Confirmation 

    The project baseline is the fixed reference for the project, and it is compared with the progress of the project against the original plan. This project baseline should be approved by the stakeholders before beginning the project, this approved data serves as the basis to compare also known as baseline confirmation. 

    Work Monitoring and Control 

    The Work Monitoring and Control (WMC) process is to provide an understanding on the current project and take the corrective measures when there is a deviation from the Scope of the project. 

    Change control Integration 

    Change Control Integration reviews the request within the project and implements the required changes. There are different types of change request such as, Preventive action, Corrective action, Defect repair and Updates. This typically helps the managers of the project to have a organized control over the changes in a project. 

    Scope verification 

    Defining scope is the first step of a project development and is approved by all the stockholders and then they are subject to no changes unless via the scope change control process. It is the process of evaluating whether the development of the product meets the requirements/ specifications as per the scope in each phase of the project until the development product is completed. 

    Schedule and cost control 

    The baseline of any project depends on these two factors. The plan for the project relies on the budget and resources availability and relates them to each other to develop the project consequently.  

    Performace reporting 

    The performance report is based on how the company is working on its operation and whether they met their goals and objectives. This performance report can be taken routinely to make sure some of the factors to improve like progress, financial and trend. It also supports the enhancement of firm in relation to historical performance. 

    Quality control 

    Quality control is the review of the quality of factors included in the production of a product and improves them, if necessary, which differs from one company to another. Quality control has different ways to perform quality control from investigating the manufactured products, benchmarking and testing the manufactured goods. 

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    Project Monitoring Tools for 2024

    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

    Here is the list of best project management software as per Forbes 

    • ClickUp: Best for Agile Development Teams 
    • Monday.com: Best for Startups on a Tight Budget 
    • Asana: Best for Collaboration Tools 
    • Zoho Projects: Best for Integrations 
    • Smartsheet: Best for Workflow Automation 
    • Notion: Best for Content Creators 
    • Airtable: Best for Data-Driven Companies 
    • Teamwork: Best for Client-Facing Service Providers 
    • Wrike: Best for Artificial Intelligence Features 
    • Jira: Best for Product Development Teams 

    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

    WBS organizes a project in a hierarchical manner (as shown in below figure) where the project is distributed into smaller divisions and given in a visual representation for better understanding, the best part is even the budget profile can be viewed the same way. It is a way through which the work can be arranged into smaller pieces. 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.  

    3. PERT

    It stands for Program Evaluation and Review Technique. It is a planning tool used to evaluate the amount of time it will take to practically co-ordinate deliverables with the team members, with PERT three different times can be estimated, 1. The shortest time to finish a task, 2. The most probable time for a task and 3. The longest period if things don’t go as planned. PERT helps to identify the critical activities in a project and complete them as scheduled. 

    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.

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    3 Ways to Track and Re-Plan a Project

    Here are three ways to track a project: 

    1. Give priority to the critical tasks first. Time is a crucial factor, and it calls for prioritizing critical tasks first.  
    2. 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. 
    3. 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: 

    1. 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. 
    2. 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. 
    3. Communicate the change: Once a new plan is decided, inform the stakeholders and your team members about the changes. 

    Conclusion

    I believe I have managed to cover all topics related to project monitoring under this article. I also recommend you check out KnowledgeHut Project Management trainings for gaining more insights. Project monitoring is the most vital process which all of us as project managers need to get trained and excel. This Process helps the project to march towards the successful completion of the project through proper review mechanism and effective action plans with execution.  Through proper coaching or training you will also get the right management skills by understanding the concepts and implementing the same. Also, I recommend you go for PMP certification since it gives the recognition as project manager worldwide PMP Course.  

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1What are suitable methods of monitoring?

    As a result, organizational and project monitoring are excellent project monitoring methods. 

    2What are the objectives of monitoring?

    Some primary monitoring objectives include efficiency, relevance, causality, impact, sustainability, and effectiveness. 

    3What are the four forms of monitoring?

    The four forms of monitoring are as follows 

    • Compliance monitoring  
    • Financial monitoring 
    • Process monitoring 
    • Beneficiary monitoring 
    Profile

    Simran Kaur Arora

    Trainer & Consultant

    Experienced Senior Content Developer with a demonstrated history of working in the computer software industry. Enthusiastic and dedicated person in the field of Computer Science. Skilled at my work area and believe in working with passion and work ethics. Have a good understanding of programming languages, operating systems, and databases. I have good communication skills and interested in staying updated with technology and learning new things.

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