Thursday, February 2, 2012, AM | Leave Comment
You have started your project. Everything that you could think of is in place. To finish it successfully on time and within the allocated budget, you need to follow your project from start to finish.
To do this, you need to carefully monitor your project, if you want to stay on track. Monitoring would allow you to control the project and to not allow it to go astray.
Without monitoring and evaluating your work and that of your team members, your project can go in unintended directions any which way it can.
Monitoring the implementation allows you to consider changes to the work plan in an efficient and timely manner if necessary. It can work as an important tool for you to be in complete control over the project.
Following are the 6 tips to monitor and control your project.
The first thing you should do in monitoring your project is to have a good understanding of what your team spend their time doing. There are time-tracking software programs available.
Choose one and use it to record time spent by team members on their tasks. Make sure that your team follows this procedure every day of the week.
As the project manager, you need to review it and make sure that the time spent is appropriate. Talk to the team as soon as possible if they have difficulty in finishing their tasks.
Track how much Complete, how much Remaining
As well as monitoring the time spent, you need to understand the time remaining. So update your project plan weekly with the revised planned finish dates. Only then can you calculate the actual verses planned progress of the project.
For each task, you can have two columns whereby you document how much is completed and how much is remaining (in percentages.)
Monitor Money Spent vs Allocated Budget
You also need to continually monitor the current cost of the project verses the allocated budget. There are software packages available in the market that are quite elaborate and will help in doing this item.
Identify all cash spending using Expense Forms.
Determine the cost of your resources. For each team member working on specific task it can be simply cost per hour times number of hours spent.
Create a column for miscellaneous, recurring and ongoing expenses. That might get out of hand so you need to be extremely careful not to go overboard.
Summarize your project expenses every week and compare them to the allocated budget.
Keep your team Motivated
Projects are always stressful. Projects have the tendency to go in different directions that you never anticipated. Your team might have too much work to do and limited time in which to do it. That happens in many projects. So you need to monitor the team motivation levels at all times.
A project, by definition, has shared goals. So your team must be motivated at all times by shared goals. That includes high morale and greater satisfaction in achieving tasks. So keep an eye on team motivation constantly and consistently.
Changes lead to Death of Projects
The sponsor of the project might want to change your original goal-posts. That can be the biggest risk for failure of the project. Resist, resist, resist.
It has been said before by many, you are not supposed to change rules in the middle of the game. If the changes impact the timescales, budget or your objectives, then tell the sponsor upfront and request more time, extra resources or budget in which to do it. Document the changes appropriately.
Documenting your Progress
In following your plan and in documenting any problems or changes to the project you will be able to write up your implementation evaluation report and say:
Whether the original project plan was followed from start to finish?
Any specific issues and concerns you learned in the process?
What has the team achieved?
Did the project make a difference in the department or the organization?
How can the project’s outcomes be spread throughout the organization if need be?
What still needs to be done in this area?
These are some of the questions that need to be answered. The questions and answers must be properly documented. This item is very important not only for your team members but if done correctly can become a standard that can be propagated throughout the organization.
Overall, monitoring the implementation of the project you can try and improve its overall success by reviewing or reflecting on the way the project is running.
Circumstances always change, so it is good to constantly reflect on a project’s process so you can change it too.
Always question the way things are going. Have regular meetings with your team members involved in implementing the strategy.
In a Nutshell
As well as monitoring the implementation process it is also important in the longer term to evaluate whether the project achieved its overall aim. Along the way, you must keep control over the project so nobody goes astray.
This column is © copyright to www.Method123.com and originally appeared in their weekly project management tip newsletter.
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