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Effective Project Management: Traditional, Agile, Extreme by Robert K. Wysocki

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Chapter 6. How to Monitor and Control a Project

When you are drowning in numbers, you need a system to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Anthony Adams, Vice President, Campbell Soup Co.

If two lines on a graph cross, it must be important.

Ernest F. Cooke, University of Baltimore

You can't monitor and control a project by simply reading reports. You have to walk around and personally check progress.

Robert K. Wysocki, Ph.D., President, Enterprise Information Insights, Inc.

CHAPTER LEARNING OBJECTIVES

After reading this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Understand the reasons for implementing controls on the project

  • Track the progress of a project

  • Determine an appropriate reporting plan

  • Measure and analyze variances from the project plan

  • Use Gantt charts to track progress and identify warning signs of schedule problems

  • Construct and interpret milestone trend charts to detect trends in progress

  • Use earned value analysis (EVA) to detect trends in schedule and budget progress

  • Integrate milestone trend charts and EVA for further trend analysis

  • Build and maintain an Issues Log

  • Manage project status meetings

  • Determine the appropriate corrective actions to restore a project to its planned schedule

  • Properly identify corrective measures and problem escalation strategies

The project plan is a system. As such, it can get out of balance, and a get-well plan must be put in place to restore the system to equilibrium. The longer the project manager waits to put the fix in place, the longer it will take for the system ...

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