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Project Management For Dummies®, UK Edition by Stanley E. Portny, Nick Graham

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Chapter 14

Tracking Progress and Staying in Control

In This Chapter

Monitoring progress against the plan

Checking up on spending against the plan

Making corrections to keep on track

Controlling change

Having planned your project and started it off, you now need to keep your eye on the ball and keep it on track. All projects experience problems, but far too many Project Managers don’t detect that things are off the plan until the deviation is severe. At that point it’s much harder, and sometimes impossible, to put right. It’s a bit like walking across some open moorland. If you go a couple of degrees off course and you detect this quickly, you need take only a few steps to get back on track. If you don’t find out for several hours that you deviated by two degrees . . . well, you get the picture. When you run your project, you can be very sure of one thing: it won’t go exactly to plan. That makes it all the more important to identify deviations from the plan promptly so that you can react quickly and make the necessary corrections.

The really good news is that if you’ve followed the approach to planning set down in this book, you have an easy but particularly clear progress-monitoring tool available to you. Chapter 5 covers this rather different start to project planning, which is product based; it begins the plan with a focus on what’s to be produced or delivered. In turn, the product-based planning approach opens the door to very effective progress control.

In this chapter, then, ...

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