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Project Management in Practice, 5th Edition by Margaret M. Sutton, Scott M. Shafer, Samuel J. Mantel, Jr., Jack R. Meredith

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Monitoring and Controlling the Project

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Project monitoring and control are, in some ways, simply the opposite sides of project selection and planning. The bases for selection as described in Chapter 1 dictate what to monitor and the details of planning identify the elements to be controlled. PMBOK covers these topics in Chapter 3 on Processes, but more explicitly covers the topic of controlling in Chapter 8 on Quality. Monitoring is the collection, recording, and reporting of project information that is of importance to the project manager and other relevant stakeholders. Control uses the monitored data and information to bring actual performance into agreement with the plan. Clearly, the need to exert proper control mandates the need to monitor the proper activities and elements of the project. Frequently, the distinction between monitoring and control is blurred, and their interaction often makes us think we are working on a single task, but they are quite distinct.

Although the data gathered from monitoring often serve many objectives—auditing, keeping management informed, learning from mistakes—these are all secondary compared to the purpose of control. The purpose of monitoring is to ensure that all interested parties have available, when needed, the information required to exercise ...

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