Passing the #PMP Exam—Memorizing the Processes Step 4: MONITORING & CONTROLLING PROCESS GROUP



  1. Introduction—GAMES 1 and 2 (memorizing by knowledge area, process group)

This series of posts on step 4 of mastering the processes refers to “gaming the system” in the sense of making flashcards with the various process names on one side and the details of those processes on the others. The goal is to be able to complete these two games. For details, see the post for 08/01 on the INITIATING PROCESS GROUP.

GAME 1.

Shuffle the flashcards and put the 42 processes in order by knowledge area. You need to be able to do this within 10 minutes or less.

GAME 2.

Shuffle the flashcards and put the 42 processes in order by process group. You need to be able to do this within 10 minutes or less.

The purpose of today’s post is to list the processes not in order of knowledge area, but by process group:  in this case the MONITORING & CONTROLLING process group.

2. Processes in the Monitoring & Controlling Process Group

Process

Group

Process

Number

Process
Name
Process Description
Monitoring & Controlling 4.4 Monitor and Control Project Work Tracking progress to meet performance

objectives defined in project management plan

Monitoring & Controlling 4.5 Perform Integrated Change Control Reviewing change requests and managing changes to deliverables,

or project management plan itself

Monitoring & Controlling 5.4 Verify Scope Formalizing acceptance of the project deliverables with the customer.
Monitoring & Controlling 5.5 Control Scope Monitoring status of the project and product scope and managing changes to the scope baseline.
Monitoring & Controlling 6.6 Control Schedule Monitoring the status of the project to update project progress and manage changes to schedule baseline.
Monitoring & Controlling 7.3 Control Costs Monitoring the status of the project to update project budget and manage changes to the cost baseline.
Monitoring & Controlling 8.3 Perform Quality Control Monitors and records results of quality activities to assess performance and recommend necessary changes.
Monitoring & Controlling 10.5 Report Performance Collecting and distributing performance information (status reports, progress measurements, forecasts) to project stakeholders.
Monitoring & Controlling 11.6 Monitor and Control Risks Tracking identified risks, implementing risk response plans if risks occur, and evaluating risk process effectiveness.
Monitoring & Controlling 12.3 Administer Procurements Managing procurement relationships, monitoring contract performance, making changes as needed.

Here’s a little more explanation of these processes.

4.4 Monitor and Control Project Work

This is the CHECK part of the plan-do-check-act cycle. What are you checking for? To see if the project is progressing as planned in process 4.2. What happens if you’re NOT on track and you want to get back? Then you go to the NEXT process, which is

4.5 Perform Integrated Change Control

Here is where you evaluate requests for changes to get you “back on track” to complete the project according to the plan developed in 4.2. Let’s say you’re behind schedule, and you want to get back on schedule. Then this process evaluates the request for a change. You may end up changing the deliverables themselves if the scope changes, and you will have to change the plan itself to accommodate this change.

5.4 Verify Scope

Verifying the scope means taking a deliverable and asking the customer and/or sponsor to review to make sure it conforms to the customer’s expectations of the scope.

5.5 Control Scope

Control scope means to monitor the status of the project and product scope to see whether the project is proceeding according to plan. What happens if the scope is deviating from what was in the plan? Then changes are suggested to either get it back to the original plan or to adjust the plan accordingly.

So to distinguish these two processes from the Monitoring & Controlling group, Verify Scope monitors the deliverables
and verifies them with the customer. Control Scope monitors the scope and compares it to the scope baseline. If there is a deviation, this is where the project is steered back on course, or the scope baseline is adjusted to make the path the project is now on the new course.

6.6 Control Schedule

Schedule tells you whether you are proceeding according to schedule, ahead of schedule or behind schedule. If there are changes to the project which require a change in schedule, those changes are managed here.

7.3 Control Costs

Here you use the tools such as earned value to find out whether your project is proceeding according to plan or not. This gives you a precise basis for recommending what to do to get it back on track.

8.3 Perform Quality Control

The question being answered here is: are the deliverables meeting the quality standards? The monitoring focuses on the quality of the deliverables. If they don’t meet the standards, then this becomes a basis for a recommendation for change.

10.5 Report Performance

On a regular basis, when you get word of how the project is coming along, you will want to, from time to time, inform stakeholders according to the plan set forth in process 10.2 Plan Communications.

11.6 Monitor & Control Risks

This is where risks that were identified are tracked during the course of the project, and corrective action taken according to 11.5 Plan Risk Responses if they do occur. The project management plan is updated to reflect any changes that occur to the project schedule, costs, etc., as a result of risks that do occur.

12.3 Administer Procurements

Once the seller has been selected in 12.2 Conduct Procurements, the terms of the contract are fulfilled by the seller and the project manager watches over the relationship with the seller, the performance of the seller with respect to the terms of the contract, and if there are any conflicts, these are resolved.

You can tell by most of these processes that they are in the Monitoring & Controlling Process Group simply by their title which contains Control or Monitor & Control. A couple exceptions are 5.4 Verify Scope, which requires you to verify the interim deliverables with the customer to see that they are satisfactory. The reason why this is in the Monitoring & Controlling Process Group, which includes the approval of Change Requests, is because if the customer says the deliverable is NOT acceptable, a change will have to made to get it back to being acceptable.

A similar process is 8.3 Perform Quality Control, but in this case, it is not the customer who is evaluating the deliverable, but the personnel handling quality, for example, on the assembly line at a manufacturing facility. If the deliverable does not conform to the quality standards set out at the beginning of the project, then again, a change request will have to be made to bring it back in line with those standards.

10.5 Report Performance is the process which tells you whether
or not
the project is progressing according to plan. If it isn’t, you can imagine that a change would be in order to get it back on track.

And finally 12.3 Administer Procurements is the monitoring of the relationship with the seller and its performance according to the contract. This means if the seller is not performing, then a change must be made either by the seller, or if the seller does not comply, then it may require cancellation of the contract and obtaining a new seller.

The final post deals with the 2 processes involved in the last process group, the CLOSING process group.

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