5th Edition PMBOK® Guide—Chapter 3: Monitoring & Controlling Process Group


This post covers the 4th of the five Process Groups, the Monitoring & Controlling Process Group.

1. Monitoring & Controlling Process Group—Purpose

According to the PMBOK® Guide, the purpose of the Monitoring & Controlling Process Group is to

  1. Track, review, and orchestrate the progress and performance of the project;
  2. Monitor the ongoing project activities against the project management plan and the project performance measurement baseline;
  3. Identify corrective or preventive action, or areas in which changes to the plan are required;
  4. Control the changes and implement only those approved

The first two cover the Monitoring part of the process group, and the last two cover the Controlling part of the process group and are what are referred to as change management.

2. Monitoring Process

The progress of the project is monitored and measured throughout the course of the project, with reports of the progress going on a predetermined regular basis to the various key stakeholders.

3. Controlling Process

a. Change Management

Let’s say there is a need for a change. Either a mistake has been made, and rework must be done. That is an example of correcting a past mistake. Or you notice that something is being done wrong right now, and you need to take corrective action on this present mistake. If you are really a far-sighted project management, you notice that if you carry out the project management plan as written, you are headed towards the making of a mistake. So you need to take preventive action on this future mistake to prevent it from happening.

Then you go through the change request process, which means first of all analyzing what affect the proposed change would have on the various project constraints. Only when this analysis is done and brought to the change control board, or whatever process your organization has in place for reviewing and deciding on which changes to implement. THEN you implement the change in the Executing Process Group.

Sometimes corrective or preventive action is not sufficient to keep the project going according to the project management plan. It may be that the change is of sufficient magnitude that it requires a change in the project management plan, in which case there is a return to the Planning Process Group to revise the plan, and then the change is implemented in the Executing Process Group.

b. Change Management Plan

Part of the change control process may be a level of authority required in order to make the change. Some changes can be okayed by the project manager; other changes that have greater impact on the project may require the input of the customer, the sponsor, or other key stakeholders. In any case, the system needs to be worked out ahead of time in the change management plan, which is one of the subsidiary plans in the project management plan.

c. Configuration Management Plan

To keep track of the various changes, so everybody knows what version of the project management baseline is being implemented, there is something called the configuration management plan¸ which controls the project documents in such a way that everyone working on the project knows what is the current version of the project plan.

This concludes the brief synopsis of the Monitoring & Controlling Process Group. The next post covers the last of the 5 process groups, the Closing Process Group.

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