6th Edition PMBOK® Guide–Process 4.5 Monitor and Control Project Work: Outputs

This process includes monitoring the actual work done on the project and comparing it to what is in the project management plan.   If there are variances from the plan, then the process analyzes the cause of the problem and a solution to the problem is recommended in the form of change requests which can include changes to the project management plan itself as well as to project documents.   Another important part of this process is letting the stakeholders know the status of the project, and this is done through work performance reports.

Let’s go throughout the outputs of this process in more detail.

4.5.3 Monitor and Control Project Work:  Outputs Work Performance Reports

Let’s take the work performance data that is generated during the process 4.3 Direct and Manage Project Work.   This is then compared to the project management plan in the control processes of the various knowledge areas.   For example, with regard to Schedule Management, let’s say the work performance data is that “during the past week, John worked on the project 20 hours, and Mary worked on the project 20 hours.”   In the process 6.6 Control Schedule you would compare these actual hours worked with what was supposed to have been done according to the schedule.   Let’s say the schedule shows that John was supposed to work 30 hours, and Mary was supposed to work 20 hours.   Then we know that someone John worked 10 hours less than he was scheduled to.   This can even be put into a schedule performance index or SPI by calculating 40 hours (actual)/50 hours (scheduled) or 0.80.

This SPI of 0.80 is work performance information that is now input into this process 4.5 Monitor and Control Project Work.   Here an analysis is done as to WHY John worked only 20 hours rather than 30 as scheduled.   If John says, “hey, my operational manager told me I had to work on something else”, then the question becomes is this a temporary problem, i.e., was this request for John’s time something that won’t happen the following week?   If so, then John can make up the lost hours next week and the project will be back on track.   However, if John’s operational manager says there will be ongoing duties that John has to take care which will prevent him from doing more than 20 hours of work on the project, then the project manager will have to discuss with the operational manager what kind of accommodation can be done in the future.   This kind of analysis of what kind of action will be taken to solve a problem is something that goes in the work performance report.   It is sent to the stakeholders, therefore, because their help may be needed to take action that will solve the problem.  Change Requests

As a result of the data analysis techniques done during this process, change requests may be generated, such as:

  • Defect repair–activity to modify a nonconforming product
  • Corrective action–activity that realigns the performance of the project work with the project management plan.
  • Preventive action–activity that ensures that future performance of the project work is aligned with the project management plan  Project Management Plan

Let’s say a variance is discovered between the actual project work done and what is in the project management plan.   It is possible that in analyzing the reason for the variance that the cause will not be a problem with the work done, but with the project management plan itself, in that it was unrealistic to begin with.  In which case, a component of the project management plan may need to be changed so that the plan is made to fit the work rather than the situation above with the change requests, where the work is made to fit the plan.  Project Documents

In addition to  the project management plan, the following documents may need to be updated as a result of this process.

  • Issue log–new issued raised as a result of this process are recorded in the issue log
  • Lessons learned register–effective responses to variances, including corrective and preventive actions, are updated to this register
  • Cost/schedule forecasts–changes in cost or schedule forecasts resulting from this process are recorded
  • Risk register–new risk identified during this process are recorded

If there are any change requests, these are processed in the next process 4.6 Perform Integrated Change Control, which will be the subject of the next post.




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