Monitoring and Controlling in Project management – real example situations

Monitoring and Controlling in Project management is the hardest part of the project management practices. Monitoring and controlling project variables may sound easy as you just need to inform your project stakeholders about costs, quality, risk, and other prospects. In reality, monitoring and controlling is a real challenge and stressful activity. We present real example situations with detailed reactions and explanations.

Before you continue with the situations, familiarize yourself with the topic. Agile Programming has a great article about Monitoring and Controlling in Project Management

In your project you talk, Peter demotivates the team and expresses frustration at lunch breaks almost every day.

The project team talks ….? I analyze the situation of which participant in the team gives publicity to this information, what kind of person and specialist he is, insofar as I got to know him in the course of our teamwork in order to assess the character of the created situation as accurately as possible. I would find out the exact expressions of dissatisfaction, analyze them for myself, what they were born of, what motives and arguments I can put forward in conversation with the dissatisfied participant in the team. If I come to the conclusion that dissatisfaction is objectified by a specific situation within the team, I will make a team analysis meeting. If I recognize a problem with a higher level, I will ask to speak with the director, for example, to speak up for the problem and make an agreement with it.

Your supplier sends you a letter informing you that after a month it stops shipping your product because it stops production.

I will review the Scope of the project, the Delivery Plan, the terms, the resource and most of the agreed penalties – the amount, the deadlines and everything described in the Risk Management Plan It is likely that the supplier did not take into account the terms of the contract with it. If nevertheless, the delivery is refused, I will seek a compromise between the penalty and the increase in the amount of payment for personal fulfillment and delivery of the product, and I will insist that the delivery times be observed.

With the proposed parameters, I will urgently introduce as much senior management personnel as possible, first of all, the director. I will request in writing the provider’s proposal to amend the additional amount provided for payment. I will report on the change of conditions duly and ethically request a timely decision. For me, the main criterion remains the time for delivery, in the second place, the additional payment for a product, and it is obligatory to recapitulate with the amount of the penalty stipulated in the contract and all other documents accompanying the project as a whole.

Lastly, I am left with the option of exploring a new supplier and everything else, which in my opinion will lead to considerable delay in the implementation of the plan and is likely to make the product delivered more expensive. In the event that this option is reached, I would ask the contract provider in advance for similar contacts to offer. In such a situation, any new information would be of some benefit.

The client sends you an email asking you to explain to him the status of the project.

Given a sufficiently high degree of control over the implementation of the project, the client should not be allowed to ask about the status of the project. This information should be obtained in advance by the project manager during the specified completion periods of a particular phase or stage, obligatory for each release of the “release” at a completed stage. In the event that a problem occurred that was risky and concerned the investor, it caused a change in the scope and management plans. In solving the problem, the client should be informed in a timely manner. This is a big part of the project status and is a pledge, and even a guarantee of good communication, loyalty and mutual trust between the parties. The opposite would lead to some tension, uncertainty, and anxiety in the client.

Your architect tells you that you have doubts about the strength of the materials used to make your product.

Precise and clear arguments and facts are of strategic importance. The quality management specialist has a key role and his / her opinion is required. Where laboratory analyzes are available on compliance with the quality standards under European regulations, they should be analyzed and compared with facts available – new laboratory tests, for example. If “materials” are a software product, a test of the embedded quality of the product is mandatory. Where laboratory analyzes are required, the account should be taken of the duration of completion which could lead to an extension of the finished product. An analysis of the contractual relations with the supplier regarding the quality of the delivered products is obligatory. In the case of proven inconsistencies, liability is sought from the supplier through agreed penalties.

Developers complain that the code compilation environment is very slow and takes a long time to complete.

With good time management, task developers should not complain. They should be aware of the personal responsibilities assumed in parallel with that of the team, especially when compiling individual parts in the work of connecting the parts. If the project manager finds even a minimal delay of several hours, then he should take the attitude of the organization – where does the difficulty leading to the fun create ?! Team meeting, contact with the quality specialist, necessarily the opinion of the senior programmer. The latter must be aware in advance that he or she is most responsible for the delays of a particular part, stage or phase. I don’t even consider it necessary to have a personal conversation with him. Circumstances should be made transparent between all the team members.

Your designer tells you that the usability of your product’s graphical interface is beginning to decline

I would ask him to explain to me clearly what he has actually found ?! Has it tested the connections between a separate GUI module? In what exact phases of connectivity? I rely on specific parameters from the quality management testing program to illustrate and prove the facts. Knowing the planned and imputed personal responsibilities of the programmers, it would be easy to conclude which of them and in what details should improve the programming work. For example, could this be the voice command phase – machine connection or user feedback? Knowing the responsible personal role of the specialist, it is appropriate to have a conversation about the problem and with the assistance of a senior programmer and, if necessary, the rest of the team can resolve the problem in a timely manner without reflecting the time or resource as a whole.

The director prompts you in the hallway to ask if you think the project is going on schedule.

With good project management and good communication with the director, not only in conversations or emails, as well as familiarization with the meeting log, client contacts, invitation to attend releases, the director should be made aware of the main implementation phases within the schedule. In the event of a delay, especially if for objective reasons, outside of the work team, the Director should be informed and committed to deciding on timely avoidance of schedule delays.

A representative, an external consultant to your client, sends you a request as to whether the product meets your requirements and asks you to confirm it.

The requirements may relate to the quality of the input materials or software product; by project compliance schedule; to quality execution of individual project stages, graphical interface, for example. The request from an external consultant for requirements should not relate to compliance with the financial arrangements. And if it concerns the participants of the project activities, the project manager should consider such risky situations, in time to seek the assistance of an external consultant. In case all work well and the project runs on schedule, confirm unconditionally. It would be good if a communication period was agreed with this external party so that there are no surprises and gaps in relations between the parties.

A representative, an external consultant to your client, sends you a letter asking you to share the level of competence of your teams.

I agree that this is inside information for the contractor and should be subject to some degree of confidentiality. This non-contractual relationship necessarily agrees with the director, even with regard to what is “hidden” behind this issue ….? The Management Plan and the Risk and Responsibility Plan clearly state the roles of the team, would it be good to share this with an external consultant? It is my view that competences and roles can be described in general terms, to avoid any doubt, and it should be stated that, if necessary, additional competencies will be notified in due time.

Your client sends you the following email “Hello! Our CTO wants you to include an additional device in the scope of the project that will monitor the security of the Internet connection between the product and users using it remotely. Greetings!”

I will be obliged to pay attention to the planned and the agreed budget, in part concerning the proposed change, as well as the details in the Management Plan. Akao details do not relate to internet security and no connection to the higher-end 5G internet is foreseen, for example, further market research on this is required, as well as the extent to which the connection to the Super PC will result.

Changes to the GUI in detail are also essential for changing the Scope and resource of the project as a whole. I will be sure to inform the program director of this letter.

I will meet with the team and create a Job Diary. I will propose the draft decision to the director within 1 to 2 days. After that I will return a query agreed with the team and the director. In it, I will ask that they ethically conduct their own studies of changes in the contractual relationship that they inform me in a timely manner. In parallel, we will carry out internal studies and draft a plan for amendment. In the letter to the client, I will definitely emphasize the interests encountered over a period of time to renegotiate the relations between the parties. Learn to manage your changes and stakeholders: Business change and stakeholder engagement

It is essential what exactly the role of the client on the client’s request is. In case the senior management level is higher than that of the project manager, he/she is responsible for forwarding the higher level letter to our organization. This, of course, does not exclude the responsibility of the project manager from taking an opinion, action or decision for further action.

Your client sends you an email: “Hello! We have seen the project drawings. We want you to add a new button to the system diagnostics panel before you start prototyping. When the user clicks on it, we expect detailed diagnostics of all functionality.”

This functionality is provided in the quality management testing program. However, the GUI does not envisage designing a separate user contact button. Options are currently being created for all the buttons planned so far and the designer is about to begin displaying them. The requested addition must be consistent with the team mainly operating the GUI, the opinion of the designer and the competencies of the quality management specialist, to what extent the test results showed are reliable for including the diagnostic option by the user in the GUI. It is necessary to anticipate the time and resource as a whole to what extent they lead to a change in performance. In a thorough analysis of all the details, the director should be informed of any additional requests for changes and any change in the resource, mainly in the project budget.

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