Task: Monitor Project Status
This task describes how to capture the current status of the project and evaluate that status against the project plans.
Disciplines: Project Management
Capture Work Status
Purpose Collect quality and progress information on the project for assessing current status 

In this step, the project manager captures primitive metrics on the progress of project work and product quality. The methods to be used to capture these metrics are described in the project's Measurement Plan.

Typically, project team members submit regular progress reports to the project manager providing the following information:

  • Effort booked against activities
  • Estimated effort to complete each activity for which they are responsible
  • Tasks completed
  • Deliverables published
  • Issues arising that require management attention (from Review Records, for example). The Project Manager may record some or all of these in the Issues List for further attention and tracking.

For more information on metrics, see Guideline: Metrics.

Derive progress indicators

In order to properly assess the project's progress in relation to the plans, the project manager "rolls-up" the primitive metrics reported by the project team to provide a full picture of the project's progress. The project's Measurement Plan describes how these derived metrics (the "progress indicators") are calculated.

Derive quality indicators

In addition to monitoring the work progress, the project manager also monitors the quality of the project work products. Quality metrics (again as defined by the project's Measurement Plan), are consolidated to provide an overall picture of the project's status compared to its stated quality objectives.

Evaluate indicators vs. plans

Having derived the project's progress and quality indicators, the project manager compares these against the expected state of the project as defined by the Software Development Plan and Iteration Plans. At this point the project manager will evaluate the following:

  • Have all planned tasks been completed?
  • Have all work products been published as planned?
  • Is the estimated effort to complete tasks that are "in progress" within plan?
  • Are quality metrics (e.g. open defect counts) within planned tolerances?

The project manager will also review the risk indicators identified for each risk on the Risk List to decide whether any risk mitigation strategies should be activated at this time.

The project manager, in reviewing progress against the Iteration Plan, should always have in mind that an iteration is timeboxed, and start to consider and report what functionality can be omitted from an iteration, if it appears the original plan cannot be achieved, rather than reporting a schedule slip for the iteration.

Any issues that have been reported are captured on the project's Issues List (which will be reported in the Status Assessment). Issues that fall within the project manager's authority should be resolved directly, as part of Task: Handle Exceptions and Problems; it may sometimes be necessary to raise the profile of an issue, for example, by raising a Change Request to track it, or by updating the Risk List, if the issue is important, or of wider interest.

Issues arising that require escalation to the Project Review Authority are included in the Status Assessment and forwarded to the PRA for resolution. Often this is done during the PRA Project Review task.

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