Task: Define Monitoring & Control Processes
This Task describes how to establish project indicators, status reporting procedures, and corrective action mechanisms.
Disciplines: Project Management

The purpose is to define the information and processes that will be used to monitor and control the project progress, quality and risks.

RolesPrimary Performer: Additional Performers:
  • None
      Define project indicators

      Project "indicators" are pieces of project information that give a picture of the health of the project's progress against the software development plan. Typically a project manager will be concerned with indicators that apply to the project's scope of work, budget, quality, and risks. As a project progresses, the project manager will monitor these indicators and instigate corrective actions when they exceed pre-defined trigger conditions (see Define procedure & thresholds for corrective action). These project indicators may include the following:

      • Total spending vs. budget
      • Revised scope (work done + estimates to complete) vs. planned scope
      • Defect density vs. quality objectives
      • Risk indicators (situations that tell you a risk is being realized)

      The definition of these indicators is driven by the project's budget, quality objectives and schedule (detailed in the Software Development Plan) and is captured in the project's Measurement Plan and Risk Management Plan.

      Define sources for project indicators

      The projector indicators, in most cases, will be consolidated project measures calculated from more granular primitive metrics. that are reported by the project team on a regular basis. How these primitive metrics are to be captured, and the process for using them to calculate the project indicators is defined in the project's Measurement Plan.

      Other indicators (especially risk indicators) may be simply the status of whether a particular situation has occurred or not. For these cases, the source of the information on the indicator status is all that needs to be identified.

      Section 4.4 Project Monitoring and Control of the Software Development Plan should include a brief description of the project indicators that will be used on your project. Note that there are separate sub-sections in this section of the SDP covering control of the project's schedule, budget, and quality. Control of project requirements is dealt with separately in the Requirements Management Plan.

      Define procedure for team status reporting

      Once the primitive metrics and project indicators have been defined, you should define the procedure and reporting frequency for project team members to report their status. This procedure should describe the process for booking time against activities, reporting the completion of tasks, achievement of project milestones and reporting of issues. To ensure a consistent flow if information, it is typical for standard templates to be defined for timesheets and team member status reports.

      This procedure is documented in Section 4.4.5 Reporting Plan of the Software Development Plan.

      Define procedure thresholds for corrective action

      In order to maintain effective control of the project, the project manager defines threshold (or trigger) values/conditions for each of the defined project indicators. These threshold conditions are recorded in the appropriate sections of Section 4.4 Project Monitoring and Control of the Software Development Plan.

      When these thresholds are exceeded, the project manager must take corrective action in order to bring the project back on track. Depending on the severity of the condition, the project manager may be able to resolve the situation within his authority (by issuing appropriate work orders). If the situation goes beyond the project manager's authority he will need to issue a Change Request and activate the project's change control process.

      Define procedure for project status reporting

      Section 4.4.5 Reporting Plan of the Software Development Plan should also describe the frequency and procedure for the project manager to report project progress to the Project Review Authority (by issuing a Status Assessment). This procedure describes when and where scheduled and un-scheduled PRA Reviews will occur, and what information is to be included in the Status Assessment. The project manager will use the Issues List for continuous recording and tracking of problems (that are not the subject of some other management control instrument, such as the Change Request or the Risk List) in the periods between the production of Status Assessments.