Project Life Cycle Phase 4: Monitoring & Controlling

The Project Life Cycle is broken down into 5 phases:

    1. Project Initiation
    2. Project Planning
    3. Project Execution
    4. Project Monitoring & Controlling
    5. Project Closeout

Let’s look at the 4th phase, Project Monitoring & Controlling, in detail.

Desired Outcome

The fourth phase in the Project Life Cycle is Project Monitoring & Controlling.

The desired outcome of this phase is ensuring that the project results are being delivered according to the Project Plan, and take corrective or preventive action if necessary. Your goal is to assess progress and react. In this phase you’ll integrate new information into the problem domain, manage trade-offs, and do your best to address problems as they arise.

As you make changes to the project plan, you’ll need to ensure that all of project stakeholders, plans, estimates and resources are adjusted accordingly.

Inputs & Outputs

Each phase of the project life cycle transforms inputs from the previous phase into outputs for the next phase. The following inputs/output diagram showcases a high-level view of the inputs and outputs. Inside the ‘black box’ is where the transformation of inputs into outputs occurs.


Project Monitoring & Controlling:  Systems (Input/Output) Diagram

In this phase, the ‘inputs’ that initiate the monitoring and controlling process are:

  1. Deliverables
  2. Change Requests (to expand/reduce scope, quality, schedule or cost baselines)

You’ll either be reviewing work results against the initial acceptance criteria, or considering change requests from multiple stakeholders. Throughout a rigorous ‘change control’ process, the project manager will ensure that changes to the Project Plan and Specifications are agreed upon, managed, and communicated to all stakeholders.

The outputs of this phase include:

  1. Accepted Deliverables
  2. Approved Change Requests

Key Activities

Now that we understand the required inputs and desired outputs of this phase, it’s time to look at the key activities that must be undertaken.


Project Monitoring & Controlling (Process Hierarchy Diagram)

  1. Control Project Work
    • Activities:
      1. Review the work results created by the project team.
      2. Compare actual performance against the project management plan.
      3. Assess if corrective action or preventative action are necessary.
      4. Update project documents and plans accordingly.
    • Tools:
      1. Analysis: Root Cause, Earned Value Management
      2. Information Systems: Scheduling, cost, and resourcing tools; performance indicators, project records
      3. Meetings: face to face, virtual, formal, informal, user groups, review meetings
    • Outputs:
      1. Change Requests
  2. Integrated Change Control
    • Activities:

      1. Approve, reject and manage changes to the project plan; including changes to deliverables, organizational process assets, and project documents
    • Tools:
      1. Change Control Board and change management protocols
    • Outputs:
      1. Approved Change Requests & Change Log
      2. Project Plan and Document Updates
  3. Control Scope
    • Activities:
      1. Monitor and review the project and product scope against the acceptance criteria.
      2. Review scope change requests.
      3. Manage changes to the Scope Management Plan and to the Scope baseline.
    • Tools:
      1. Product Reviews, Product Audits, Walkthroughs.
      2. Group Decision-Making Techniques
    • Outputs:
      1. Scope Performance and baselines
      2. Updates to Scope Management Plan and Customer Acceptance Criteria
  4. Control Schedule
  5. Control Costs
    • Activities:
      1. Monitor and review the project costs.
      2. Review and manage cost change requests
      3. Manage changes to the Cost Management Plan and to the Cost baseline.
    • Tools:
      1. Earned Value Management
      2. To-Complete Performance Index
    • Outputs:
      1. Cost Forecasts, estimates, and baselines
      2. Updates to Cost Management Plan and Budget
  6. Control Quality
  7. Control Communications
    • Activities:
      1. Monitor communications to ensure the information needs of the project stakeholders are met.
      2. Review and manage changes to the Communications Management Plan.
    • Tools:
      1. Meetings
      2. Reporting: Status reporting, Progress reporting, Forecasting
      3. Information Management Systems
    • Outputs:
      1. Project Status and Progress Forecasts
      2. Updates to the Communications Management Plan
  8. Control Risks
    • Activities:
      1. Implementing risk response plans
        1. Track identified risks
        2. Monitor residual risks
      2. Identifying new risks
      3. Evaluating risk process effectiveness throughout the project.
    • Tools:
      1. Risk Assessments and Audits
      2. Reserve Analysis
    • Outputs:
      1. Risk Performance, Contingency Plans, Risk Response Plans
      2. Updates to Risk Management Plan
  9. Control Procurement
    • Activities:
      1. Manage procurement relationships and monitor contract performance
      2. Review and manage contract change requests.
      3. Review and manage changes to the Procurement Management Plan.
    • Detailed Activities
      1. Audit the quality of the vendor’s products and services
      2. Assess risks in the vendor’s ability to fulfill the contract
      3. Monitor payments to the seller.
      4. Review and document vendor performance. 
    • Tools:
      1. Procurement Inspections and audits
      2. Procurement Performance Reviews and Reporting
      3. Contract change control system
      4. Records management system
    • Outputs:
      1. Procurement Performance Reports, Contract Compliance Reports
      2. Updates to Procurement Management Plan and Procurement Contracts
  10. Control Stakeholder Engagement
    • Activities:
      1. Monitor and review project stakeholder relationships
      2. Review and manage stakeholder change requests.
      3. Manage changes to the Stakeholder Engagement Plan.
    • Tools:
      1. Information management systems and Progress Reports
      2. Meetings: Review Meetings, Stakeholder Interviews, Focus groups, Surveys
    • Outputs:
      1. Status of deliverables, Change requests status,
      2. Updates to Stakeholder Management Plan and Stakeholder Engagement Strategies








Main Takeaway

Project Monitoring & Controlling is about progress review and response.

  • Review the status of the project’s deliverables, schedule, costs, etc.
  • Identify corrective actions/measures to ensure successful project completion.
  • Manage changes to the project’s scopes, baselines, estimates and/or forecasts.
  • Ensure changes in one area are integrated into other project areas.

In the next post, I’ll cover Phase 5, Closeout, of the Project Life Cycle.

Cheers till next time!


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