Monitoring and control is that part of the overall project management plan that monitors the proper implementation of operational plans.
They provide the manager with tools that determine whether the organization is approaching the planned goals
The system informs the manager about deviations from the planned results and the importance or amount of these deviations.
Recommends corrective actions and alternative courses of behavior.
The control is a mechanism for bringing the actual results in line with the prepared plans.
What is monitoring
Monitoring is an ongoing event by the management team and the funding institution for the provision of resources, implementation of activities, implementation of results, and achievement of objectives, according to the project plan. Reference: “Monitoring and controlling program execution”, https://bvop.org/learn/monitoring-controlling-program/
The purpose of monitoring is the efficient and effective implementation of the project by receiving feedback from all management levels.
The first level is the donor of the project.
The second level is the heads of management
The third level is the specialists in planning and analysis
The fourth level is the operational managers
The fifth level is the target groups and the general public
Purpose of monitoring
- to assess the progress of a project against the stated objectives, using the specified indicators
- indicate the sources of information on these indicators
- to ensure reliable, relevant, and easily verifiable indicators
- to assist in the management of the project by making it possible to identify potential obstacles to its implementation
- to propose strategies for overcoming obstacles
- subject to monitoring are all elements that may critically affect the project; resources, activities, results, goals, external environment of the project
The main elements that are observed:
- the time, quantity, and quality of resources, activities, and results
- budget and costs
- changes in the external environment of the project that may affect the implementation of the project or the achievement of its objectives
- use of the project results by the target group
The monitoring of resources, activities, and results is performed in relation to:
- work plan
- quality standards
- work standards (time to perform a certain activity)
Budget and expenditure monitoring includes:
control over the overall project budget
control by elements of the budget
cost control (unit costs)
Monitoring can be defined as a description of events and conditions within a certain period of time. The system contains the methods and tools used to measure, evaluate and provide information to managers on the extent to which the set goals have been achieved. After receiving the information, the project manager uses the obtained data to impose control.
Reports shall be prepared that meet the following requirements:
include only the required data
not contain unnecessary information
to consider exceptions (deviations)
to identify problems
to offer solutions
to be submitted in due time.
Requirements to the monitoring system
- information to arrive on time, in an appropriate form, and to address key issues
- to correctly determine the frequency of observation and the characteristics of the observed elements
- monitoring should be carried out frequently enough to allow for deviations from the plans made.
- to provide financial resources for the implementation of the monitoring, Read more: “Monitoring and Controlling in Project management presented with real scenario examples“, https://www.nebraskasocialstudies.org/monitoring-and-controlling-in-project-management-examples/
- the system is economical and justifies the means to maintain it
Control over the implementation of the project
The purpose of monitoring is to control the implementation of the project.
Management control uses the information gathered from what has been done so far to develop the necessary future actions.
The control must be carried out at an early stage – any deviation must be identified and reported to the manager as soon as possible.
Deviations must be identified early enough for corrective action to be taken before the implementation of the project objectives has been seriously affected.
Each organization develops its own cost control system depending on its specific activities.
General criteria of the control system:
The reporting information should reflect the actual costs compared to the planned ones
Reporting information should be timely and provided in such periods that will allow management to make decisions in case of problems
Gathering information and reporting costs should not become an obstacle in the implementation of the project.
The statement of expenditure status is developed depending on the accounting practice of the organization and the requirements of the donor to the format of the report.
Quality assurance is the process of establishing standards for project implementation, measuring and evaluating the implementation of these standards, preparing reports, and taking corrective action when there are deviations from the standards. Reference: “Quality control and quality assurance in Project Management and Agile practices“, https://scrumtime.org/quality-control-and-quality-assurance-project-management-agile-practices/
Quality control is a mechanism that involves monitoring, testing, collecting, and analyzing the information needed for this purpose.
Each organization develops its own control system.
System planning requires defining criteria to meet the results achieved and ways to compare them with the planned ones.
Monitoring and control system
Requirements to the monitoring and control system:
to be understandable to the people who will use it
be related to the overall organization
report deviations from the plan at regular intervals so that corrective action can be taken before the consequences become serious
be flexible enough to keep up with changes in the organizational environment
indicate the nature of the corrective actions to bring the project back to the plan
to be linguistically and visually good
to be developed with the active participation of all people and groups involved in the project.
Reporting and evaluation of the project implementation
Requirements to the project report
provides the donor with information about the environment and the factors influencing certain social processes; feedback on the achieved goals and the effectiveness of a certain type of projects
donors develop their policy for financing certain types of projects
provide the donor with information about the capacity that organizations must have to successfully implement a project
motivate donor policy in the selection of supported organizations
create transparency for the public about the activity
the organization builds its image in front of donors and programs to attract further funding
Contents of the report
Brief general information about the project
Support provided – donors, partners
Scope of the project – geographical, target group, etc.
Description of the implemented activities
Difficulties that have been overcome and in what way
Evaluation of the achieved results
Assessment of the changes in the capacity of the organization
Recommendations for the implementation of such projects
- guarantees to the donor the appropriate spending of the project funds
- creates transparency for the public
- monitors the balancing of the received funds and the incurred expenses under the project
- warns of the potential danger of overspending or non-absorption of funds
- financial data to be reflected in the accounting
- the document flow to allow comparison of the primary documentation on the project with the financial statement
- entering the primary documentation in separate registers for easy verification
- each document to be dated and each month to have a separate file
- financial statements to comply with the budget format
- the documentation should be kept by categories
- receipts and invoices for each payment to be kept for several years after the end of the project
- the reports to be prepared within the terms indicated in advance by the project sponsors
- the financial statement must indicate the currency in which the costs are presented and the period to which they relate
- the financial statement must contain information about the remaining unspent funds under the project
- the sponsor organization provides a pre-prepared financial form
Strategy for “closing” the project
if the project needs funds to continue to exist, look for new donors and partners
take care of documentation and finances
provide a report to all interested parties
if you have opened a bank account for the project, close it
consider whether to keep the working group and consider other projects
let the people and organizations that funded you know that the work was completed successfully and thank them
prepare materials for publication
organize a celebration and invite everyone who participated in the project.