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Project Management Tools Monitoring Projects

November 29 2007

Project Management Tools – Monitoring and Controlling Projects

Controlling Projects – There are 3 critical areas that many project managers overlook when monitoring and controlling projects, and they are often the root cause of project failure. These 3 project management tools areas are the management of; suppliers, procurement and communications. To help you to monitor and control each area efficiently, we’ve described each in further detail below…

Monitor and Control Your Projects (Part 3)

Having previously covered the management of time, cost, quality, change, risk and issues – the final step in the “Monitor and Control” newsletter series is the management of suppliers, procurement and communications.

If you can monitor and control all of these aspects smoothly and efficiently, then you will have a great chance of delivering your project successfully. So let’s tackle the last 3 remaining areas now…

Managing Suppliers

Always make sure you appoint suppliers through a formal process. Even if you’re appointing suppliers you know and have worked with for some time, always create a statement of work with your project management tools which defines the exact scope of work that you wish them to perform.

Next create a formal detailed supplier contract for the scope of work to be completed. In this contract, define the work to be completed, the responsibilities of both parties, the performance criteria and terms and conditions for the relationship. Then if things go sour, you have something to fall back on.

In your contract, have milestones which specify what it is that you expect them to have delivered and by when. Then at each milestone date, complete a formal review of deliverables completed to date, vs. the deliverables specified in the contract. If things change during the project, then amend the contract accordingly. The contract should always represent the nature of the agreement and never become “out dated”.

You can then closely monitor and control your suppliers performance.

Control Procurement

As well as managing your suppliers overall performance, you also need to monitor and control the procurement of goods and services from those suppliers.

Controlling procurement is all about reviewing and accepting goods and services once they have been delivered by your supplier. You need to implement project management tools through procurement process which enables your team to take ownership of the item being delivered, review it against pre-defined criteria and approve payment for it, based on your supplier contract.

Tip: Always make sure that you issue Purchase Orders for products you require from suppliers. Create a detailed description of the product you require on the Purchase Order, so that you have something to measure against when it arrives.

Perform Communications

Communication is King! As part of the “monitor and control” phase in a project, you’ll need to keep a constant eye on the communications that are taking place.

You should always have a formal Communications Plan in place so that key messages are communicated to the right people at the right time. You can then monitor and control your project communications by making sure that the activities on your communications plan are completed at the right time, and in the right manner.

Make sure you have a feedback process so that if the wrong messages are received by staff, suppliers or stakeholders, then you’ll be immediately informed and can take action to resolve it.

So that’s in. In these last 3 newsletters, we’ve explained how to monitor and control your project by managing:

  • Time, Cost and Quality
  • Change, Risks, and Issues
  • Suppliers, Procurement and Communications

By using these key project management tools, you can deliver projects quickly and efficiently, with less stress and effort than before.