Project Management

[ Project Management Topics ]

Control and Evaluation

Control relates to the watching over of the project and making adjustments as necessary. Evaluation has to do with obtaining data/information for analysis relating to project or process success or lack thereof. Both have to do with measuring progress toward project objectives and identifying and addressing deviations.

In every project there are many factors that must be controlled or evaluated. Some areas include:

A key thing to do for all areas is continual assessment, and post assessment after milestones are met in particular. An important thing to consider is that evaluations are not particularly useful unless the results are made useful in some manner. Collecting data and never evaluating it negates the value of collecting the data in the first place. For example, if I (or the school) never read my student evaluations then it would serve the student little benefit to complete them. However, this is not the case, and indeed these evaluations prove very beneficial to future groups of students.

One suggestion is to have project review meetings with project team members to discuss the current status of the project in relation to goals, expectations, and the like. Through these meetings you can help guide the project, address problems, resolve conflicts, and address staffing issues - all things that are difficult if not impossible to do simply with written reports.

A few comments on meetings:

Equally, it is advised to develop status reports. A status report is a monitoring tool that identifies progress and problems and communicates them clearly and consistently to the project team and project management. It can also be used to track problem resolution and effects of changes to the scope, process, or policies.

Sample status reports

Lastly is creating a formal project audit. The purpose of a project audit is to get an accurate and clear pictures of the quality of work, current and past expenditures, and the current schedule of the project - in some ways it can be seen as a jumbo-sized status report. However, in this case the depth and breadth are commonly greater and more extensive.

Sample project audits and description can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Audit_report

A description of performing a project audit can be found at http://www.bia.ca/articles/UndertakingaSuccessfulProjectAudit.htm

Methods of review

  1. Peer reviews
  2. Walkthroughs
  3. Formal technical reviews/inspections

Work Unit Validation-Passing Gates

Used to close and validate the completion of subsystems and units of work

There are two main functions of work unit validation:
1. Quality assurance on the completed subsystem
2. Critical forward-looking examination of how subsequent work can rely on the completed work

Work unit validation reviews are formal and technically rigorous, with some legal and contractual security; they are often either walkthroughs or inspections

See See http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/civil-and-environmental-engineering/1-040-project-management-spring-2004/lecture-notes/l19reviews_2.pdf for more information.