Monitoring and controlling in project management: Example situations

Monitoring and controlling project management is an important activity that guarantees the quality and timing of the project.

The project manager is responsible for monitoring and controlling the activities. Reference: “Monitoring and control in project management”,

However, the project director and the program manager are responsible for the corrective actions and the result.

In this article, we offer many examples of situations related to monitoring and controlling in project management. Gabriel Smith is a project management student and he shared with us the questions we asked him.

Example situations for Monitoring and controlling in project management

Your project says that Peter demotivates the team and expresses dissatisfaction during lunch breaks almost every day.

I would talk to Peter to find out what is causing his dissatisfaction

If he considers the reasons for his dissatisfaction to be justified, I would analyze them and propose measures for action.

I would agree with Peter to work together and meet regularly to discuss openly whether / how something has changed, how he feels.

I would try to see in my face a person with whom he can share and whom he can trust, showing him that his opinions and emotions are important both for me and for the organization.

My goal would be to use myself as a “vent” and not to impose my opinion on my colleagues, negatively affecting their motivation.

As a Project manager would I will be the person who can give more information or answer his questions (if necessary/relevant). Reference: “Plan, monitoring and control in project management: Data collection, processing, and analysis“,

I would indirectly inquire and observe the extent to which he influenced others (without asking them in plain text what exactly he told them).

If this approach does not work, I would talk to the employee again and explain that such behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated, and if the professional tone of communication is not restored, there is no way to continue working on the project.

If there is no change and then “intimidation”, I would remove him from the project (dismissal from the company would be quite difficult to achieve given the local labor legislation, which is in the maximum protection of the employee). Reference: Website

Your supplier sends you a letter informing you that it will stop delivering your product in a month because it stops production.

I would like to notify the company’s management immediately.

I would look for an alternative supplier at a similar price.

I would inform the client once I have alternatives to offer.

After selecting a new provider, I would update the list of providers and the budget (if the latter is necessary).

I would make sure that the new contract is concluded according to the parameters of the previous one and there will be no change in the terms. Reference: (Original Source)

If a delay is inevitable, I would update the schedules, notify the customer and look for options to compensate for the delay.

I would like to thank the old supplier for the timely notification and the work done so far, and I would also definitely ask for penalties if the contract provides for such.

The client sends you an email asking you to explain the status of the project.

I would notify my director of the client’s request.

I would prepare a presentation with the requested information (with graphs, tables, and other ways for easier visualization).

I would send the presentation to the client.

If the client prefers to discuss the topic live, I would organize a meeting during which to present the prepared and answer the questions.

I would suggest regular meetings during which to provide up-to-date information on the progress of the project to the client, in case such have not been planned and organized so far. Reference: “Monitoring and Controlling in Project management presented with real scenario examples“,

Your architect tells you that he has doubts about the strength of the materials with which you make your product.

I would arrange an immediate meeting with the architect, during which he would acquaint me with his concerns.

I would assign him the task of exposing the identified risks in a written expert opinion, as well as offering alternatives that ensure the preservation of the good quality of the final product.

I would acquaint the directors with the situation and the opinion of the architect and we would discuss the options for action.

I would ask for a second expert analysis and evaluation from another architect.

I would initiate a meeting with the client to get acquainted with the situation and the measures taken.

After receiving permission to take one of the proposed alternative solutions, I would acquaint the teams with it and I would update all available documentation and schedules. (More on the topic)

If after the tests it turns out that the architect’s fears are unfounded, I would not inform the client about the situation.

Programmers complain that the code compilation environment is very slow and time-consuming for this step.

I would like to have a quick meeting with the programmers to describe the problem and the consequences.

I would contact (or assign it to a team member) the platform support team and register the problem with high priority.

I would check for an alternative environment that can be used in this case.

I would inform the management.

I would assure the programmers that I am aware of the seriousness of the problem and that I have taken all possible measures.

I would also ask them to keep me informed of any changes in the performance of the platform.

I would maintain constant communication with the support and I would escalate to a higher level in case of a delay in their reaction.

I would only notify the client if the problem leads to non-compliance with the deadline or if the potential risk is high. I would not like to cause unnecessary panic if the tasks are completed on time.

If we do get there, I would explain what has been done so far, what is being done, what exactly are / would be the consequences, and our proposals for measures to deal with them.

Your designer tells you that the usability of your product’s GUI is starting to decline

I would check the statistics to see if this is the case.

I would like to read the results of the feedback forms (if any) to find out the most common reasons for customer dissatisfaction.

I would check what the competition has to offer.

I would like to inform my directors about the results of my research and suggest that we make changes according to the available budget.

I would present the benefits of changes to the client and convince them that the allocation of an additional budget is in their favor (if necessary).

I would update the documentation with the newly approved tasks and the costs associated with them

The director casually asks you in the hallway if you think the project is on schedule

I would suggest that we meet at a time convenient for him to acquaint him in detail with the progress of the project.

I would prepare a short presentation for the meeting.

If there is nothing extraordinary about the project, I would ask the director if he wants a meeting or just send him the latest information by e-mail.

A representative, an external consultant of your client, sends you an inquiry about whether the product meets its requirements and asks you to confirm this.

The product requirements should have already been approved in a previous phase and the work should be done in a way that the product would meet them.

I would systematize the requirements we meet and send them to the consultant with the client and the management of our organization in a copy.

I would stay available for questions because transparency and responsiveness to customer needs are a priority for me.

A representative, an external consultant to your client, sends you a letter asking you to share the level of competence of your teams.

I would assure the consultant that the level of competence of the teams is required.

I would mention that this is evident from the deadlines that have been strictly met so far.

I would not go into names and details, but at the same time I would try not to sound rude and as if I have something to hide.

Your client is sending you the following email “Hello! Our CTO wants you to include an additional device in the project scope”

I would inform my directors.

I would explain to the client that the scope is pre-defined and approved and any change in it could affect the timing and budget.

I would check if we have experts in the company who could perform similar tasks or I have to look for an external company (if so, how much would it cost and how long would it take). Reference: “Monitoring and control over the project implementation”,

I would check to what extent the new task is related to the others (ie how dependent it is and what its impact is).

If the client still insists on the extension of the scope, I would like to sign and sign the changes, as well as the tasks, costs, risks, etc. related to them

Your client is sending you an email: “Hello! We’ve seen the project drawings. We want you to add a new button on the system diagnostics dashboard before you can start producing a prototype.”

I would inform my directors.

I would explain to the client that the required functionality is not part of the scope of the project.

From now on, the scenario overlaps with the steps of Situation 10.

Your client is sending you an email: “Hello! We want to reduce the overall cost of the project, but we have no idea yet how. Please give us suggestions and an action plan.”

I would inform my directors.

I would talk to the client about his expectations regarding the percentage of cost cuts.

I would reconsider the planned costs and think about where optimizations and reductions are possible.

I would offer the client those options that would not affect the timing and quality of the project.

I would explain to the client that if he wants to make more cost cuts, then we must sign an annex to the contract to change the deadlines and/or drop certain requirements and tasks.

You return from vacation and find that the team has started to lag in various tasks

I would like to meet with the team to find out the status of the tasks, the deadlines, and the reasons for this.

I would divide the tasks into those that are carried out on time and those that are delayed, and I would make a plan to catch up on the latter.

If the backlog cannot be compensated and this would affect other tasks and the project as a whole, I would inform my directors and inform the client about our action plan.

If the delay is due to negligence on the part of specific employees, I would talk to their line manager to take the situation into account when evaluating their performance and generating their bonus.

I would closely monitor the subsequent work of the team with a view to an immediate response to a new delay

Your technical manager informs you that he has just been to the HR department and has issued a notice to leave

I will talk to him about the reasons for leaving and try to persuade him to stay or at least postpone the date of his application until the end of the project.

If he does not agree, at least I would do my best to at least keep his notice period, which would give him time to “pass the baton” to his successor.

I would talk to the recruitment department to open a new position immediately (possibly with a high friend recommendation bonus).

I would check if there is currently a deputy who is familiar with the tasks of the project and I would talk to him/her to apply for the job.

I would talk to the technical manager to document in detail all his already performed, current, and upcoming tasks and those of his team, so that the next in position can have clarity about the situation.

I would talk to the directors and the client to cover the cost of a period in which the old and the new technical manager are both in office to ensure successful continuity.

Regardless of whether an internal or external candidate has been selected for the position, during his / her training, I would also choose a deputy to train at the same time as him/her to avoid a similar situation in the future or case of long absence.

One of your technical specialists informs you that your manager, who has decided to leave the company, has offered him to leave with him and to join a new company together.

I would contact the legal department to find out if such behavior is contrary to the contractual provisions.

I would talk to the technical manager that such behavior is not moral and collegial.

I would like to find out which is the competing company and how the conditions there are more attractive for our employees.

I would talk to the technician to find out if he/she plans to leave and if so, why. If so, I would immediately open a search position for his deputy.

I would inform my directors about all this.

Your client is sending you an email: “Hello! If we decide to remove the GUI, what savings and time can we expect?”

I would inform my directors.

I would explain to the client that the graphical interface and touch screen are part of the signed and approved scope of the project, the costs for them are foreseen and approved, the relevant specialists are hired and the other tasks are planned according to the time for these.

I would emphasize that due to the above, such a change would come with penalties that the client has to pay.

I would calculate the requested value of the savings (excluding penalties).

I would explain that removing such features would make the product less attractive to consumers, which would affect future profits.

If the client still decides to make the change, I would update the project documentation.

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