When a plan is executed, regardless of how carefully the planning was done, things frequently do not work out as planned. With proper monitoring, a project manager can check whether or not the project is progressing as planned. If it is not progressing along the desired path, control must be applied to ensure that the project still meets its objectives.
At Infosys, project monitoring occurs at several different levels. Following are the lessons from this approach:
Track the completion of scheduled activities, the defects found, and the issues that come up. Use a weekly status report for regular tracking and reporting.
At project milestones, compare the actual values for schedule, effort, and defects with the estimated values. If the deviation exceeds the predetermined threshold, take corrective and preventive actions if the situation warrants. Also, revisit the risks and situations that affect risks.
Evaluate some tasks immediately after they have been executed and take corrective actions if the performance is not within the expected range, as determined from past data. Reviews and unit testing are best suited for this level of tracking.
Analyze the defect data from the first few modules in the project to understand the root causes of the defects. Then take actions to eliminate the root causes. Later, repeat this analysis to understand the impact of defect prevention.
Audit the project formally for compliance with the defined processes. Based on the noncompliance reports, take corrective and preventive actions.
From the CMM perspective, the techniques discussed in this chapter satisfy some of the requirements of the Project Tracking and Oversight KPA at level 2, the Integrated Project Management KPA at level 3, and the Quantitative Process Management KPA at level 4. The process monitoring and audit activities satisfy some requirements of the Software Quality Assurance KPA at level 2 and the audit requirements of some other KPAs. The defect analysis and prevention activities satisfy some of the requirements of the Defect Prevention KPA at level 5.