If the successful project begins with the project plan, as we stated at the beginning of Chapter 6, then the function of monitoring and controlling the progress maintains the successful momentum toward project completion. (Monitoring and controlling a project is imminently easier if the project has been properly planned.) The tools of this phase are well tested and numerous. However, the beginning project manager or new team member is sometimes confused about how the tools are applied for maximum effectiveness and why particular tools are used in particular situations. It is best, therefore, to talk about this phase (sometimes called the implementation phase) as the monitoring and control phase, and to talk about the two components separately.
The first component, project monitoring, is most often done with earned value management (EVM). The description of earned value, how and why it came about, and the mechanics of the earned value evaluation were described in detail in Chapter 2. In this chapter we will talk about how to apply earned value to an integrated project, how to do an analysis, and the consequences of the analysis. The results of the monitoring activities are what we need to control the future direction of the project.
The second component, project control, uses our analysis to determine whether anything needs to be done to change how the project is progressing and implements the appropriate measures to get the project back on track, if that is needed.
This chapter expands on the discussion in Chapter 2 about earned value, and it also discusses techniques and tools for getting the project back on track.