The monitoring and control phase of a project life cycle involves starting the project, monitoring its progress, and controlling day-to-day activities so that variances from the project plan are kept to a minimum.
The key to success in this phase is the monitoring system design. If the project manager and team put into place a systematic way to collect data, analyze the data, control the variances revealed in the analyses, and report the results quickly, the project will progress smoothly. Otherwise the project will be characterized by constant, reactive attempts to put out fires.
Another key aspect of project success revolves around the expertise and efficiency of the team in change management and change control in general. As long as the organization maintains a strict change process and proper procedures, change can be managed. The one major caution in managing change is to ensure that every change is implemented only after it is agreed to and documented by all stakeholders.
The key tools for this phase of the project are the WBS, Gantt charts, network analyses, earned value analyses, and reporting and change control forms.