The objective and purpose of a progress monitoring system are to keep the project team informed of progress on the individual tasks and the progress of the full team. Additionally, progress is reviewed in light of the overall project objectives and organizational strategies. A progress monitoring process should be part of the organizational project management culture, rather than narrowly focused on the specific project at hand. A monitoring system is most successful when it is formalized and fully embedded into the organizational procedures for managing projects. It is under these circumstances that project personnel would know what data are expected of them for input into the progress reporting system. Accordingly, the project personnel will have a clearer picture of the volume, quality, and frequency of the reports that they will be receiving from the progress reporting system.
There is no question that accurate collection of cost and schedule information should be part of the data that are collected and/or computed by a project monitoring system, but cost and schedule are not the primary concern of the data collection; deliverable -specific resources are the data of concern. Reliance on the RBS and WBS, provided by a formalized progress monitoring system, will allow project managers to compile meaningful historical project data. In turn , detailed progress data will be significantly useful in managing the changes in the texture of the current project, while providing useful historical data for streamlining the estimating and management of future projects.
The progress monitoring system should be formulated and implemented in such a way that it would not have a negative impact on progress, creativity, innovation, and morale of the technical personnel on the project team. Rather, it must be a facilitative tool that informs the team members of their individual assignments, reminds them of forthcoming events, and warns them if there are significant variances. Additionally, the progress monitoring system must centrally store the data for forecasting and for future customization of estimating and scheduling models. In order to increase the utility of the progress monitoring and reporting system, the data must be compiled, refined, and reported to the team members in a timely manner and at the level of detail that is useful to the recipient of the information.