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4.0       Controlling

This section is partially completed.


To ensure the project objectives are met by monitoring and measuring progress and when necessary, taking corrective action.


The appropriate project controls are selected in the initiating phase, defined in the planning phase, and used during the executing phase to ensure project performance.  The plans for a project’s controls are adapted during planning to be commensurate with the project type, size and risk.  For this reason the control plans include the adapted process, techniques, and tools that the project has agreed to use. 

As the project proceeds, the responsibility of the project team is to review progress against the milestones and goals defined in the integrated project plan.  The project control activities manage, track and provide visibility of actual progress.  Most project controls consist of tracking, reviewing and managing activities.  Some typical project controls are the tracking and management of:

·         Costs and Time.

·         Issues and Decisions.

·         Changes to Scope, Schedule, or Contract.

·         Status and Communications.

·         Quality and Risk Response.

Additional templates are being developed to control the business transition efforts as they relate to the development of the product and the organizations readiness to receive the product.

The planned controls are used as the basis for tracking and managing the project activities, communicating status, and if appropriate, revising plans.  Progress is primarily determined by comparing the scope, effort, cost, and schedule to the plan when selected work products are completed or at selected milestones. When it is determined that the project's plans are not being met, the project management team should determine the best course of action. This may include revising the integrated project plan to reflect the actual accomplishments and re-planning the remaining work or taking actions to improve the performance.


·         To understand the benefits of change and ensure coordination of the impact to the adjusted scope, requirements, schedule, cost, quality and risk.

·         To maintain a common understanding and agreement of the scope, work, schedule, resources required and decisions made.

·         To ensure business readiness to receive the product once the project has completed

·         To ensure that the project has achieved the planned quality results and to correct significant or risky deviations from the quality plan. 

·         To ensure project commitment and support throughout the life of the project by maintaining regular communications of the project performance.

·         To recognize and proactively respond to changes in risk over the course of the project.

Controlling Lessons

Common lessons learned from skipping or poorly executing the controlling processes are:

  • As the project progressed the project plans became less and less useful, resulting in increasingly vague commitments to questions on schedule, effort, costs, and what would be delivered.
  • The project was being run under the management radar screens in an effort to avoid politics, but failed because they were unable to avoid problems/issues with too many project running at the same time.
  • Overtime, the project lacked management understanding, support and commitment.
  • Cost occurred from out of nowhere, unexpected people were charging to the project, some people we approved to charge to the project, didn’t.  Cost and effort overruns couldn’t be predicted.
  • The project reacted to all issues as they occurred, with equal effort and importance.  Risks became unmanageable
  • Design changes were done on the fly, repeated, and prone to error. 
  • Quality in process and in product was random.  If extra effort could be fit into the remaining time or if an individual felt compelled to ensure a quality outcome it happened.
  • Loss of project team moral due to lack of awareness of changes made, lack of analysis of work impact, and sudden overtime commitments.

Input to Controlling

1.    Integrate Project Plan (IPP).  the specific parts of the IPP related to the inputs for Controlling are:

  • Overall Change Management Plan.   Defines how changes to the project’s scope/requirements, costs, schedule, quality, and risks will be coordinated for understanding and possible impact in all of the planned areas.  Ensures the ongoing integrity of the project’s Integrated Project Plan.
  • Quality Management Plan.  Addresses how Quality Control will monitor the specific project results to determine if they comply with relevant quality standards and identifies ways to eliminate causes of unsatisfactory performance.
  • Risk Management Plan.  Addresses how Risk Response Control (mitigation and contingencies) will respond to changes in risk over the course of the project.
  • Communication Plan.  Addresses the collecting and disseminating of performance information.  This may includes status reporting, progress measurement and forecasting.
  • Business Transition Change Management Plan <currently not developed>

2.    Work Results.  Work results are the outcomes of the activities performed to accomplish the project.  Information on work results – which deliverables have been completed and which have not, to what extent quality standards are being met, what costs have been incurred or committed, etc. – is collected as part of project execution and fed into the project’s performance reporting activities.

3.    Change Requests.  Change requests (e.g. to expand scope, modify costs or schedule estimates, etc.) are often identified while the work of the project is being done in the execution phase. 


Process Flow Diagram or Tasks

The process activities are diagramed and then followed by brief description of each activity.  The diagram is numbered to correspond to the “Project Management – Overview Reference” located in the introduction of this process guide. 

The description follows the diagram and each process step is numbered.  A title for the process step is indicated in bold in the left-hand column.  In addition to the title, the recommended template to document the outcomes of the process step is indicated in parentheses. 


17.  Collect and Disseminate Performance Information

(Status Report)

Performance reporting involves collecting and disseminating performance information in order to provide stakeholders with information about how resources are being used to achieve project objectives.  How performance reporting is to be carried out for the project is defined in the projects communication plan.  Once the project is underway collecting performance information involves collecting and analyzing information about the project (i.e. what deliverables are complete, how much time and dollars have been spent, how much change has occurred, etc).  This type of information comes from work results – what deliverables are fully and partially complete, what costs have been incurred or committed, etc, and other project records such as the schedule, change log, issue logs, procurement and contracting log, quality control review recommendations, and training log. 

The collected information is disseminated by creating a status report that includes:

  • Describing where the project now stands
  • Describing what the project team has accomplished
  • Predicting future project status and progress

18. Coordinate Changes Across Project

(Change Request Form, Change Tracking Log, Training Log, Issue Mgmt Log, Comm. Plan Log)

or optional tool see tools and techniques.


  Coordinating changes across or overall change control requires:

  • Maintaining the integrity of the performance measurement baselines –all approved changes should be reflected in the Integrated Project Plan, but only project scope/requirements changes will affect the performance measurement baselines.
  • Ensuring that changes to the product scope are reflected in the definition of the project scope (for differences in type of scope see the glossary definitions).
  • Coordinating changes impact throughout the project plans.  For example, a proposed schedule change will often affect cost, risk, quality and staffing.

Overall Change Control ensures that the project’s Integrated Project Plan remains the most useful, effective and efficient way to accomplish the projects objectives.

The Integrated Project plan provides the baseline against which changes will be controlled. 

Project performance information, how the project is doing, alerts the project team to issues that may cause problems in the future.  And change requests in various forms, oral or written, direct or indirect, externally or internally initiated, and legally mandated or optional may occur and will need to be managed through the Change Management Plan which has been adapted for the project.  These inputs and the change management plan facilitate the projects ability to take appropriate corrective action when real variance occurs and ensures the project plans are coordinated and accurate.

Reasoning behind the corrective actions and changes from change control should be documented for use as lessons learned – becoming part of the historical database for the performing organization.

19.  Facilitate Change, Quality Monitoring and Risk Response


Overall change control deals with evaluating and coordinating changes that may impact some or all of the areas of the project.  How the changes are implemented into the specific areas (scope, schedule, cost, risk, etc) is facilitated based on the management plan for each area.   For example, did the risk of the project require a risk management plan that describes the project’s risk management process, tools and techniques?   The more complex the project the higher the need for formal plans which represent agreement on how changes will be determined and implemented.  Lower complexity project may use just the overall change management plan and have no need for the more rigorous processes. 

The specific areas where project controls may be applied include Scope Change Control, Schedule Control, Cost Control, Quality Control, and Risk Response Control.  The following are brief descriptions of these specific controls.

Scope Change Control

(Requirements Traceability Matrix)

or optional tool see tools and techniques.

Scope Change Control – controlling changes to the project and product scope.

The WBS, project performance, scope or requirement management plan and change requests help to determine if a change is beneficial, has occurred, or should occur.  Changes that typically effect scope are:

  • An external event (e.g. a change in a government regulation).
  • An error or omission in defining the scope of the product (e.g. failure to include a required feature in the design of a system).
  • An error in defining the scope of the project (e.g. failure to include work to install new Local Area Network (LAN) lines)
  • A value-adding change (e.g. the project is able to reduce cost by taking advantage of technology that was not available when the scope was originally defined).

The Requirements Management Plan should address how a scope change would be facilitated through all levels of scope (e.g. business need, project objectives, high level requirement down to test cases and implementation requirements).  Scope changes are fed back through the planning process, technical and planning documents are updated as needed, and stakeholders are notified as appropriate.  Reasoning behind the corrective actions and changes from scope change control should be documented for use as lessons learned.

Schedule Control


Schedule Control – controlling changes to the project schedule.

The procedures by which the project schedule may be changed will be developed in a future process release.

Cost Control

(Contract and Procurement Tracking Spreadsheet, Budget Tracking Spreadsheets)

Cost Control - Controlling changes to the project budget.

Cost control includes:

  • Monitoring cost performance to detect variances from plan.
  • Ensuring that all appropriate changes are recorded accurately in the cost baseline.
  • Preventing incorrect, inappropriate, or unauthorized changes from being included in the cost baseline.
  • Informing appropriate stakeholders of authorized changes.

The procedures by which the project cost baseline may be changed will be developed in a future process release.

Quality Control

(Quality Standard checklists)

Quality Control  – monitoring specific project results to determine if they comply with relevant quality standards and identifying way to eliminate causes of unsatisfactory performance.

Project results include both product results such as deliverables and management results such as cost and schedule performance.

Inputs to Quality Control include work results, a quality management plan, operation definitions, and checklists.  Quality control reviews are conducted according to the plan.  This does not means that the specific result or deliverable that is to be reviewed is always planned.  For example, if reviews are scheduled for testing, the specific test cases to be reviewed are not known – they are a random sampling.  Staff on the project may conduct some types of quality control reviews.  Staff outside the project best conducts other reviews.  The quality control reviews include analyzing the results and making recommendations if necessary for improvements.  The quality management planning process determines the amount of reviews, and who will perform them as is appropriate for the type, size and risk of the project.

The typical output from conducting quality control reviews includes, quality improvements, acceptance decisions, rework, completed quality control checklists, and process adjustments.

Risk Response Control

(Risk Mgmt Log)

Risk Response Control – responding to changes in risk over the course of the project.

This involves executing the risk management plans in order to respond to risk events over the course of the project.  The risk management plan indicates the type of risk response that has been agreed to in the event that the risk or risk trigger occurs.  Some of the identified risks events will occur, others will not.  The ones that do are actual risk events, and the project management team must recognize that one has occurred so that the response developed can be implemented.

The planned risk responses generally are a mitigation (lessoning of the impact) or contingency (implementing another prepared plan if the risk occurs).  However, some risk responses are unplanned workarounds.  Workarounds are unplanned responses to negative risk events.  They are only considered an unplanned workaround, in the sense that the response was not defined in advance of the risk event occurring.

As anticipated risk events occur or fail to occur, and as actual risk event effects are evaluated the risk management plan and risk log should be updated.

Business Transition Controls

<insert in here the control process for business transition efforts within a project once those processes have been defined and are made available.>

Output From Controlling

1.    Integrated Project Plan updates.

2.    Corrective Action.  Approved scope/requirements changes, schedule updates, revised cost estimates, budget updates, estimate at completion, quality improvements, quality acceptance decisions, rework, completed quality checklists, process adjustments, risk response, and updates to plans.

3.    Lessons Learned.  Causes of variances that required a corrective action to the scope, budget, schedule, risk, quality plan, rework – effectively any part of the Integrated Project Plan.  Lessons learned filed with the PMO.

Tools and Techniques

Change Management Application – some project have created or reused an access database change management application.

Configuration Management Application – depends on technology, I.e. Merant’s PVCS Pro.


Requirements Management Application – Rational’s Requisite Pro.

MS Projects – Scheduling and Tracking Tool.




















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