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Monitoring and controlling program execution

Monitoring and Controlling Program Execution

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Monitoring and Controlling Program Execution

The following article is part of the self-preparation for the modern BVOP® Certified Project Manager program.

This chapter explains the concept of Monitoring and Controlling Program Execution in the context of BVOP.

  1. Identifying deviations from initial planning
  2. Prevention of current and potential issues
  3. Controlling costs
  4. Teams’ management
  5. Teams motivation
  6. Risk observation
  7. Change management
  8. External parties management

Monitoring and controlling program execution may need the following activities:

  • Identifying deviations from initial planning
  • Prevention of current and potential issues
  • Controlling costs
  • Teams management
  • Teams motivation
  • Risk observation
  • Change management
  • External parties management

Identifying deviations from initial planning

Milestones, estimated cost, quality expectations, and others may deviate from the initial plans over time. The Business Value-Oriented Program Management (BVOPGM) office needs to identify all deviations that occur in the projects throughout the entire program.

Project management roles are actively involved in project deviations identification.

Prevention of current and potential issues

Prevention of existing and potential issues is an important activity related to eliminating waste. 

Key factors for the prevention of current and potential issues may be the regular discussion of project risks, high communication activity, team responsibility, and stakeholders’ involvement.

Controlling costs

Programs and projects may be tied to estimated budgets. Expenses that do not add business value to the projects are identified, discussed, and their potential reduction may be planned and executed.

Teams’ management

During program realizations, project teams may face a variety of difficulties like:

  • Personal conflicts
  • Team members leaving the organization or the project
  • Organizational issues impacting the teams
  • Team members initiating disruptive actions
  • Communications issues
  • Environmental or technical issues
  • Inadequate or insufficient information 

Team behavior, work, communication, productivity, ethics, and interactions need to be monitored and controlled, and current or forthcoming issues need to be resolved.

Teams motivation

Teams may face a drop in motivation based on different factors. The BVOPGM and BVOPM office representatives need to track fluctuations in motivation and take action. These activities may need to be accomplished with the assistance of the Business Value-Oriented People Management (BVOPPM) office.

Risk observation

The entire program’s risk and the risks of all projects need constant observation. Early symptoms are monitored and discussed. The potential risk needs to be prevented with the assistance of the BVOPGM and BVOPM offices, and the key roles of each project team.

Change management

Program and projects needs, scope, and requirements usually evolve with time, based on different factors like:

  • Changed organizational needs
  • Changed business needs
  • Changes in organizational members, stakeholders, and other internal and external parties
  • Changed authorities regulations
  • Changes in markets and competitors
  • Changes in users needs, behavior and expectations
  • Technical feasibility
  • Project team members skills
  • Obsolete and unnecessary requirements
  • Previously incorrectly defined requirements
  • Defects that occurr in realization stages

The BVOPGM office needs to have a clear picture of all factors that may cause potential changes. Corrections in scope, requirements, configurations of teams, planned resources, schedule, and realizations sets need to be applied at the early stages.

All required changes in projects need to be analyzed, discussed, and assessed against the validity and real needs. Identified changes in scope, requirements, and estimates are documented, prioritized, and planned for realization if they are assessed as valid and needed.

All parties involved and interested in the projects are informed of the changes and updated plans.

External parties management

External parties that are not involved in the program may need to receive information about milestones, the overall realization of projects, and financial status frequently. They are also required to provide information, assistance and/or feedback.

Agreements, contracts, services, and specific events may be important for the fast and reliable realization of the projects.

The following issues related to chapter "Monitoring and controlling program execution" are included in the certification exam. The sequence of questions is presented in the table.
The data is current as of September 25, 2020, 5:30 pm

ID Issue Time Category
0 Teams’ management 60 sec PGM, PM
1 Teams motivation 60 sec PGM, PM
2 Identifying deviations from initial planning 60 sec PGM, PM
3 Risk observation 60 sec PGM, PM
4 Prevention of current and potential issues 60 sec PGM, PM
5 External parties management 60 sec PGM, PM
6 Change management 60 sec PGM, PM
7 Controlling costs 60 sec PGM, PM

Comments from the BVOP™ community

Luciana González

Let us remind our readers that Monitoring and Controlling do not mean micro-management, pressing people to work extraordinary or stressing. The misunderstanding of this terminology causes problems in many teams. Stress, over-control of day-to-day developer work, and labor-intensive work lead to defects, errors, and lack of productivity.

Read carefully the Monitoring and Controlling activities in the opening paragraphs. Identifying, preventing problems, controlling costs, motivating the teams. These are all activities that are opposed to the negative micro-management practices of many project managers.

Please note that the management of the external participants in the project is also part of the monitoring and controlling activities of BVOP project management. Managing risk is also very important because the managed risk is a risk avoided.

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