Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Conducting interim evaluations of the project

Interim reviews of the development of the project are carried out in the form of various kinds of communication between the project manager, team members and individual performers responsible for various parts or works of the project. Their purpose is to obtain information about emerging problems and determine the need to influence the course of future events.

The forms of the review can be very different: individually face to face or in a group, using e-mail (when working remotely) or by phone and regular mail, etc. These can be regular and episodic observations of the progress of the project, the work of the team, the product created as a result of the so-called "walk through the project".

Usually, reviews are supplemented by protocols of negotiations, materials of various interviews, reports requested either by the project manager or by those responsible for the work. Development reports can be in printed or electronic form. Such reviews usually follow a set schedule: daily or weekly, or they are linked to the completion of some of the project milestones or milestones based on their plan. They are also held when there is any problem and work. These activities are included in the calendar schedule and are provided with resources.

Reviews typically compare the current state of the project with the previous or baseline plan; analyze the emerging and expected problems (risks) and determine how to cope with them.
When discussing project status with employees, the project manager can play the following roles:


The basic rules here are simple - listen carefully to those who report to you on the state, on deviations from the plan, unexpected problems, and offer possible solutions, listen not only to what is said, but also to how they speak. Try to understand whether the person is excited, upset, discouraged? Clarify what is being said by asking the right questions and check the understood by repeating the information received. The person who conducts such meetings should have good interview skills.


If problems arise in the project, the project manager can help solve them by directing another team member towards possible options. To assist the project, you can use, as needed, all the knowledge and experience of the project manager.


An important role of the project manager is to connect the individual parts of the project into a single whole. Has nothing been missed? Is there duplication of effort? What is the best way to use the abilities of team members?


As noted, probably the most important role of a project manager is that of a leader. By using a variety of methods, he directs the team's efforts towards the overall goal of completing the project in accordance with the specifications, at the required time and within budget. He must support and recognize good work, correct bad work, maintain a high level of interest and enthusiasm.


Project expertise is a detailed expert analysis of certain areas of both project and subject activities in the project. It also includes the compilation of a general picture of the progress and status of the project in order to improve the quality of the implementation of both this project and the rest of the company's projects as a whole.

Expertise is carried out by attracted qualified and experienced specialists, called experts. For the examination, both formalized data obtained as a result of the audit and monitoring procedures of the project are used, and information obtained during consultations and interviews and relating to informal (or poorly formalized) areas of project management, such as personnel competence, interpersonal relations, etc. External organizations also conduct an examination of the project at any pre-agreed time.


A project audit is a verification of the compliance of the formalized organizational activity for the management of this project with the regulations or standards of project management adopted in the industry or company. The audit is carried out at certain points in the implementation of the project in order to monitor the implementation of the management procedures defined in the standard, and the correctness of the project documents. The decision to conduct an unscheduled audit of the project can be made by the company's management on the basis of monitoring data. A project audit is a thorough examination of project management, its methodology and procedures, reporting, budgets and costs, and the degree of completion. One of the components of the audit can be the certification of the project manager or team members.

It is important to note that the proposed technical solutions and the content of the technical documentation of the project (subject-oriented activities) are often not the subject of a project audit. They refer to processes implemented in other subsystems of the company's quality management system.
There are several practical limitations to audit depth. Among the common ones are the time of the audit, the costs of its implementation, collection, storage and processing of data on the project. In addition (which is often underestimated), the audit causes resistance and even negative attitude on the part of some project participants, which reduces project activity. Finally, if the auditors' report is not constructive, it will have a bad effect on the climate on the team.

The usual areas for the audit are the general state of the project, selected issues of management areas, such as financial reporting, procurement practices, security methods, technical support procedures, grounds for payment, correct use of project management methods, quality issues. The audit can be complete and selective, it is carried out regularly (as the project develops) and once (during the project at its different phases, and after its completion). Conducting an audit is much more effective if it is carried out by external (unaffiliated) auditors - consultants. Audit costs are carried out from the project budget.

Here is a summary of one of the possible versions of the audit report.

1. Sources of information used.
2. Audit restrictions.
3. Abbreviations used.
4. Positive aspects of project management (for preservation and development): materials structured according to nine areas of knowledge on project management.
5. Negative aspects of project management (for elimination or modification): materials structured according to nine areas of knowledge on project management.
6. Provided recommendations for minimizing the observed negative aspects: materials structured in nine areas of knowledge on project management.
7. Additional comments.



Testing is another way to check the quality of the project, including the quality of the product being created and the quality of project management. Mandatory tests should be included in the project plan and specifications, and costs should be included in the project budget. Some typical domain tests include laboratory tests for various physicochemical properties of the product being created, pressure or pressure on mechanical components. For example, when creating a car, its safety is checked.
Testing options related to project management may include a survey of employees in the field of their competence, managerial knowledge, verification of the information system used, the study of the proposed standard.

It is important to note the need to involve future consumers in the testing of the product / project result at the earliest stage.

Monitoring the progress of the project

The same work under the same conditions will be evaluated differently by ten different appraisers or by one appraiser into ten different moments.

Monitoring the implementation of a project is the adoption of a decision and the implementation of actions aimed primarily at reducing the difference between the approved baseline or current project plan and its actual implementation. Control is a central activity in the course of implementation. Project control systems are designed and implemented to reduce the risk of unmet project targets, delays and budget overruns. The control is mainly focused on three parameters of the project: the implementation of the subject-oriented and management work on the project, the level of costs and the implementation time. In general, project control is carried out to ensure that planned events are carried out exactly according to the plan, unplanned - if possible, do not occur and all emerging deviations from the plan are corrected.

Control, as well as other processes in the project, includes the planning of control actions, their implementation, the preparation of information for decision-making on possible changes and the implementation of adjustments if necessary. In other words, if the monitoring collects the necessary information, then during the control the results of the collection are compared with the planned indicators and actions are taken if the controller or the project manager believes that the discrepancies are too large, i.e. exceed the possible planned parameters. Essentially, control is an action that reduces the difference between a plan and a fact. 


Sometimes you can observe the self-control exercised by the team. This is possible with a conscious understanding by the team of the project goals and control, with the authority from the project manager, their own schedule of work and control, appropriate resources and authority if necessary to adjust the project, as well as when providing feedback.

Possible problems in the implementation of the project leading to the need for its monitoring include, for example, the following.

In the scope of work:

• there are unforeseen technical problems of creating a project product;
• the scale of work is expanding;
• there may be insufficient resources in the implementation;
• there are problems of quality and reliability;
• customer requirements for changing specifications, etc. are initiated.

In the area of project costs:

• emerging technical problems require increased funding;
• initial estimates are underestimated;
• poorly prepared estimates;
• there is a lack of timeliness of adjustments;
• there is an increase in prices for resources, etc.

In the project time zone:

• technical problems take longer than planned;
• the sequence of works is not quite correctly defined;
• the required resources were not available within the required time frame;
• previous tasks have not been fully completed, etc.

Control system

And the simplest version of the control system includes the following blocks (Table 5.1):

• definition of elements and objects of control (what should be monitored; what should be controlled?);
• designation of standards to be used in the control (what to compare with?);
• establishment of an allowable limit for the deviation of the actual parameters from the planned ones (what is the tolerance value?);
• frequency and detail of control actions (how, when and with what depth to perform control?);
• procedures for determining the need for change if the actual deviation exceeds the established allowable tolerance (what to do if the established actual values exceed the standard by more than the amount of the allowed tolerance?);
• documentation and control methods (how, with what resources they control; how information is recorded; who stores and archives data?);
• responsible persons (who is responsible for control actions; who performs?).
Table 5.1. The simplest example of a control system

Project Item

What could happen?

How and when will I know?

What am I going to do about it?

Quality of the product

Performers may perform worse than required

By personal inspection for each stage of the project

Redo the work

Project Costs

The cost of any unit of the project can exceed the budget

When procurement agreements are reached

First, find alternative suppliers, then consider the materials.

It's time

The time to complete any project work item can exceed the planned

By carefully monitoring the actual "progress" relative to the timetable along the critical path

Look for ways to improve efficiency, try to use the time allotted for later steps, approve overtime if the budget allows

Let's take a closer look at this system.

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