Tuesday 26 April 2022

The concept of project monitoring


The concept of project monitoring and its types

Principles of monitoring and factors that shift

•    2.3. Research methods
•    2.4. Project Monitoring System

Purpose: to reveal the concept of the essence of monitoring, to characterize its types, principles and methods of conducting.

Tasks of studying heme

•    - the concept of project monitoring and its main types;
•    - principles of project monitoring;

real estimates

- research methods used in project monitoring.

•    - determine the necessary type of monitoring to solve the tasks of the project;
•    - choose and apply the research methods necessary for the practical situation;
•    - develop a project monitoring system.

2.1. The concept of project monitoring and its types

The main scope of practical application of monitoring is management, or rather information service of management in various fields of activity.
Most generally, monitoring can be defined as "the continuous monitoring of a process in order to determine its compliance with the desired outcome or initial proposals - observation, assessment and prediction of the state of the environment in relation to human activities".

In accordance with the field of application, monitoring in the economy and business is distinguished: agricultural products, prices, business, taxes, equipment, income, labor market, food market, construction goods, prices for T-bills, projects, etc.

Project monitoring - constant monitoring of the project management process, information service of project management in order to determine its compliance with the desired result or initial assumptions - observation, evaluation and forecast of the state of the project.

As a basis for the classification of monitoring systems, it is possible to suggest the methods of collecting information used during it. Existing monitoring systems can be divided into four groups.

The first group includes those types of monitoring in the process of which it is possible to directly describe the object of monitoring without resorting to any measurements, using technologies for structuring the results, building a scheme and information collection technologies (for example, monitoring of the media, current legislation).

The second group consists of types of monitoring, during which direct physical measurement of the parameters of the object is carried out (for example, monitoring of taxes, product market, prices).

The third group includes types of monitoring, during which the measurement of the parameters of the object is carried out using a system of well-developed and generally accepted criteria or indicators (for example, monitoring of air, cardiac activity, income, soil and chemical monitoring).

The fourth group consists of those types of monitoring, during which the measurement is carried out indirectly, with the involvement of scientific research technologies, using a system of criteria and indicators (for example, monitoring the situation, monitoring the problem, socio-political, socio-economic).

All information obtained in the process of one or another type of monitoring is processed, structured and stored.

For those types of monitoring, during which direct measurement or accumulation of information is carried out, a significant problem may be the structuring and storage of the information received, ensuring free access to information resources.

For those types of monitoring in which indirect measurement is carried out, in particular the monitoring of project systems, a significant problem is the provision of high quality tools, the development of evaluation criteria, indicators and indicators, the measurement process itself, the statistical processing of the results and their adequate interpretation.

In addition, existing monitoring systems can be divided into groups according to their orientation to a particular user. Within each of the groups, the problems of presenting and disseminating information obtained during the monitoring process, as well as the problems of paying for its organization and conduct, are solved.

There are three groups that differ in the number of users and the intensity of use of the monitoring results by the corresponding user.

1. Types of monitoring aimed at society as a whole. 


The purpose of such monitoring may be, for example, the formation of public opinion. Types of monitoring, the results of which are intended for this kind of audience, are few. Familiarization of the user with the results of monitoring in this case is carried out through the media, including electronic. As a rule, payment for this kind of monitoring is made through a system of budget financing (state statistics).

2. Types of monitoring aimed at specialists in the relevant fields of activity. 


This is perhaps the largest group. It includes most of the existing monitoring systems. At the same time, the groups of specialists for whom the results of each specific type of monitoring are intended can be both quite small and very numerous. The main ways of disseminating information obtained in the course of this type of monitoring are specialized publications, including periodicals, the Internet, and subscriptions. Payment for this type of monitoring is made by users, and each user pays only part of the costs.

3. Types of monitoring,

 the users of which are specific management bodies, managers, individual structures. A number of firms offer and implement targeted monitoring, the users of which are exclusively managers. The means of disseminating information obtained in the course of such monitoring are analytical reports, recommendations, projects, which, as a rule, are not widely distributed. In this case, payment for the work is usually made only by the customer.

And, finally, with some degree of conventionality, two types of monitoring can be distinguished, the first of which is aimed at implementing the tasks of functioning, and the second - the tasks of development. In other words, some monitoring systems, having fulfilled their specific task, cease to exist, others can function indefinitely. They can be carried out for more than one decade or even a century (for example, weather observations). The reasons for the termination of the functioning of a particular monitoring system can be of two kinds:

(i) the monitoring object itself may cease to exist (a completed project is an example of such a facility),
2) the object of monitoring ceases to pose a danger (for example, the level of prices, if they remain stable for a sufficiently long time; tender, after its completion and analysis of the results.).

If we analyze the nature of possible objects of monitoring, it can be noted that they can be both complex system objects (for example, environmental condition, media, radio communications, prices, etc.), and quite local (for example, regional elections, the quality of work of specific networks, etc.). However, there is something in common that unites all these disparate objects belonging to different spheres of activity.

There are two main features of the monitored objects:

  • dynamism, all objects, the study or examination of which is carried out with the use of monitoring are in constant change, development.
  •  the presence or possibility of a danger arising in the course of the operation of the monitored object.

The task of monitoring is to warn about a particular trouble, danger (in the broad sense of the word) for the effective functioning of the object. And not just a statement of the fact of the appearance of changes that pose a danger, but namely a warning about it before the situation can become irreversible. Thus, it is possible to prevent or minimize the possible destructive development of events.

The dynamism of the object, the possibility of hazard occurrence in the course of its operation and the size of the hazard determine the need and feasibility of using monitoring for research, as well as the choice of a particular monitoring system.

In addition, it is necessary to note another feature that extends, however, to the weight of the listed types of monitoring - the possibility of building a forecast for the development of a particular system in the absence of fluctuation deviations or force majeure circumstances, which gives monitoring special value and significance from the point of view of a potential user.

As already noted, monitoring can be classified on a sufficiently large number of grounds. Depending on which, used for comparison, the following types can be distinguished: dynamic, competitive, comparative, complex.

Dynamic monitoring - as a basis for examination are data on the dynamics of the development of an object, phenomenon or indicator. This is the simplest way that can serve as an analogue of the experimental time series plan. 


For relatively simple systems, local monitoring (prices, revenues, etc.). In the first place for monitoring purposes is a warning of possible danger, and the clarification of the causes is secondary due to the fact that the reasons are sufficiently transparent. For complex social systems, this method is not suitable, because when trying to identify the cause of the effect, you have to face the same displacement problems as in the case of the experiment on the time series plan. For example, when studying the social system of the project for a number of periods, the following results were obtained on the indicator "potential staff turnover" (the number of specialists who can leave this sphere of production).














In this case, you can fix a stable negative trend, but you can not say how dangerous it is. This situation is specific to this project, or it is provoked by the peculiarities of the larger economic system.

Competitive monitoring - the results of an identical survey of other production systems are selected as the basis for examination. In this case, monitoring becomes an analogue of a plan with multiple series of tests. The study of two or more subsystems of a larger system is carried out in parallel, with one toolkit, at the same time, which gives grounds to draw a conclusion about the magnitude of the effect on a particular subsystem. In addition, this approach allows you to assess the magnitude of the danger, its criticality.

Let's go back to our example:







Number of people, project 1






Number of people, project 2






Analyzing this situation, it can be assumed that the growth of staff turnover is provoked, most likely by the economic system, of a higher level, and the trend in the project "1", although it has a negative orientation, does not pose a danger.

  • Comparative monitoring - as a basis for examination, the results of an identical survey of one or two higher-level systems are selected. Such a case is specific to monitoring and is not considered in the planning of experiments. It consists in the fact that the data on the system are compared with the results obtained for the system of a higher level. This approach makes it possible to randomize or take into account most of the reasons for the bias of assessments.
  • Comprehensive monitoring - several grounds for examination are used. For example, to organize monitoring of the effectiveness of training employees in a particular educational institution, it is necessary to highlight the features of their training, which can be shielded by the influences of the national, regional educational systems, the characteristics of the educational institution. To assess the effectiveness of employee training, therefore, it is necessary to have data on at least three educational systems.

In this case, ns is considered monitoring, which is implemented by single measurements. At the same time, dynamism is considered a defining feature of monitoring, although, in the literature, you can find examples of applying the name monitoring to single trials. In this case, monitoring degenerates into a study according to the plan of a single case with all the ensuing consequences.

With regard to social systems, three types of monitoring can be distinguished, depending on its goals: informational, basic, problematic.

Information - structuring, accumulation and dissemination of information. Does not provide for a specially organized study.

Basic (background) - identification of new problems and dangers before they become recognizable at the management level. A fairly constant monitoring of the object of monitoring is organized with the help of periodic measurement of indicators (indicators) that sufficiently completely determine it. To implement this type of monitoring, any of three possible grounds for comparison can be used. The choice of one or another option is determined by the goals of monitoring and the resource capabilities of the performers.

Problematic - finding out the patterns, processes, dangers, those problems that are known and urgent from the point of view of management (the type of monitoring most often found in the project management system). Its purpose is to identify and assess new hazards, it provokes a rapid increase in hazards; some of which are global in nature. 


This type of monitoring can be divided into two components, depending on the types of management tasks:


  1. problematic functioning - is a basic monitoring of a local nature, dedicated to one task or one problem. The implementation of this monitoring is limited in time;
  2. Problematic development - current development tasks and the subject of study of this type of monitoring have existed for some time. After the task is solved, it ceases to function. At the same time, the number of parallel existing tasks can be quite large. 

The main feature is the dynamism of creation, when the tasks of the quality of the toolkit and the entire monitoring system should be solved in conditions of a time limit.













To monitor complex social systems, there are two levels of likely biases:

•    - pepper - coincides with those probable displacements that are developed in the theory of experiments.
•    - the second is associated with the search for the causes of one or another identified effect. It can be attributed to at least two types of reasons:

1. Incomplete description of the system, when the indicators do not cover the entire field of objects significant for the system. In this case, the effect obtained may lie behind the field of the studied indicators, and it becomes impossible to draw a conclusion about the causes of the effect. Similarly, it is impossible to describe a picture fully enough when only a small part of it is open.

2. Possibility of local events for lower-level systems that can shift the score relative to the higher-level system metrics.

2.2. Principles of Project Monitoring and Factors Shifting True Assessments

There are the following principles for monitoring projects.

1. A problem organization exists in opposition to the idea of total monitoring, 

it removes the syndrome of "excess data lack of information". The research and observation program is deployed only on a certain problem, regional monitoring consists of a package of similar problematically organized programs. Such an organization leaves room for posing new problems and deploying new programs.
This principle implements the idea of problem monitoring. It can hardly be perceived as universal. For some monitoring systems, background or management monitoring is more suitable. To monitor prices, apparently, one should not look for a way of problematic organization.

2. Development

 (openness to development) is a system of feasibility (implementation, completion of projects and creation of new ones).

This principle of monitoring cannot be extended to a large number of monitoring systems. Since, there are stable tasks of the functioning of systems, for which stability and long-term results are important in order to predict or refine forecasts.

3. The priority of management is as a counterpoint to the environmental approach. 

In the vision of "management - monitoring - expertise" of the management belongs!' the leading role, monitoring and expertise are very important, but providing blocks. The office develops targets and outlines the contours of the problem, the examination acts as a means against the possible professional narrowness of the solution to the problem. One of the results of monitoring is the knowledge transferred for decision-making.

The priority of management is a universal feature for monitoring the project in general if management is considered in the broad sense of the word and includes the formation or impact on public consciousness.

4. Integrity - 

the inseparability of the triad "management - monitoring - expertise".
Perhaps it would be more accurate to talk about the triad "management monitoring forecast", since expertise is still a procedural concept.

5. Information transparency is a necessary condition for efficiency. 

All the results of research and observations should be available to project managers, initiators, customers, and the general public. Users should formulate their requirements when forming monitoring programs.
Part of the monitoring is undoubtedly confidential, custom-made. The closeness of part of the monitoring results in management can be determined by several circumstances. Obtaining information for open access and information only for the management system has a different motivational basis and can shift the estimates obtained when surveying social systems. Part of the information about the project can be private, private, since its disclosure can harm the individual. In general, the problem of access to monitoring information undoubtedly exists, and it is solved by the project management.

6. Efficiency -

 should be expressed not so much in the technical side of the case (efficiency, processing and issuance of information), as in the efficiency of decision-making in critical situations. Efficiency is an essential feature of monitoring, and it can be considered as a universal principle.

Based on the analysis of the principles of conducting, it is possible to identify several general principles for monitoring, which have received empirical confirmation. These principles include the following:

  • integrity;
  • efficiency;
  • management priority;
  • scientific;
  • prognosticity (focus on prognosis);
  • consistency (common sense validation);
  • diversity;

the principle of compliance (of monitoring goals with the means of its organization).
Monitoring can be considered as an informational, diagnostic, scientific, predictive system, the implementation of which is carried out within the framework of management activities.

When measuring in social systems, which include project management, often the results obtained are rather biased, distorted, incorrectly or inaccurately reflect the real state of affairs.

An approximate list of factors that can lead to a bias in estimates may look like this:

•    - quality of tools;
•    - professionalism and preparedness of people;
•    - changing people in the process of measurement;
•    - statistical regression;
•    - cyclicity;
•    - selection of subjects;
•    - the significance of the indicator and its displacement;
•    - violations in information flows;
•    - indicators and indicators;
•    - the effect of repeated measurement;
•    - changes in the group under the influence of the relations of others, caused by experimental influence;
•    - group falsification of results;
•    - change of group in the process of conducting the experiment;
•    - natural development;
•    - socio-territorial features of groups;
•    - different internal life of groups;
•    - different events for different groups;
•    - different rate of intragroup processes;
•    - conditions that cause a reaction to the experiment;
•    - interference of influences;
•    - synergy;
•    - compensatory.

The first six of the factors we considered relate either to controlled or to special cases of organizing and conducting measurement: the quality of the toolkit, the professionalism and preparedness of people, statistical regression (the case of working with extreme groups), cyclicality (pre-project accounting is possible in measurement planning), the importance of the indicator and its displacement, a violation in information flows.

It is unlikely that this list is finite, perhaps some factors have remained unaccounted for, some may appear with the development of science. At present, it can only be said with sufficient certainty that the consideration of these factors in measurements is necessary. If their influence is foreseen, the probability of obtaining an incorrect result increases significantly.

The listed factors can be divided into four groups:

  • controlled by measurement;
  • controlled under certain conditions;
  • uncontrollable, but accountable;
  •  uncontrolled and unaccounted for.

However, for most experiments, the necessary measurement accuracy is achieved without taking into account these factors, for some measurement cases (for example, simultaneous) they can be considered taken into account.

The considered factors can manifest themselves together, in various combinations, while they do not always manifest themselves unidirectional, sometimes they compensate for each other, and then their effect is manifested clearly.

Knowing the factors that can lead to biased assessments is important not only for professionals who develop monitoring systems that use indirect measurements, but perhaps even more so for managers who use multiple sources of information in practice. They need to be aware of the resources and limitations of the ability to compare the data from these sources, including in terms of possible bias in the estimates.

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