Companies turn to the planning, management, and control of different projects to achieve the expected results according to the schedule. However, how do the concepts of planning and control relate to project management?
In this article, we're going to define each concept and its importance in all projects.
Project management is a discipline that allows to plan and manage projects. Its goal is to guarantee that projects are carried out without problems and optimal results are achieved. At the same time, it should allow you to control the progress of the project and be able to explain it to the team and the customer successfully.
To get the expected result and keep customers satisfied, you need to do a follow-up of the project during its development. It's important to have some control over the execution of these projects as well as their parts so that they develop correctly and achieve the goals established at the beginning.
Correct planning is necessary for tasks and goals to develop as expected. That's why every project manager has to know the three pillars of project management; in other words, he/she needs to know the scope of the project, the time needed for its development, and the necessary budget.
In project management, we can find several stages we need to take into account: planning, execution, and delivery.
- Planning: the organization of processes and tasks to avoid possible mistakes.
- Execution: tasks and activities involved in the development of the project.
- Delivery: the closure of the project on a specific date.
Then, we have to emphasize two other stages: initiation, before planning, and control to monitor the work done, looking for differences between what you planned and the real progress so you can take corrective measures to complete the project correctly.
The planning of a project has two purposes in companies: protective and affirmative. The protective purpose aims at minimizing risks by reducing the uncertainty around the business world and by defining the consequences of a particular administrative action.
The affirmative purpose of the planning has to do with improving organizational success. An additional purpose involves organizing companies' efforts and resources.
During the planning, we can find two big phases. The first one is important to study and establish the viability of a project, even if it's internal or external to the company. You need to carry out the corresponding technical, market, financial, and profitability studies as well as an estimate of the necessary resources and subsequent costs.
This is a fundamental element that the customer uses to decide whether a project will be carried out or not. The second phase takes place once he/she has decided to carry out the project.
One of the most common and serious mistakes in project management is to hurry to execute a project when it hasn't been duly planned and organized to meet the established deadline. That's why it's important to pay attention to the previous step so that the quality of the management and the subsequent success of the project are guaranteed.
Control and monitoring of projects
As we already stated, to achieve the expected result of a project, you need to do a follow-up to it during its development. This follow-up involves monitoring the activities and tasks that are carried out, avoiding or solving the problems that prevent goals from being achieved.
If we dip deeper into it, monitoring and control are defined as a group of management activities that allow you to check if the project is making progress as planned. It controls the progress of the project in its execution, compares its development, measures the real results as regards what you've planned, and checks the behavior of performance indicators.
If companies don't implement monitoring and control for following each project up, they won't get the expected results. This must be done regularly and consistently, monitoring the differences between what you've planned and what's happening. It's a task that shows when and where there were deviations in the plan and uses corrective actions to get it back on track.
To carry out an effective control, you have to take into account two important aspects: the function of controlling must be focused on anticipating problems instead of solving them and must relate to the quality, quantity, and opportunity of the product.
Monitoring the activities of a project is one of the reasons for 95% of its progress since it allows you to measure the real situation of the project; therefore, its real progress. The supervision of these activities includes the collection, measurement, and spread of information about its performance as well as the assessment of measures and tendencies to carry out improvements in the process.
This continuous supervision provides the project management team with an idea of the project status and identifies the areas you need to pay more attention to.
Through monitoring and control, you can check scope management, time management, and cost management; in other words, they check that the scope of the project has been established correctly, and examine the schedule of the project; they also control if resources, quality, quantity, and opportunity have been estimated.
At the same time, monitoring and control help you verify that the scheduled reports for checking the execution of the project are carried out and that the operative results of the project are assessed during its development. Remember that there are several project management tools in the market that allow you to speed up the most rudimentary tasks, such as monitoring tasks and their progress in time.
Understanding concepts: project planning, management, and control
In project management, we can define three important parts you need to take into account:
- Project planning, whose stages can be divided into three: planning, execution, and delivery.
- Project management, which includes scope, time, and costs.
- Project monitoring and control, which deals with supervising the progress of the project; they also intervene in case there's a problem.
We hope this information is helpful for you and, from now on, the planning, management, and control of your projects become more and more efficient so that your company achieves its goals quickly and your customers are satisfied with your performance and your team's.