Control the Project
A plan is of minimal use if nobody checks that the project is progressing as intended. In order to keep control of a project, there is a need to manage issues arising and continually compare actual activity and dates with those planned.
Controlling a project effectively means that it is completed on the planned end date, within budget, to the required levels of quality - i.e., the three elements of time, cost and quality have been balanced.
There are various ways to track the project (e.g., using software or update reports), and the most suitable method will depend on the size and complexity of the project and how many functional or external areas are likely to be involved.
Although the project may have been well-planned, it is advisable to assume that the unexpected can occur and that change will have to be handled. While some change is inevitable and often beneficial, uncontrolled change can undermine the basis of the project scope, schedule and budget.
Potential change requests should be thoroughly evaluated before implementation and the implications communicated to interested parties. Any request to change within a project should be recorded along with details of those accepted, actioned and those rejected, as reference to them may be required at project review stages.
Report Project Status
It is important that progress is reported regularly to ensure that all parties involved are kept informed and also to let them know what actions are planned next. There are various ways of communicating the project's progress, and the method will have been determined and documented in the communication plan.
Conclude the Project
The conclusion of the project needs to be formal to ensure a record of the event of the project outcomes is produced and agreed upon with interested parties. The concluding process includes reviews of the project to consider what went well, what did not and the learning points for future projects.
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