Why is Project Control So Important?
Stages of Project Control
We mentioned earlier that project control has stages. Let's go see what these stages are and why they are important to your projects.
Anticipate Project Risks - Planning Stage
Why should you plan? The answer is in this popular adage that says “He who fails to plan is planning to fail.” Hence, you need to create a schedule for all that your project encompasses. Your schedule must include all the milestones and stages you wish to accomplish by the end of your project. This is a stage where you get to brainstorm with your team about the following:
- Anticipate project risks
- Task assignment to team members
- The cost necessary to carry out the project
- Setting modes of rectification
The planning stage is important because it gives you an overview of your project scope. It also gives you an idea of what the work process is like and the best approach to adopt. Planning helps you detect project risk, helps you not to get stuck or clueless while you are working. You can always go back to your sketch to know what is next on your schedule.
After planning, the next up is to “do it”. At this stage, you want to actualize your foresight. You want to start doing things. If it is large scale work, and you are doing it with a team, this is where you start monitoring your employees like a hawk. You supervise and make sure your employees or teammates are working according to your initial plan.
This stage helps you to ascertain work efficiency and accuracy. It is also a good way to study your workers and know who you want to keep working with.
Project Status and Reporting to Customer
It is important to keep your client updated as you make progress on the project. Hence, you need to know how to present the status of a project to a customer. Furthermore, a good project status report should have the following ingredients:
- Scheduled instructions to the client
- A name or title
- A crisp summary of the current status of the task
- Show the risks and issues faced so far. Also, include how you plan to solve the issue.
- A pointer to the next milestone
- A field to collect feedback or comments from the client.
After sending this report, make sure you create visual work progress bars to allow easy work tracking. For example, you could use colors; green for - “good to go”, Orange for “projects at risk”, and Red for “Task status critical”. But assure the client that everything is under control albeit the risks.
Monitor the Status of Your Project
You have now done a considerable job, quite all right. But are the results you see what you had foreseen when you started? As your project advances, you need to request a project status report and feedback from your team. Hence, you need to keep monitoring the progress of your project at specific intervals.
This stage of project controls gives you another chance to double-check. It allows you to know whether you are making progress or not. This is also a stage where you figure out whether the approach you are applying to solve your project's issues is cost-effective or not.
These project checks expose the weaknesses in your project. Thereby giving you useful pointers you can use to further strengthen it.
Redress and Prevent Stage
Since you have already planned this project out. You should not have a problem tackling some of the challenges you discovered at the project progress check stage. You already know the risks. And this is where you reach into your toolbox and fix the contingencies.
This is also the stage where you prevent future recurrence of these risks and challenges.
Finishing / Completion Stage
This is the final stage. A stage where you look at your project and see “A Job Well-Done”. But do not be quick to close out. You should try to get a second opinion, especially from a project management body or professional (PMP).
You could also entrust your project with a trusted Project management institute. They can help take care of your project from start to finish.
You could also monitor your project performance using project management software. Software such as Airtable, Planradar, Time Management, Gantt Chart, and Task Dependencies can be helpful. Some software even allows you to grade your employees and pay for the hours of work done within the app.
Such software allows you to keep track of your employees' efficiency, your project's success and informs your decisions.