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The Monitoring & Controlling Process Group: A Definition

written by: Rupen Sharma, PMP • edited by: Michele McDonough • updated: 10/4/2013

Projects get delayed for many reasons, including unforeseen risks, optimistic estimates, and evolving requirements. The reality is that projects rarely go as planned. The processes in the Monitoring and Controlling process group trigger change requests that enable a project to get back on track.

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    Recap of the PMBOK5 Process Groups

    The PMBOK5 categorizes project management processes into five groups. These categories are known Project Management Process Groups.

    • Initiating Process Group
    • Planning Process Group
    • Executing Process Group
    • Monitoring and Controlling Process Group
    • Closing Process Group

    These process groups interact with each other during the project life-cycle. Unlike the processes in the Initiating and Closing process groups, the processes in the Monitoring and Controlling process group are implemented during the entire project life-cycle. Let’ start by taking a look at the definition of the Monitoring and Controlling process group.

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    A Definition

    “The Monitoring and Controlling Process Group consists of those processes required to track, review, and orchestrate the progress and performance of a project; identify any areas in which changes to the plan are required; and initiate the corresponding changes." – A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) Fifth Edition

    To understand the activities involved in this process group, let’s see the processes involved in this Process Group. The processes in the Monitoring and Controlling Process Group are shown below.

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    Processes in the Monitoring and Controlling Process Group

    There are several processes in the Monitoring and Controlling Process Group. These processes belong to knowledge areas ranging from Project Scope Management to Project Risk Management to Project Quality Management. This section provides a brief of each process.

    Monitor & Control Project Work & Perform Integrated Change Control

    These processes belong to the Project Integration Management knowledge area. Some outputs of these processes are:

    • Monitor and Control Project Work: This process involves tracking, reviewing, and reporting project progress. Some outputs are change requests, work performance reports, updates to the project management plan, and updates to the project documents.
    • Perform Integrated Change Control: As this process involves reviewing change requests, some outputs are approved change requests, the change log, updated project management plan, and updated project documents.

    Validate and Control Scope

    These processes belong to the Project Scope Management knowledge area. Some outputs of these processes are:

    • Validate Scope: Since this process involves the formal acceptance of the completed project deliverables, some outputs are accepted deliverables, change requests, work performance information, and updates to the project documents.
    • Control Scope: As this process involves monitoring scope, some outputs are change requests, work performance information. The project management plan and project documents may also need to be updated.

    Control Costs

    The Control Costs process belongs to the Project Cost Management knowledge area. The key outputs of this process are work performance information, cost forecasts, and change requests. The project management plan and project documents may also need to be updated. In this process, the Earned Value Management technique is used.

    Control Quality

    This process is part of the Project Quality Management knowledge area. Since the key focus area of this process is to ensure the deliverables are as per the quality requirements defined, the Control Quality process typically takes place before the Validate Scope process. The key outputs of the Control Quality process are:

    • Quality control measurements
    • Validated changes and verified deliverables
    • Work performance information and change requests

    There are several techniques, such as Pareto Charts, used in this process. For more on these tools, read Quality Control Tools and Techniques.

    Control Communications

    This process is part of the Project Communications Management knowledge area. It involves making sure the communications needs of stakeholders are met throughout the project. Therefore, outputs such as work performance information and change requests are part of this process. And, as expected, meetings are critical to this process.

    Control Risks

    This process is part of the Project Risk Management knowledge area. It involves tracking identified risks, which are documented in the risk register, and identifying new risks. The process can trigger change requests, which can include corrective and preventative actions.

    Control Procurements

    This process is part of the Project Procurement Management knowledge area. It involves managing contracts and monitoring performance of subcontracted work. Key outputs of this process are work performance information and change requests. Inspections and audits are typically performed in this process.

    Control Stakeholder Engagement

    This process is part of the Project Stakeholder Management knowledge area. It involves managing stakeholders and the strategy used to engage them. Key outputs of this process are work performance information and change requests. Meetings and expert judgment are key techniques used in this process.

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    Key Points for the Monitoring and Controlling Process Group

    As listed above, the Monitoring and Controlling process group has several processes. By using these processes, projects that are not going according to plan are brought back on track. The processes in this process group trigger processes in other process groups. For example, project plans may be tweaked based on the work performance information.

    Any Difference Between PMBOK4 and PMBOK5?

    There is a slight difference between PMBOK version 4 and PMBOK version 5, which was released in mid 2013. The processes in the Monitoring and Controlling Process Group have not changed. However, there have been process name changes and, with the split of Project Communications Management, into Project Communication Management and Project Stakeholder Management, processes such as Manage Stakeholders are now a part of Project Stakeholder Management knowledge area. For more on differences, refer to the What's New in PMBOK 5.