Project monitoring is discussed in more detail in Chapter 9.

In earlier chapters we looked at methods for forecasting the effort required for a project - both for the project as a whole and for individual activities. A detailed plan for the project, however, must also include a schedule indicating the start and completion times for each activity. This will enable us to:

• ensure that the appropriate resources will be available precisely when required;

• avoid different activities competing for the same resources at the same time;

• produce a detailed schedule showing which staff carry out each activity;

• produce a detailed plan against which actual achievement may be measured;

• produce a timed cash flow forecast;

• replan the project during its life to correct drift from the target.

To be effective, a plan must be stated as a set of targets, the achievement or non-achievement of which can be unambiguously measured. The activity plan does this by prov iding a target start and completion date for each activity (or a window within which each activity may be carried out). The starts and completions of activities must he clearly visible and this is one of the reasons why it is advisable to ensure that each and every project activity produces some tangible product or

'deliverable*. Monitoring the project's progress is then, at least in part, a case of ensuring that the products of each activity are delivered on time.

As a project progresses it is unlikely that everything will go according to plan. Much of the job of project management concerns recognizing w hen something has gone wrong, identifying its causes and revising the plan to mitigate its effects. The activity plan should prov ide a means of evaluating the consequences of not meeting any of the activity target dales and guidance as to how the plan might most effectively be modified to bring the project back to target. We shall see that the activity plan may well also offer guidance as to which components of a project should be most closely monitored.

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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