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PRINCE2 - Controlling a Stage (CS) part 3



Assessing Progress (CS2)

Fundamental principles

Assessing progress is about knowing what has happened and comparing it with what you expected to happen.
The Project Manager can get bogged down in ‘fire-fighting’ and lose sight of the overall project goals.
A simple robust monitoring system is required that provides a steady flow of information o n the project progress.

Context

This sub-process monitors the progress of resource utilisation and product development, as documented in the sub-process Executing a Work Package (MP2), and reviews the Quality Log, as updated by the quality checks carried out by the team(s).

It also receives information on completed and approved products from Receiving Completed Work Package (CS9), and keeps the Stage Plan and Product Checklist (if used) up to date.

Process description

The objective is to maintain an accurate and current picture of:

  • Progress on the work being carried out
  • The status of resources

The Project Manager will receive this data mainly via the checkpoint described under Controls.
This is captured in the Checkpoint Report.
A Product Status Account may also be requested from configuration management to provide information on the status of the stage’s products.

To achieve the objectives various steps must be undertaken:

  • Collect in all of the progress information fro all work currently being undertaken
  • Collect feedback on recent quality checking activities carried out
  • Assess the estimated time and effort to complete any unfinished work (including that not yet started)
  • Review Team Plans with the Team Manager(s) to ascertain whether work will be completed on time and to budget
  • Review entries to the Quality Log – are any checks delayed? What are the results from the latest checks?
  • Update the Stage Plan with actuals to date
  • Identify any points that need attention in Reviewing Stage Status (CS5)

Responsibilities

The Project Manager is responsible for this sub-process assisted by any Project Support roles.
The Configuration Librarian would supply and Product Status Account required.
If the Team Manager works for a supplier who does not use PRINCE2®, the Work Package will still contain a requirement for Checkpoint Reports to be submitted.
Project Assurance may review the Quality Log.

Information needs
Management information Usage Explanation
Checkpoint Reports Input Flows of information, either written or oral depending on the need for formality. The update from the information will cover current status of Work Packages against plan.
Quality Log Input Results of quality checking work done.
Issue Log Update There may be new Project Issues that affect the status of the stage or vice versa.
Work Package status Input To update the Stage Plan.
Stage Plan Update Updated with actuals to date, forecasts and adjustments.
Product Checklist Update (If used) Update with actuals to date, forecasts and adjustments.
Stage status information Output Holds a summary of progress information.
Team Plan Input Sets out the work to be done and any reporting requirements.
Product Status Account Output To provide information on the status of the Work Package products.
Configuration Item Records Update Change the status of any products allocated as part of a Work Package.

These are given in tabular form in the file ‘CS2 assessing progress.doc’ in the product package.

Key criteria

  • Is the level and frequency of progress reports right for the stage and / or Work Package?
  • Is the information timely, useful and accurate?
  • Are the estimates of outstanding work objective?

Progress should be reported accurately and not exaggerated.

Progress measurement becomes easier if the information collection is product based, as in the component Planning (PL).

The use of earned value analysis may be considered in order to obtain an accurate view of expenditure on more complex or critical projects.

This sub-process can be run formally or informally depending on factors for the project like size and geography.
It is likely that the Project Manager will hold checkpoint meetings with the Team Manager(s) and they in turn with their own teams.

Stage status information should consist of:

  • The Checkpoint Report(s)
  • Work Package status
  • The Quality Log

It could be other such information that may be a summary of these. For many smaller projects it may just be the contents of the Daily Log.

Non - PRINCE2 information

This product contains EVERYTHING in the publications:

Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 - 2005 edition
Managing successful Projects with PRINCE2 – 2009 edition
Directing Projects with PRINCE2.
plus:
The Complete Project Management package.

And much more besides - at a fantastic price.