“Trust but verify.” Ronald Reagan
In order to effectively monitor and control project activities, work assignments should be clearly defined and measured. Remember the simple rule: you cannot measure what you have not defined; you cannot monitor and control what you have not measured. Measure the relevant things in order to ensure the effectiveness of the monitoring and controlling activities. For instance, measuring how many hours someone spent in the office, per day or per week, may be of little use or less effective compared to measuring the quantity and quality of work completed within a time period.
Project manager should not leave things to chances. Trust your team but trust their deliverables more. Deliverable is the only thing that counts. “Trust but verify”. You do not have to be a micro manager to monitor and control project activities. However, you need to set clearly defined work and expected outcome that the action parties understand in terms of the quality of the outcome, timing and cost. Monitoring key parameters and trends will serve as signals that will determine your next actions – drill down for more information, re-confirm expectations or adjust expectations. Essentially, you want to monitor specific work outcomes, schedule and financial performance, and exercise necessary control or corrective actions as appropriate.
Some medium to large size projects may engage the service of a quality assurance analyst to document and track agreed work packages, activities and associated deliverables. The goal is to avoid delays on the critical path items (items on the longest path of the project) and ensure that project quality expectations are met.