Project monitoring is the observation and supervision for those in the management team to detect and react appropriately to deviation and changes to a project plan. By monitoring the progress, the management teams are able to determine how far the project has proceeded and whether it has met the completion expectation or re-forecast the expectations originally set out in projects plan. One way to succeed in monitoring projects while maintain a positive progress of the project is the need to do a report detailing their observation. However, this report needs to be done in a frequency (continuously, regularly, logically, etc.) so that the management hierarchy can exercise their control without stepping on the responsibilities of other levels.1 Other than report, monitoring project can also be done through meetings with clients and parties involved in the project (contractor, supplier, etc.) at a regular basis to keep track of the progress.
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Monitoring alone, however, will not be effective in managing a project without control. With the combine effect of monitoring and control of a project, managing team will be able to move towards its final decision where corrective actions and decision will be made to pull the project back onto its original objective.1 Monitoring and control helps to make sure the project’s position with respect to the nine functions of project management: Scope, cost, time, quality, risk, communications, procurements, human resources and integration.
In short, if the project is off course, then control in the form of corrective action must be applied if possible corrective action can take the form of re-planning, reprogramming, or reallocating resources or changing the way project is managed and organized.
Impact of Project Monitoring and Control:
Project monitoring and control is a crucial system that is used widely by organizations. Monitoring and controls of a project with the nine functions scope, cost, time, quality, risk, communications, procurements, human resources and integration allows the management team to note the progress of the project whether they are in the original objectives. An organization operating without a project monitoring and control system is considered a risk that will eventually lead to its failure.
In term of cost, if there are no proper monitoring and control, the company will be paying more for a resource compared to one that is carefully monitored and controlled because without control, the team might be paying more, when comparing prices from different contractors and make sure the prices are within project budget. Naturally without monitoring and control, time will be an aspect that cannot be avoided. Without monitoring and control, work may be repeated because of a fault or delay in the process, such as delayed in delivery by a contractor or a source that didn’t pass quality control. Therefore they will consume more time to accomplish.
Lack of Motivation.
Motivation is defined as a pull and push forces, which result in unpredicted behavior of human directed towards their goals.2In the aviation industry, motivation is used to ensure employees have the intensity and direction of which is geared towards flight safety. Aviation is a huge industry that involves huge number of employees of different department that have work for a different goal to each other but it will ultimately involves the safety of its passengers and pilots. Employees such as pilot, flight crew, engineer and technicians would have done the similar tasks repetitively and could claim they have enough experience to complete their task without fail yet under different circumstances; human factor will still play a role in maintaining the quality of the performance of all employees.
The working environment plays a major role in effecting employee performance. 3In a working environment having a hot working environment will de-motivate employee’s performance. However, pilot faces a more serious environment factors as they need to take into account of flying in an aircraft loaded with technological environment. Be it the design of the equipment and flight control, displays/interface characteristics and task factors a pilot need to be very focus and well-motivated in order to maintain the quality of their performance in such a harsh environment.
The condition of an employee is a common problem that almost all organizations face. This factor involves mental condition of the employee, which negatively affects performance of the task, such as mental fatigue, pernicious attitude. This is perhaps the most important factor because personal issues cannot be governed by their employers.
Impact of lack of Motivation.
Employees are an organization’s needs to function. An organization whose employees have not been motivated is vulnerable to both company and personal challenges because its employees are not pushing themselves further to maintain the stability which ultimately means they are underperforming. Therefore, lack of motivation equates to less work being accomplished. It does not however, mean there is no productivity coming from the employees; it can be said that they the productivity are transfer to aspects not related to their work. Simple things like internet surfing while at work and taking longer break time for lunch will cost the organization time and money.
Low employee motivation due to unpleasant working environment can also impact how existing and potential clients/partners view on working with such an organization.3When employees are lacking motivation due to unpleasant working environment for instance a salary cut or no incentives. The consequences of such action would normally cause what we know as going ‘on strike’. When that happen, the organization’s reputation to their clients/partners will plunge downward and the forces clients/partners to reconsider signing any contract with such an organization. This organization will suffer greatly in terms of the quality of work being produced and slowed production rate.
Project Monitoring and Control, and Motivation Case: 4
On 3rd Oct 2006, European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company (EADS) announce the delay in the production of Airbus A380 Aircraft which will push back the delivery of this aircraft by 2 years. An estimated loss of â‚¬2.8 billion in pre-tax earnings between 2006 and 2010 has been revealed. In June 2006, Airbus acknowledges that they had underestimated the amount of work to be done to finish up the installation of the electrical harnesses into the forward and rear sections of the fuselage. The reason of this long delay was contributed by the complexity of the aircraft’s electrical wiring system. The root cause was the fact that a new 3D digital mock-up, which facilitates the design of the electrical harnesses installation was implemented late as well as the people working on the aircraft was still in their learning curve, the problem arises when the internal wiring of the aircraft in the fuselage section which has been changed and reconfigure several times during its production. The thousands of cables embedded inside the fuselage were wrongly configured and delivered. This case can been describe by 2 project failure factors:
Project Monitoring and Control:
The management team was at fault for this reason. During the installation process, there was no frequent inspection on the wiring configuration and only after installing thousands of wire then they realize the problem they’ll be facing. If the management team had set up an inspection team to do a more frequent inspection on the installation the problem could have resolved earlier and minimizing losses. If monitoring and control has been properly managed, the risk of such an incident would have been minimized.
Human factor is ultimately related to motivation and one of the main problems with the wiring problem rise from those who are installing them in the aircraft be it the technician and engineer. In another report, it was explained by the chief executive Christian Streiff “Beyond the complexity of the cable installation, the root cause of the problem is the fact that the 3D digital mock-up, which facilitates the design of the electrical harnesses installation, was implemented late and that the people working on it were in their learning curve.” He stated clearly that the people working on it were in their learning curve. Knowing that they were in their learning curve, the people should be more aware that they are not experience in this new installation process and should be more aware that they need more supervision and review on this installation process. If worker are motivated enough, they would’ve seek the necessary assistance to advise them appropriately so that they will be able to continue without any problem.
Project Monitoring and Control Strategy:
Earned Value Management System
An established project management principles and techniques such as Earn Value Analysis (EVA) can be used to monitor and control a project.5 Earned value analysis is a method that measure performance that uses “work in progress” to forecast what will happen to the project in the future. In short, it is an “early warning” program/project management and suitable for project monitoring and control.
Earned value analysis’s aim is to use cost to determine a project’s progress. Three quantities form the basis for the cost performance measurement using earned value management. They are Budgeted cost of work scheduled (BCWS) or Planned Value (PA), Budgeted Cost of Work Performed(BCWP) or Earned Value (EV) and Actual Cost of work Performed(ACWP) or Actual Cost(AC). From these three bases, managers can determine the project’s budget as well as make a determination of schedule and cost performance and provide an estimated cost of the project at its completion. By cross referencing each of this data to a work breakdown structure, a network diagram, it can indicate how the project should be carried out and thus giving a sense of control to project leader.
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Cost performance index (CPI) and Schedule Performance Index (SPI) give an early warning to project leader using data from the 3 bases. Cost performance for instance is the ratio of cost of work performed (BCWP) to actual cost (ACWP). A CPI ration of 1.00 implies that the actual cost is within the estimated cost. Greater than 1.0 indicates work is accomplishes with less cost than what was expected. CPI below 1.0 indicates the project is currently over budget and require project leader to take control of the situation.
Motivation is a powerful tool that can help project members to perform better and produce higher quality of work, so project management team need to make a concerted effort at planning, establishing and maintaining a motivated team through recognition and rewards. There are 2 motivational theories which can be used to effective run a project team.
Motivational theories such as Maslow’s hierarchy, it explained that human beings are motived by unsatisfied needs, and that lower factors needs to be satisfied before higher needs can be satisfied.6 According to Maslow, these deficiencies needs are explained:
“Physiological Motivation: Provide ample breaks for lunch and recuperation and pay salaries that allow workers to buy life’s essentials.
Safety Needs: Provide a working environment which is safe, relative job security, and freedom from threats.
Social Needs: Generate a feeling of acceptance, belonging, and community by reinforcing team dynamics.
Esteem Motivators: Recognize achievements, assign important projects, and provide status to make employees feel valued and appreciated.
Self-Actualization: Offer challenging and meaningful work assignments which enable innovation, creativity, and progress according to long-term goals.”7
When this deficiency is satisfied, only then can a person act unselfishly and they will be able to act independently and take responsibility of their actions. With such a team member, any organization will be able to run a project with high confidence and expect a higher quality of work produced.
The Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory:
Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory , also known as a Two factor theory, explain that the factors that lead to job dissatisfaction are completely separate from the factors that motivate employees and they are known as the hygiene factors and motivating factors.7 Herzberg finding explain that by adding hygiene factors, it may decrease job dissatisfaction but it will not motivate employees. Employees are motivated only when they feel a sense of job satisfaction is in place. We can assume that with motivation factors in present, satisfied employees can generally be more productive. The picture below states what motivation and hygiene factors are.
Figure 1. Monitor/Hygiene factors. Source: http://www.pmroadtrip.com/files/PMRoadTrip_V4Ch09.pdf
Both Maslow’s Hierarchy and Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene theory can be used in the same project team. Having the Maslow’s hierarchy theory, we are actually adding the 2 factors which are mention in Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory. In short, by combining the two theories, we increase the chances of having a motivated project team. By using this system, we can avoid having a demotivated team that can increase the chance of project failure due to human factor such as the one described in the case study above, costing both time and money to an organization. Through such a system, future organization can source a team of motivated members capable of increasing the quality of work done, at the same time allowing organization to have an increased profit gain with less time wastage which cost more to operate. When problem do rise, these team will be able to discuss and solve problem more quickly and effectively.
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