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What is the difference between monitoring and controlling during the tracking phase of a project? Provide an example of a tool other than a fishbone chart that can be used to monitor and control within a project. Describe the benefits and drawbacks of this other tool.

Project Management for the Advanced Practice Nurse 

Sipes, C. (2019). Project management for the advanced practice nurse (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company. ISBN-13: 9780826161956

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Introduction:

Monitoring and controlling are two essential activities that take place during the tracking phase of a project. Both activities involve keeping a close eye on the project’s progress and taking necessary actions to ensure its success. In this response, we will explore the difference between monitoring and controlling and provide an example of a tool, other than a fishbone chart, that can be used for monitoring and controlling within a project. Additionally, we will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of this alternative tool.

Difference between Monitoring and Controlling:
Monitoring and controlling are distinct but interrelated activities in project management. Monitoring involves regularly observing and measuring the project’s progress against the planned goals and objectives. It focuses on collecting data and information about the project’s performance, analyzing it, and comparing it to the established criteria. Monitoring is a proactive activity that aims to identify potential issues or deviations from the plan at an early stage.

On the other hand, controlling involves taking corrective actions based on the information gathered during the monitoring phase. It entails comparing the actual performance of the project to the planned performance and managing any deviations or variances that may arise. Controlling is a reactive activity that seeks to address any identified problems or discrepancies promptly. It aims to bring the project back on track and ensure that the project objectives are met within the defined constraints.

Example of a Tool for Monitoring and Controlling:
One tool that can be used for monitoring and controlling within a project is a Gantt chart. A Gantt chart is a visual representation of the project schedule, displaying the planned start and end dates of each project task or activity. It also illustrates the dependencies between tasks, allowing project managers to identify critical paths and potential bottlenecks. Additionally, it provides a clear overview of the project’s progress and allows for easy tracking of milestones.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Gantt Charts:
The use of Gantt charts in monitoring and controlling offers several benefits. Firstly, it provides a visual representation of the project’s timeline and progress, allowing project managers to easily identify any delays or issues that may arise. This enables timely intervention and corrective actions to bring the project back on track.

Secondly, Gantt charts help in resource allocation and management. By visualizing the project’s tasks and their dependencies, project managers can allocate resources effectively and ensure that the right resources are available at the right time. This promotes efficient utilization of resources and minimizes potential bottlenecks.

However, Gantt charts also have some drawbacks. They can be time-consuming to create and update, especially for large and complex projects. Additionally, Gantt charts are static representations and do not capture real-time changes or dynamic project conditions. As a result, they may not be suitable for projects that require constant monitoring and adjustment.

In conclusion, monitoring and controlling are integral activities in project management. Monitoring involves regularly tracking and measuring the project’s progress, while controlling focuses on taking corrective actions to address any deviations or issues. A Gantt chart is one tool that can be used for monitoring and controlling, offering benefits such as visualizing the project timeline and supporting resource allocation. However, it is essential to consider the drawbacks, such as the effort required for creation and lack of real-time updates, when deciding on the appropriate tool for a project.

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