Monitoring and controlling the test project work is the process of tracking, reviewing, and reporting on progress.
The detailed project plan will include specified milestones and deadlines together with the tasks that need to be actioned to meet those deadlines and the people that are responsible for completing those tasks. To be able to report on the test plan progress you will need to set up regular meetings with those responsible parties. Depending on the task and person or persons responsible this may be as informal as popping over to their desk for an update, semi-formal such as a weekly team meeting where you review each task in the plan, or more formal such as hosting regular web conferences where attendees are required to bring a formal status update. Where you have inbound dependencies from other teams you will also need to regularly review the status of those dependencies with their owners.
Regardless of the way in which you track and review progress of tasks, you will need to complete the following actions:
- update the test project plan with progress
- review each task due to be completed in the short term to determine where there may be any slippage, particularly any tasks on the critical path
- determine whether there are any new risks or issues, or whether any old risks of issues can be closed
- where there may be slippage or new risks/issues, identify any mitigating factors and any new tasks required to get the plan back on track
Communication within your immediate team, with other streams, and with stakeholders is key. The communication strategy can come from many different sources:
- from yourself as the test manager to your team and to the wider project issuing task breakdowns, plan updates, single-page plan lookaheads, etc
- from the project change management team to the project and to the business
- from the PM and project management office requesting status updates and issuing combined stream status reports