Project Monitoring and Controls
We constructively influence the time and cost outcomes of projects and programmes by gathering data, managing it and analysing it. We help you predict, understand and use data to make the right decisions.
Project controls are iterative processes for measuring project status, forecasting likely outcomes based on those measurements and then improving project performance if those projected outcomes are unacceptable.
According to the PMBOK Guide, 21 out of 39 overall Project Management processes relate to Project Controls. The execution of a successful project can only be achieved through an effective schedule monitoring and control methodology.
Component elements of Project Controls:
- Document Control
- Supplier Performance
- Maintaining the project baseline
- Business Intelligence and Reporting
While the above list is not exhaustive, it encompasses the key areas that provide tangible benefits to our customers.
Project Management or Project Controls?
The overlap in function between Project Management and Controls may at times make it difficult to differentiate between them. In fact, some organisations assign the role of a Project Controller to the Project Manager, assuming that Project Management experience and knowledge is sufficient to implement and maintain a controls system. Usually, such approach results in poorly maintained system that produces unreliable data.
Project management is the process of leading the work of a team to achieve goals and meet success criteria at a specified time. As a holistic function, Project Managers divide their time between managing people, processes and deliverables while aiming to maintain the right focus on quality, scope, time and cost. The primary challenge of Project Management is to achieve all of the project goals within the given constraints.
Hierarchically, Project Controls nest under Project Management. As a sub-function, they focus on two parameters of the project – time and cost. The main objective of the function is to provide analysis of the existing data and possible scenarios to enable early decision making. Project Managers will use the information provided by Project Controls to navigate the Project, aiming to avoid delays and overspending.
Importance of Project Controls
Various moving parts can make it difficult for projects to stay aligned with the initial plans. Regardless of the size, projects find it increasingly more difficult to stay on track. A 2018 survey revealed, that 88% of the respondents perceive project controls to be important or critical to the project success. Furthermore, the report confirmed the correlation between Project Controls and success: organisations that perceived controls as ‘critical’ were twice as likely to meet all project objectives, while those who perceived it as ‘not important at all’ were more than 3 times more likely to fail.
Benefits of Project Controls
Some of the key benefits include:
- Standardised approach resulting in more efficient project start up
- Link between cost estimation and cost control
- Integration of systems and processes
- Reduced project costs through efficient decision making based on KPIs
- Increased cost and completion predictability
- Project health checks at each stage of the project
- Ability to control and mitigate project scope creep
- Improved change control capabilities
- Improved risk management capabilities
- Meaningful benchmarking data for future projects via well-structured projects
- Increased margins when working in a fixed-price environment
- Improved reputation resulting in repetitive business
- Competitive advantage over organizations with less mature project management capabilities
- Increased job satisfaction for project team members