What is Project Controls?
Project Controls is the discipline defined as the combined set of tools and actions conducted in concert with the project team for controlling scope, schedule, and cost to meet stated project objectives. Project Controls is always proactive in action and forward looking to optimize the outcome of projects.
Project Controls measures and optimizes various metrics of the project, such as quantities, time, cost, and other resources. Effective control of project economics are also important, to include the Budgeted Cost of Work Performed (BCWP), Budgeted Cost of Work Scheduled (BCWS) and Earned Value (EV). Finally, the accounting side, for the Actual Cost of Work Performed (ACWP) is another element monitored.
Project Controls also measures project variances from the approved plans to the current state of the project and defines corrective actions with input from project stakeholders. The metrics and data points are also used to trend and forecast the future cost and schedule. Project Controls is the “Crystal Ball” of the project to forecast cost and schedule with increased certainty.
Project Controls is the backbone of project management, assisting them to make better decisions, reduce the impact of change, and support the optimal project execution.
How we help the Project Manager
- Manage with Confidence
- Focus on the Big Picture
- Exceed Stakeholder Expectations
- Have Better Visibility
- Gain More Control
- Reduce Project Stress
- Make Informed Decisions
- Know Issues Early
- Forecast with Confidence
- Deliver Successful Projects
Project Controls includes the following functions:
- Project Planning
- CPM Scheduling
- Cost Control
- Productivity Analysis
- Invoice Management
- Change Management & Analysis
- Earned Value Management
- Resource Projections, Analysis & Optimization
- Issues Management
- Claims Analysis and Mitigation
- Risk Management
- Document Control
- Lessons Learned
The key reasons and benefits of project controls are:
- Optimize Project Outcome: Better, Faster, Cheaper
- Command and Control
- Reduce Project Risk
- Be Proactive, not Reactive
- Make Better Decisions
- Minimize Impact of Change
- More Efficient Project Execution
- Optimize Use of All Resources
Project Controls is often misunderstood. Many project team members believe project controls is synonymous with accounting; that it just reports how much money is spent on a project, simply tracks financial commitments, produces reports used for upper management, involves cost reporting, or is viewed as something the “Finance People” do. This misunderstood version of project controls only looks at history and puts the team in a reactionary or recovery mode.
This is equivalent to driving to work while only using the rearview mirror. Real Project Controls provides the command and control required to know where the project stands and where it is going to optimize the outcome.