Project controls provide a roadmap to a successful end result
Projects, especially construction projects, are often large-scale, complex programs that continue for long periods of time. They can be expensive, involve many people, and have substantial impacts on their local environment. For this reason, it’s essential to introduce proper controls to ensure that projects run smoothly and for the lowest possible cost.
Project controls are a collective set of processes which plan, monitor, and control the various phases of a project. These processes include estimating, forecasting, scheduling, document control, earned value management, and risk and change management.
Project controls provide a framework to measure progress within a project, forecast future performance of the work, and provide a roadmap to improve performance if needed. When project controls are properly utilized, they increase the chances of meeting deadlines and staying on budget. In essence, they are the collective processes of gathering, managing, and analyzing data in order to understand and influence the time and cost outcomes of a project.
Project controls processes are focused on keeping a project on time and on budget. They provide a framework to identify where things have veered from the intended path, and give signposts to help correct course.
A good analogy is that of going on a journey. Project controls are not about ensuring that you travel in a straight line to your intended destination. Instead, they’re about helping you arrive at your destination safely, having taken account of everything that’s happened along the way. This means constantly analyzing your journey, correcting course, monitoring fuel levels, and keeping one eye on the road ahead to ensure the safest and most efficient trip.
Project controls help navigate the project to completion.
When you take into account the plan, scope, budget, and schedule of large construction projects, changes are inevitable. Without project controls, these changes may have a significant negative impact on the course of the project. Controls are needed to anticipate issues and provide a structure to resolve them before they escalate to where they could put the project at risk.
Some of the benefits of project controls include:
- Better adherence to budgets due to the ability to identify and resolve problems as they arise
- Ability to keep the project on-scope, avoiding unintentional creep
- Increased visibility of schedule and cost
- Enhanced ability to forecast future outcomes
- Introducing corrective actions when needed
Project controls are a cornerstone of good project management
Project controls might look different for every project, but the fundamental aim is the same: to provide a framework for the project governance team to be able to monitor, understand, and react to the events in a project lifecycle. Without good project controls, it’s hard to identify where things have veered off course and know how to bring them back in line for a successful outcome.
At DRMcNatty, we specialize in project controls solutions and have in-house project controls-focused developer team and staff augmentation services to help your projects succeed. We have an excellent track record helping companies from a wide range of sectors achieve success through all phases of projects, and can provide expertise in both the discipline of project controls as well as the technical aspects of software to help manage and control projects of any size. A conversation with us can help unlock great business value for your organization, and can put your project on the road to success.