Deploying project control … is it useful?

What is Project Control ?

Project control is one of the project management disciplines based on the management of deadlines and management of resources (human, material or equipment) associated with costs in order to evaluate and optimise the project. Project monitoring is essential throughout the entire project life cycle, from the tender phase through to maintenance.

Why implement Project control

Project control is of primordial importance in the monitoring of projects firstly because it allows the quantitative side of the basic offer to be incorporated into the the reference planning and secondly allows the different contract modifications (amendements) to be monitored over time. The objective is to limit the impact of costs and timings and evaluate project performance at the end.

Who is responsible for Project Control?

Project control is under the responsibility of the Project Control Manager PCM as a dedicated resource for the project. The PCM’s role is to report directly to the project director.

For some customers contract management is under the responsibility of the project control manager given that they master the quantities and the history of the project.

The services of a Project control manager

The Project control manager’s mission is to collect the data for the project (the contract as well as the service limits by batch, the reference model, schedules, quantities, project risk register, etc.)
and estimate and plan the quantities of means and resources. The project control manager contributes to the budgeting of the project. The last stage consists of inspecting and monitoring the project progress.

The Project control manager has an essential role in the organisation of the project and fulfills the following tasks:

  • Aligning with the project management strategy in order to validate the project planning
  • Checking the reference planning and ensuring monitoring up until the project delivery phase
  • Establishing an estimation of costs and ensuring the analysis of diversion – alerting the project management on any excesses
  • Contributing to the planning of the project through to delivery
  • Managing the earned value and reporting on internal performance
  • Contributing to the drafting of litigation letters and communicating with the contract manager
  • Participating in the formalisation of different claims subjects
  • Guaranteeing the correct functioning of Electronic document management – EDM
  • The deployment of project indicators
  • Preparing the monthly report
  • Any tasks which the management judge useful to entrust to him.

The added value of Project control throughout the project

There are several advantages brought by Project control as it allows;

  • A concise and detailed vision of the state of progress of a project, helping in decision making.
  • Avoiding over consumption of resources and working time: good Project control allows for efficiency in the use of the project’s available resources and guarantees contractual performances
  • Assisting in the overall communication of the project: Thanks to this communication effort the project is secured
  • Help with productivity: all the project information is well organised by Project control, optimising the time spent looking for information.
  • Constant and continuous improvement: thanks to the constant refining of the data during Project control we are able to communicate on the basis of reassuring and realistic data for the project termination.

The importance of EVM as an indicator

The Earned Value Management (EVM) method was developed by NASA for the monitoring of projects. It is highly recommended as a project indicator for monthly board reports, or simply to build awareness internally concerning output.

Earned value has an effect on two key factors of a project, performance and costs. We therefore understand when we need to add more resources or when production speed needs to increase. It allows allows the final cost of the project and the end date to be projected.

This method also allows project deviation to be monitored by giving progress indicators and the variance of physical performances.

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