Project controls are processes or tasks that should be put in place to keep a project on track. They are incredibly useful for measuring and analyzing project data and can be used to track budgeting and scheduling throughout the duration of a project.
Why are project controls important?
Project controls are vital to any project because they provide a data driven point of reference for project improvement. Project controls not only help teams analyze data, they also help identify risks and variances to the project’s cost and schedule. This can forecast any issues that may arise during the project lifecycle.
Some common project controls:
Creating a budget, calculating costs, and evaluating variances in costs are all important for a successful project. By creating a clear budget from the outset, managers and teams will be able to understand cash flows throughout the entire project.
Project scheduling and planning:
Your schedule should be monitored and adjusted regularly during the project. Maintaining a clearly defined schedule throughout the entire project is extremely important. It will ensure that everyone knows their role and will keep natural changes in the project and risks in check.
Tracking and managing changes in the project can help you avoid what is known as scope creep. Scope creep is essentially uncontrolled changes to a project’s scope. Scope creep can cause delays, inflated budgets and other costly mistakes.
Basic Tools for Project controls:
A RACI chart is a chart/ spreadsheet used to track the roles and responsibilities of team members so that each person clearly understands their place in the project.
A raid log tracks data and forecast changes as well as risks in your project. Raid logs record information for variances that have occurred in the schedule or budget and utilizes that data to predict when a risk might occur. Because of this, raid logs help management mitigate and control unwanted changes to the project and schedule.
A WBS (work breakdown structure) visually breaks down large projects into smaller, more manageable pieces. The WBS defines the scope of the project and plans roles and responsibilities for each piece. The tool looks like a flow chart which descends from more general responsibilities to detailed definitions of tasks.
Software to make project controls more manageable for your project:
Taradigm offers software solutions for your project controls needs. Primavera P6 is the premier CPM scheduling application and an essential tool for project controls. Depending on your needs, an on premise solution (P6 Professional) and a SAAS solution (P6 Enterprise) are available. For those moving their business to the cloud, Oracle offers a cloud version of Primavera called Oracle Primavera Cloud. For Oracle Primavera Cloud and Primavera P6, we offer training from real world schedulers. For Primavera P6 we also self-paced training options.
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