Project controls are processes put in place to keep a project on track. Project controls involve budgeting and scheduling, and track these elements through the duration of the project. Project controls are incredibly useful for measuring, forecasting, and thus improving the performance and outcome of a project. 

Why are project controls important?

  • Project controls help identify risks by monitoring variances in costs and the schedule.
  • They allow a data driven point of reference for managers and teams to analyze and improve upon. 
  • They help forecast to stakeholders and managers alike about issues that may arise during the project lifecycle.

Some common project controls:

Budget forecasting: 

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: 

Having a clearly defined schedule is vital to any project. Managing and tracking a schedule throughout the entire duration of the project will ensure everyone knows their role and will keep natural changes to the project in check. Schedules should be monitored and adjusted regularly during the project.

Change management: 

By tracking and managing changes in the project, “scope creep” can be avoided. Scope creep (uncontrolled changes to a projects’ scope) can cause delays, inflated budgets, and costly mistakes. 

Basic Tools for Project controls:

RACI chart:

 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. 

RAID log

A raid log tracks data to forecast changes/ risks in a project. Raid logs record information for variances that have occured in the schedule or budget and uses data to help predict when a risk might occur so that management can work to mitigate it. 

A WBS

A WBS (work breakdown structure) visually breaks down Large projects into smaller subsets to make the project more manageable. This tool defines the scope of the project and plans roles and responsibilities for team members responsible for each subset. The tool looks like a flow chart which descends from more generalized responsibilities into more detailed definitions of tasks. 

Completed WBS Work Breakdown Structure in Primavera P6 Professional

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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