Every project is unique and this means they can be difficult to properly scope, track and monitor unless there is a unified way of dealing with them. Project monitoring and controls provides a set of principles which allow a uniform approach throughout a business when it comes to determining the scope, estimating effort and project costs, tracking progress and monitoring success.

A company’s main tools for refining its project controls and monitoring are:

  • A project planning and scheduling tool, ie. MS Project, Open Plan or Primavera
  • A financial system that can capture the actual time and money spent on the project
  • An interface document that can compare the two, for example a monthly report.
  • And the big one - "People and Process"

The following elements impact the value of project controls;

  1. The detail and effort expended in capturing the entire scope of the project and estimating the effort, cost and time at the very beginning of a project.
  2. The accuracy with which timesheets are done and other costs are recorded.
  3. The use of the schedule (project plan) in driving the project.
  4. A defined and consistent project controls process
  5. An organisational culture that promoted project controls as a best practice

As a company’s project controls capabilities grow and evolve project estimating will become more accurate, progress will be correctly measured and interpreted and more projects will be delivered on time and within budget.

The aim of implementing project management and cost control within a company is to gain more knowledge of the problem areas in managing the company's project portfolio; working to improve scope, cost and schedule management and maintain a high level of customer satisfaction and company reputation.

Project controls is a philosophy designed to assist in achieving more (scope), for less (cost) and quicker (schedule). When a shareholder's funds enable a project to evolve and progress, delivering value for money is even more critical.

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March 07, 2022

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