Project controls is the process that utilizes available data, guidelines, and software to monitor project progress during a project’s duration. It ties together project management, estimating change control, risk management, forecasting, and earned value.
The objective of putting project controls in place is to produce reports that readily and clearly identify the status of a project and identify areas for corrective action.
The Project Controls Process
A project controls professional builds a suite of reports that draws from all available data sources and key personnel associated with the project. These reports are structured to simplify the project status for internal and client management, generally communicating project status on a monthly basis.
The process begins with gathering data and measuring the project status based on those reports, then forecasting timelines and outcomes and correcting areas that are not performing adequately.
It includes implementing project cost controls, using scheduling services to make sure each part of the project is correctly coordinated and progressing, implementing risk management, and various other processes and services that increase the productivity of your team and the success of your project.
ROI of Project Controls
Distilling and summarizing project-critical areas through project controls provide numerous benefits. The biggest advantage is that project status is presented in a clear and concise format identifying progress reporting format for review, discussion, and action. It provides a baseline that’s easy to move forward with; after all, you can’t make improvements if you don’t know what’s already been done, what’s working, and what’s not.
With a key focus on identifying possible project impacts for cost and scheduling early on, the project team, in conjunction with the client, can evaluate alternatives to minimize the impact to the project.
A project’s budget is initially developed on baseline assumptions and criteria that contribute to the contract package and price. An example of the value that maintaining a robust project controls process brings could involve a possible delay to unforeseen construction interferences in the initial design assumptions.
By establishing a clear project baseline and systematic reviews and meetings, this potential can be identified earlier, and the impact to the cost or schedule of the project can be minimized.
Taken together, these advantages result in a clear ROI as project controls save you money by:
- Improving project productivity and success during each step of the project
- Identifying and eliminating potential roadblocks early in the process
- Reducing the time needed for your management to make decisions by presenting all data clearly and concisely
Why Work with a Project Management Company?
A common concern from clients is that they’re not sure exactly what benefits bringing on a project management consultant will bring, or why it’s worth the money to hire these services.
When you work with CARIAN, we assign you a project controls team of industry specialists that focus on all cost and schedule aspects for a project. Using proven tools and techniques, the emphasis of our services is analyzing key project areas requiring management attention. This saves you from having to recruit and keep those resources available within your own organization. Your management team can then focus on responding to the important issues identified in the generated reports.
Some organizations feel they have the capability of handling all project aspects within their own organization and that the additional costs would not be justified. However, a consultant has both specific and the right expertise.
Bringing a specialized consultant in for capital project management or utility project management provides experience that your in-house team doesn’t have. An outside consultant also uses an objective approach and often brings light to possible areas of improvement and change to current processes. There can be demonstrated intrinsic savings in the end to the client.