Project Control Process

Project Control Process
  1. Setting Project Standards: Targets are set for each project activity in terms of time, cost, quality etc. They serve ads standards for control. Project planning is used to set such standards.
  2. Performance Monitoring: Actual performance of each project activity is measured to provide feedback. Project reporting system is the source of such information.
  3. Find Performance Deviations: The actual performance is compared with the standards to find out deviation for each activity. The causes and incidence of deviatiions are analyzed.
  4. Corrective Actions: Corrective actions are taken to improve performance in future period. This is the crux of project control. It remedies the deviations to keep the system stable.
    1. Project control system should focus on critical points in which performance deviatiions cause  the greatest damage to the project. It should find and resolve problems to get the project back on track.
Areas for Project Control
  1. Time Control: Time control can be of two types:
    • Normal Time Control: It is the estimated time for completion of an activity. Increase beyond this time is not likely to result in cost reduction.
    • Crash Time Control: It is the estimated time of completion of an activity which cannot be reduced further irrespective  of cost considerations.
    • Every project has an optimal time schedule which is effectively controlled to check overruns. Time delays result in cost overruns.
  2. Cost Control: It involves the following:
    • Setting up standard costing and budgetary control systems for the project. Project accounts capture costs as they are committed.
    • Allocating responsibilities for cost control at task level.
    • Ensuring proper allocation of costs to project codes; ensuring that costs are properly authorized.
    • Measuring actual costs and comparing them with standard costs to prepare cost reports.
    • Identifying deviations to take corrective actions to control cost overruns and maintain financial discipline.
    • Value engineering can be used for Cost Reduction.
Types of Project Costs can be:
  1. Budgeted Cost: Estimated during project planning.
  2. Contracted Cost: Cost provided in the contract.
  3. Committed Cost: Cost of purchase orders issued.
  4. Earned Value: Cost of work in progress.
  5. Invoiced Cost: Accrued Cost/ Invoice by contractor.
  6. Incurred Cost: Payment authorized.

Project Control System

We know that a project is a unique group of activities designed to attain specific objectives within the constraints of time, cost and quality performance.

Control is the continuous process of measuring, evaluating and correcting actual performance to achieve planned performance. It uses data supplied by monitoring and evaluation.

Project control system consists of setting standards of performance in terms of time, cost and quality; measuring actual project implementation performance; find and analyzing deviations between standards and actual performance; and taking corrective actions to achieve project objectives. Generally it is done at the activity level of the project. It is the process of overseeing the implementation of project plan.

Prequisites of Control System
  1. Planning: Control is not possible without planning. Planning provides targets or standards for control. Standards are the starting point of control. They can be in terms of time, cost, quality and performance. They should be measurable, attainable, time bound and understandable.
    • Planning and control are interrelated.
  2. Information System: Control is based on feedback of performance information. An effective information system is an essential requirement of control. Information system is based on the internal reporting system of the organization and other sources. Projects should have Project Management Information System.
  3. Organization Structure: Control requires a structure. The authority-responsibility relationships should be clearly defined to collect performance information, compare actual results with standards, identify deviations, and suggest corrective actions.
    • A team can be used for control purposes.
  4. Flexibility: The control system should be flexible. It should be capable of adjusting to environment changes.
  5. Participation: All the members of the control team should take part in the control process. It should be based on participatory approach.
  6. Timeliness: The reporting and feedback for control should be on time. If the information is not received at the right time, the control action will be ineffective. There is no point in "bringing a doctor after the death".
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