What Is Project Control, Why Is It Important And How Do You Get It?

Posted by Andy Mckay on December 10, 2018

what is project control

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If you aim to deliver projects on time and on budget, and with the most effective and efficient performance, it’s absolutely essential to employ internal Project Control systems.

Recent research from Deltek found that one-quarter of Australian projects exceeded time and budget expectations at 60% of Architecture & Engineering firms. And these projects were not just slightly over budget – nearly three-quarters of respondents said that their projects clocked in at up to 50% over budget.

These less-than-optimal outcomes have the capacity to erode profitability, and test loyalty and working relationships with clients and stakeholders.

Project Control offers the solution to these woes – it enables A&E firms to take the reins on complex and inter-related issues – to deliver projects successfully and profitably.


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What Is Project Control?

project controls

Put simply, Project Control is an internal governance programme that integrates specialised tools, processes, people, skills and experience, to provide up-to-the-minute information that underpins better decision making, streamlined processes and mitigation of risk.

It starts before a project begins, by implementing the right hardware and software solutions that can provide 360-degree perspectives across projects.

Where it was once considered adequate to oversee project management using a combination of spreadsheets, Gannt charts and bolt-on finance programs, the increasing complexity of both projects and the operating environment demands more effective and integrated tools.

New holistic platforms that capture project data, finance information, HR tracking and all of the communications, drawings and documents associated with the project itself, in one integrated platform, make it possible to access project data anywhere, anytime, and on any device.


'Project Control is an internal governance programme that integrates specialised tools, processes, people, skills and experience'



How Do I Get Project Control?


Project Control requires two main ingredients to succeed: firstly the right technological platforms – such as Enterprise Resource Planning solutions; and secondly, rigorous business structures that focus on continuous improvement and innovation. Together, these solid foundations allow firms to monitor cost, time and performance across projects, according to each new client’s and project’s needs.

Once the digital information systems are place, it’s possible to plan and plot new projects across their entire anticipated lifecycle, from initiation and scoping, through design, construction and delivery. Project Control extends beyond completion too: once a project is commissioned and handed over, the focus switches to post-occupancy evaluation, consultant and stakeholder debriefing, and analytical reviews of performance.

As well as providing up-to-the-minute project data for A&E firms, Project Control systems enable the establishment and monitoring of internal standards and benchmarks, and facilitate reporting on Quality Assurance standards to external stakeholders.

What Are The Benefits For My Business?

One of the main benefits of Project Control systems is the fact they help to clearly define project scope and objectives. They also help to identify key roles and responsibilities for the various project experts, and track progress data in real-time, making it available to the entire team.

Another significant benefit arises from the rich trove of data that Project Control tools generate, which can be analysed and reviewed to provide evidence-based findings to steer the firm’s future decisions and strategic directions.

The implementation of Project Control tools helps to support a workplace culture that fosters innovation and continuous improvement, which in turn helps to refine and enunciate the firm’s strengths, and address any weaknesses that become apparent.

According to Deltek’s recent research, Australian A&E firms are grappling with three main project management challenges. These include: 

  • Client change requests (63%); 
  • Accurate project timeline forecasting (41%); and 
  • Poorly defined scope (38%),

Adopting Project Control systems addresses these major issues head on, in addition to the myriad other complexities of project delivery. It makes sense in this digital era to adopt a holistic platform that can handle these challenges in an integrated way.

Project Control has the capacity to help A&E firms deliver projects on time, on budget, and profitably, and then win more of those kinds of successful projects. Isn’t that something worth exploring?


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Find out why project control matters for AEC firms and how you can implement it for your business.

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