Project Controls

There is a useful discussion on the aspects of project ‘control’ systems by Earl Glenwright in this month’s PM World Today.

Whilst project controls don’t and can’t actually control anything (for more on this see: Project Controls Don’t), the information provided by ‘project controls’ is needed to inform the decisions being made by the project management and team.

What Earl has done is separate the ‘control tools’ into three groups:

  • Primary Controls are those that are essential to the management of daily on site performance (eg, schedule and quality).
  • Ancillary Controls facilitate the on-going management of the construction project (eg, cost and issues).
  • Support Systems are tools that process, create, store, or model the integration of the design, schedule, and cost into a composite relational study of the project’s work plan.

Interestingly, cost is seen as an ancillary control, a view we strongly agree with, cost is a very sensitive symptom of how well the primary controls are working. For more on this see: Cost Engineering is an Oxymoron!

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