Trends in Project Controls – AIPM Update

Last night I gave a presentation to the AIPM Project Controls SIG in Melbourne summarising some of the key ideas and thoughts I brought away from the Project Governance and Controls Symposium in Canberra and the Project Zone Congress in Frankfurt.


The presentation covered three main areas:

  • Predicting project completion
  • Governance and usage of controls, the ROI
  • Communication, complexity and the ‘soft stuff’! CPM and EVM are not sufficient in the increasingly complex world of mega projects.

You can download the presentation from:

I’ve also published several other posts covering specific aspects of these two events:


5 responses to “Trends in Project Controls – AIPM Update

  1. I was interested in two areas in particular, risk and complexity.

    The summary of (presumably US) schedule controls shows almost all red for risk. It’s quite surprising how little progress has been made in this area and it ties in with a PMI Risk COP webinar I gave recently that focused on why we are still lagging on assessing cost uncertainty realistically, locked into poor methods by accidents of history, but the same arguments apply to schedule uncertainty.

    I’m very interested in the implications of complexity for projects. I don’t think we have a good framework yet although ICCPM is feeling its way forward. Many people are adopting a reductionist approach and hoping to conquer complexity with detailed analysis and modelling. They are missing the point, which is that some scales of combinatorial complexity in systems with even relatively small numbers of components exceed what can be attacked with brute force analysis.

  2. I would propose that reductionist approaches miss the underlying source of complexity and create an illusion of control that limit an organization’s ability to successfully manage and capitalize on complexity. Instead, I would recommend pursuing specific relationship / communication environment goals across a project environment and work towards an orientation toward uncertainty.

    Definitions at

  3. I’m sure that is the direction in which we need to go. The sheer weight of 99.99% of engineers believing that analysis will conquer all will take a long time to be turned around though.

  4. Good point. Never underestimate the capacity of a lawyer to incur costs and delay work.

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