Project Controls – a definition
The era of the “big shot” project manager is probably over.
Project management has become such a multidimensional profession that it is no longer realistic to expect excellence in all aspects of project management from a single person. Different parts of project management require different skills.
We distinguish 4 different aspects for managing a project:
- The technical aspect is closely related to the product to be delivered
- The leadership aspect including team and stakeholder management
- The contractual aspect both to the customers/management and the subcontractors
- The analytical aspect also known as project controls
At Primaned, we are convinced that all these aspects deserve to be recognized as fully-fledged professions. We have chosen the last aspect, project controls, as ours.
Although project controls isn’t an established concept in our market, we feel that there is a strong need for a clear definition.
What isn’t project controls?
We start with the definition of project controls by listing the components of project management that are not covered by project controls :
- All PM processes that are very closely and inextricably related to products of the project and extensive knowledge of these products (i.e. quality control, definition of work, etc.).
- All PM processes that are directly related to integration (as defined by the PMI) and steering the project execution.
- All processes that can be seen as (soft) skills needed for the general leadership of a project team and stakeholders.
- All PM processes related to Health, Safety and Environment.
You may now ask yourself : “What can be done as a project manager”? Well, project controls!
What is project controls?
This is our definition: “Project controls is the part of project management that determines, shapes, analyzes, predicts, measures, reports, visualizes and thus provides insight into the project that will influence decision making, so that the projects will create maximum value for the stakeholder”.
Project controls professionals are the analytical guys. They can be trusted to use the right tools and techniques to provide insight into the health of the project. Those who have the overview to proactively alert the team about the impact of a change or delay on another part of the project. Those who convert data into information. Just like us.
Project controls cover many areas of knowledge within project management:
The real value of the project control techniques very often lies in the modeling and analysis of the integration between these knowledge areas. It must also be said that these knowledge areas are not necessarily fully within the boundaries of project controls. A clear example is risk management. Indeed, project controls is an added value by recording, prioritizing, analyzing and reporting risks. We can also act as moderator of the risk workshops, but the identification of the risks and mitigating measures are so closely related to the topic of the project that they are beyond our scope. Several experts are required to provide this information. Effective project control is therefore an effort of an entire team.