Project control is an important and necessary part in any project. In involves the monitoring and supervision of every stage of the project, alerting about potential problems and risks, and challenging the project management team. Without it, no project can progress to its successful completion.
Project control is needed in order to asses, monitor, and manage the project’s progress at any given stage.
Project control detects failures or changes that must be made in various aspects of the project in order to ensure its successful completion. Project performance is measured in short and constant intervals, in order to check for gaps between the plan and the execution and take the appropriate actions to close and eliminate it.
The Underlying Assumption in Project Control
The underlying assumption in project control is that there is a well-defined work plan that delineates the tasks, order of operations, contents, timetables, division of labor and responsibilities. However, this plan is only “on paper”, and only once the project begins can it be determined whether the planned outline will indeed achieve the its objectives.
Project control assesses the progress of the project in comparison with the plan and takes the appropriate actions to narrow the gap and advance the project according to the plan.
Only reliable and long-term monitoring can allow the project management team to quantify and evaluate the expected work load, make informed decisions about the project’s future, while taking into account expected failures, necessary precautions, flexibility, changes in organizational structure that impact the project, and so on.
When there is a PMO in the organization, it is tasked with monitoring several projects simultaneously, as well as examining the impact of each of them on other projects in the company and drawing conclusions accordingly.
Project Control – Transparency of Information
Project control contributes to the project’s transparency at its various stages. It presents the true image of the project, including all the factors that can create risk, failures and more. Alternatively, project control also reveals the project’s achievements and strong suits.
Information is one of the most important factors in a project, because it elucidates the various processes and stages in the project and sheds light on the risk factors.
Problems and delays in project are usually not reported to the senior management for various reasons. However, if there is project control, the facts are reported to the higher ups in a reliable manner. Such control enables full coordination and prevents unexpected discoveries of project failures or problems by providing real time updates.
Often, detecting problems early on increases the chances of finding good solutions, minimizes and alleviates the problems, and can even solve them so that their impact on the project is minimal to insignificant
A project is created to achieve certain goals. These will only be achieved if the project is controlled in a way that helps find solutions to the problems and lead the project to completion. Project control prevents complacency, requiring the project management team to constantly keep its finger on the pulse. In many cases it can save the project.