Nov 19 2014

Inadequate change controls bankrupts companies

The Project Controls Expo yesterday at the Emirates Stadium was a well-attended gathering of professionals from a range of industries.  The spacious and bright venue made for a relaxed and informative day of seminars on a range of topics from earned value management to supply chain management to the importance of building career paths for those in contract and project management roles.Project Control


Project controls report card


The key note speaker was David Birch, Head of Project Controls, National Grid UK.  His engaging presentation included a ‘report card’ on the performance of the project controls discipline.  David noted the major areas of success including:


  • Effective project controls techniques are being used
  • Cost, schedule and financial management systems are being used to produce business intelligence
  • The creation of data warehouses, where different data sources are centralised is increasing


However David also noted a number of challenges and areas of improvement required of project controls professionals.  A focus on adopting new technologies that improve integration between processes and between teams, and sharing best practice and developing the discipline professionally were discussed.


BIM was, unsurprisingly, the technology singled out for incorporation into project controls methodologies and workflows, as well as the critical importance of data integration.  Meeting these challenges enables the improvement of intelligence, greater control over change and quicker and better decision-making.


David noted the lesson learnt early in his career of the need for benchmarking and the management of change events, particularly the impact of change on cost, citing examples of companies who have gone out of business in the absence of these vital capabilities.


A single version of the truth – Integration of time, cost, quality and scope


Further work needs to be undertaken on the integration of processes to access more comprehensive and intelligent information on which to base decision-making.  The three key questions that project controls managers should answer using the combination of hard data plus experienced judgement are:


  1. Where are we now?
  2. When will we finish?
  3. How much is it going to cost?


Project Controls by CONJECTCONJECT Stand


Integrating time, cost, quality and scope data provides full visibility of projects and can be achieved by using a centralised project/ programme platform.  By doing this, you can produce bespoke reports, such as to monitor compensation events, early warnings and to employ change control against baselines, thereby delivering projects through to timely completion.


All of this can be achieved within the conjectPC platform.  A single source of truth for all project data is achieved, securely and in the cloud allowing easy access by relevant parties.


Using technology is a means to an end.  The end is the discovery and use of otherwise unknown information about a project, in real-time, rather than days or weeks after the event.


What is your view on the current state of project controls?  Share your views in the comments section.


These related blog posts may be of interest to you:

Megaprojects: Mega challenges for project controls

Move beyond Excel for effective project control

About the author

Michelle Mason

Michelle Mason leads the UK and MEAP Marketing team, with far too many years in B2B marketing to mention. A CONJECT newbie, Michelle is eagerly climbing a steep learning curve.

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