When talking about Project control we are generally describing the function within which the specialists sit. Theses specialists are in turn responsible for data gathering, management and the analytical processes which are deployed to baseline, manage and understand the time and cost outcomes of a project or programme. They provide a valuable service which assists the effective management and decision making within programmes and projects.
In some organisations “Project Controls” is seen within the wider context of project management and as such does not exist as a function in its own right.
However in many large engineering and construction environments such as oil and gas it is seen as a function in its own right and supports the Programme/Project Managers to effectively deliver the programmes and projects which are being undertaken.
For many practitioners working in this area this is an opportunity to work as a specialist in the project management environment, taking on roles such as;
- Schedule management and control
- Cost estimation, management and control
- Risk identification, management and control
- Earned Value Management (EVM)
- Document Control
- Performance tracking and reporting
- Quality Management and Assurance
- Contract Management and Administration
As we can see from the list of activities, these are all important elements of project management and the Project Controls function is probably created in many organisations due to the sheer size and complexity of the programmes/projects that they are delivering. In a much smaller environment they are all tasks that would be undertaken by the project manager and/or their team. It is also possible to see some overlap with the PMO function as once again we see that there is no single answer to the challenges posed when setting up an organisation to effectively deliver programmes and projects.