Project control is vital since it ensures that resources, budgets, and time are used effectively. In addition, the project control is significant as it enables the project manager to evaluate the progress of the project and adjust on the shortcomings and risks that are encountered during the completion of the project as discussed below.
Earned Value Management Techniques
As a project manager of a 5000m2 retail development construction project, the project control measures are very vital in the quest to achieve the goals. Control of this project can be conducted using the Earned Value Management, EVM. The EVM evaluates the progress of the project embracing the objective approach (APM, 2013: 7). This technique is very significant as it enhances the control work which can be conducted at any period, hence, determining the current status of the project. The EVM embraces the use of a baseline project plan to control the desired outcome. In this method, the cost management as well as the schedule of the project evaluations are conducted in an integrated manner (APM, 2013: 9).
Some of the goals of the 5000m2 retail development construction project include maintaining budget and minimizing costs. This necessitated the allocation of specific amount of the resources including the human capital. In this regard, project control enables the project manager to have a control of how the project progresses considering the time taken for each activity undertaken (APM, 2013: 9). More so, the cost of the project is controlled using EVM is necessary to evade the misuse of the resources and finance allocated for the project which could jeopardize the outcome. Apart from that, EVM project control is vital since there is absolute need to deliver positive results which are useful in answering the business case (APM, 2013: 7).
Project Control Measures
Using measures such as the evaluation of the performance reports can be of great importance in ensuring that project scope including project plan, schedule among others are helping the project manager deliver the goals of the project as stipulated before the project commenced (Fleming and Koppelman, 2010: 54-55). As the project work progresses, the project manager should be informed about the achievements made as well as the cost that has been used by the time performance reporting was been conducted. EVM also enables the manager to have an estimation of the final cost of the project together with time that is likely to be consumed (APM, 2013: 9). The EVM gives a clear overview of the progress and the status of the project which is essential for the project management since the resources as well as activities are arranged in logical sequence. This ensures that the activities are at as planed in the baseline project (APM, 2013: 9).
Project Control Risk Planning Initiative
As a manager, it is necessary to initiate the risk planning so that the risks that are encountered in the project can be handled (APM, 2013: 60). The progressive evaluation of the status of the project vividly indicates the risks that the project faces. In addition there is a clear forecast of the future risks that the project might encounter. Therefore, planning for the risk is inevitable in a construction project. The previous projects can be used to evaluate the project risks.
In addition, benchmarking on similar projects can be a useful technique under the EVM control of risks. Moreover, the risk management software can be incorporated to deduce both the cost risk analysis as well as the schedule risk analysis (APM, 2013: 68). This is because the construction project’s completion time is usually scheduled and there is a need to manage the time so that the project does not run behind the schedule. Moreover, the finances and other resources are allocated in a sequential and logical manner. Hence, conducting schedule risk analysis ensures that the project status is as outlined in the baseline project (APM, 2013: 69).
More so, any discrepancies are managed using the appropriate methods that does not cause cost variance. This is because the allocation of finances is done when the project plan is made. Furthermore, the change control management is vital so that the risks mitigation processes can achieve the desired goals of the project (Fleming and Koppelman, 2010: 206).
Controlling the Project Plan and Schedule
As project manager, it is necessary to ensure that the baseline project and project plan are achievable and useful in supporting the business case. In this regard, the project plan can be changed if the project manger determines that there are shortcomings to its effectiveness and validity. In addition, if there are some external and unplanned forces such as the political instability, the project plan can hence be altered (APM, 2013: 73).
One of the possible ways is the EVM Compass Maturity Model (APM, 2013: 73). This model is necessary as it ensures that capability project control is improved. This is done through rating the progress of the project on a scale of 5 with 5 as the highest score. Therefore, project manager and stakeholders evaluates the EVM attributes such as cost, time, resources, and finances, among others and rate their performance relying on the realistic and evidence based approach (APM, 2013: 73-74). On the other hand, the baseline review is another method that can be used to control the project plan and schedule. The baseline reviews can be conducted by an independent firm hence giving reliable information about the status of the project, the project manager can thereafter act accordingly.
Data trace assessment is another technique embraced under the EVM since all the data carried out in the project is evaluated and a detailed and valid status of the project (Fleming and Koppelman, 2010: 211). In addition, tracing the resources will help in project control as the will safeguard the time schedule of the project. Tracing resources is another technique which shows the progress of the project as it evaluates the distribution of resource within the different areas of the project. This is necessary in ensuring that time is effectively managed as well as ensuring that the resource use is matching their viability (APM, 2013: 75).
Reviewing Collected Data and Acting
Acting on the collected data is vital as the possible and necessary changes for the project are enhanced. Reviewing the schedule performance index determines how far behind or ahead the project is running which enables time management. Moreover, the cost performance index which represents the cost of the earned value to the total costs of the project helps in budgeting trace which controls the finance management (APM, 2013: 80). Comparing the current performance of the project is a suitable way to forecast and plan for the future.
Evaluating EV Reports
The test of project reasonableness can be conducted through evaluating the Earned Value reports. These reports can be produced progressively as the project work advances. The EV reports are vital as they enable the project manager to improve on the management techniques so that the project goals as outlines in the plan are realized (APM, 2013: 90). More so, evaluating these reports ensures the current risks are encountered as well as laying down concrete plans for the forecasted risks.
In addition, setting the cost and variance a threshold ensures the parameters such as cost and schedule of the projects are analyzed effectively (APM, 2013: 105). If the variance or the cost is above the threshold at any given time then there should be drastic changes. The project manager controls the project to ensure that reasonableness is always maintained (Fleming and Koppelman, 2010).
Association of Project Management HandBook (2013) Earned Value Management ISBN 13: 978-1-903494-47-9
W Fleming and Joel M Koppelman (2010) Earned Value”, Project Management, Fourth Edition – ISBN – 978-1-935589-08-2
Roland Wanner (2014) “Earned Value Management”, The most important methods and tools for an effective Project Control by Roland Wanner 2014 – ISBN – 978-1500850234
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