Keep control of your project

Keep your resolutions – keep control of your project

“This time I’m going to do it right”. Sounds familiar? Probably. We make good resolutions all the time: quit smoking cold turkey, lose those extra kilos before the summer takes off, visit granny more often. Sometimes we don’t even start. Sometimes we start off all right; it might even look as if it’s going to last. But then, somewhere along the way, there’s almost always a reason not to finish it. 

Unfortunately, it is no different when we are at work. With project budget overruns being rule rather than exception, how many project managers or project controllers have at least once in their life thought: “This time I’m going to do it right”? “This time, I’m keeping my administration in a timely and orderly fashion, my reports will meet every deadline, and all scope changes will be documented and accounted for”. It starts great; all plans, drawings and schedules are in order, your team is bursting with motivation, the customer is being real cooperative and your boss leaves you plenty of room to do it your way. 

When it’s too good to be true, it often is

As the project moves on, small incidents occur; an employee calling in sick, a summer storm, an argument with a client over the costs of a scope change. Then all of a sudden it’s time to deliver your scheduled management report again and you realize you haven’t paid enough attention to it. You get the feeling you need to be in three places at the same time and before you know it the project is on a slippery slope.

Why is it that most resolutions tend to be unsuccessful? Main reason is because when we try something again, we think we will succeed if only we try harder. End even harder the next time. However, unknowingly repeating a recipe for failure leaves us blind for alternatives whilst in most cases, a different approach might actually do the trick. 

Project Controls

Perhaps now is the time to start changing tactics. Think about the processes you usually implement to get things done, and where it eventually goes wrong. What do you need to eliminate the chance of those processes failing? Could some of the tasks be delegated to an external professional? Have you considered using dedicated tools for project controls? The time that you could manage a project by a single Excel sheet is long gone. It’s time to take back control of your project. 

Read More

Project Controls by Cost Engineering

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