Master your project with impeccable management control

gestione progetto

Many elements are in place to ensure success in a project, one of which is management control.

This aids project monitoring according to the upstream planning and enables the project manager to examine the project’s objectives, tasks, and resources.

In this article, we will examine what impeccable management control means and how best to achieve it.

What do we mean by project management control?

Project management control involves a range of processes designed to collect and analyze project data and guarantee the respect of planning.

It is a control system of technical and accounting tools to ensure that business objectives are met.

Although a project can handle many different parameters, such as quality, scope, etc., the discipline of management control focuses primarily on financial results.

Usually, the project manager oversees management control; however, in more complex and numerous organizations, a project control manager who reports to the project manager may also exist.

For management control to be successful, it cannot only be applied at certain times, but control activities must encompass the whole project life cycle.

More specifically, management control consists of three phases:

  • Background control or budgeting: It takes place during the planning stage and is critical for project budgeting.
  • Concomitant control: It is carried out during project activities through regular data measurement.
  • Subsequent control: It takes place at completion, measures indicators one last time, and provides a better assessment of what went according to plan and what did not.

Management control: how does it work?

1. Set performance standards

Before a project manager can maintain a control activity, the standards on which the control will be based must be developed.

A performance standard is a goal that must be achieved for the project to be considered successful.

The project team must meet these standards, providing them with guidelines and metrics on which to focus their attention.

As long as these standards are met, even exceeded, a project manager can be confident that they are on the right track.

Every project comes with two types of standards: tangible and intangible.

Tangible standards are specific, measurable goals that can be monitored directly, whereas intangible standards are more abstract and cannot be measured directly.

Some examples of tangible performance standards are:

  • Lack of defects in a product
  • Compliance with the budget
  • Compliance with occupational safety regulations, etc.

Intangible standards, on the other hand, can be:

Tangible and intangible elements of a project are intertwined, and improvements in one often impact the others.

Project managers who prioritize intangible standards usually see better results in their tangible standards as well.

2. Measure performance

After standards have been established, the next step in management control is to measure and monitor performance relative to the standards.

Measurement and monitoring allow a project manager to respond quickly and effectively to any gap and restore the project to its proper course.

Clear parameters usually determine tangible standards.

For intangible standards, project managers need to be more creative.

In fact, no specific parameter can be monitored, although qualitative data can be collected through surveys, monitoring general attitudes, or talking to stakeholders.

A successful monitoring plan (read how to implement it here) is key to collecting accurate and timely data and ensuring that relevant information is available for analysis and decision-making.

3. Analyze deviations

When a project manager has identified where their team is failing to meet standards, it is necessary to understand why this gap occurs.

When this happens, it signals that the manager has not fully considered all possible circumstances or project requirements.

Identifying the missed elements is, therefore, essential to effectively revising the standards or activities involved in the project to achieve the original objective.

This may include a comprehensive review of project activities, processes, allocated resources, and constraints encountered. Analyzing the causes of deviations helps identify areas that need improvement or adjustment to avoid similar problems in the future.

4. Undertake corrective actions

The last step in the process is to take action to improve identified deviations and meet standards. Something must change for the project to reach a successful conclusion.

Specific actions to be taken will depend on the magnitude and gravity of the deviation.

For example, a team one day behind schedule may only need a reminder of how important the project is to boost its efforts and get back on track.

On the other hand, if the delay amounts to a week, then more will need to be done, such as hiring extra team members or requiring mandatory overtime.

The earlier a manager identifies a deviation from standards, the less impact that deviation is likely to exert.

This is why the control and monitoring process is considered a core part of project management.

Corrective actions must be planned and implemented promptly to prevent deviations from jeopardizing the project’s overall success.

Documenting corrective actions and monitoring their effects are vital to ensure effective and lasting improvements.

How essential project management software is for impeccable management control

Management control encompasses multiple processes and interacts with various roles to ensure project success.

This requires constant attention to detail throughout a project’s life cycle, a focus that would be impossible to ensure without good project management software.

Relying on manual monitoring and evaluating a project’s metrics has become impossible, especially for large projects.

With Twproject, the best project management tool available, you can create customized and automated reports to access data quickly and efficiently.

Twproject provides a modern approach by featuring tools for controlling budgets, timelines, risks, etc.

Through functionalities such as resource management, progress tracking, and real-time data analysis, project managers can identify and promptly address any deviations from expected standards with an effective monitoring plan.

This will help ensure the success of a business project.

Plan your projects with Twproject

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