Check projects, key figures & services
Success in project management requires precise planning , but also a consistent check to see whether everything is working as planned. An important part of these activities falls into the area of project controlling . The subject area covered by this is much more extensive than just looking at key figures. But what exactly is project controlling and what else does it include?
1. What does project controlling mean?
Project controlling is a part of project management . the activities fall under the area of “ Monitoring and Controlling” .
The goal is to “ ensure that all project goals are achieved”. The standard explains project controlling as a control loop. The cycle results from the tasks of project controlling and the constant comparison, starting with the formulation of goals through to completion. Controlling usually follows the project management phases .
2. What are the tasks of project controlling?
In summary, the tasks of project controlling are :
- Support planning with regard to services, costs and deadlines
- Classification of the projects in other entrepreneurial activities
- Monitor and control through regular reviews of progress and quality
- Coordination and implementation of countermeasures in the event of deviations
The processing of these tasks also ensures that there is always an up-to-date and fact-based basis for communication with stakeholders, clients, but also the project manager and all colleagues.
Who is responsible for project controlling?
Depending on the size of the project, the company and the client, an in- house project controlling supports the project manager and his team. One or more controllers analyze the progress and coordinate countermeasures so that project management can concentrate fully on completing the tasks .
In smaller projects or with a small number of participants, it can also happen that the project manager takes care of controlling . The tasks therefore have many overlaps with the aim of completing projects successfully.
What are the influencing factors in project controlling?
Since controlling in project management is primarily concerned with achieving goals, operational parameters in particular are the main influencing factors . These include:
- Achievement progress : Are tasks being completed on schedule?
- Milestones : Are all milestones reached on time?
- Deadlines : Is there a delay in processing the project?
- Costs : Is the planned and available budget sufficient?
3. Requirements for project controlling
In order for project controlling to be successful, certain requirements must be met. The issue of transparency is particularly important . It is already decisive with the big picture, the actual goal : The formulation should be comprehensible according to the SMART formula . This allows for clarity on timing, likely resource utilization , and desired outcomes.
Preparation, planning and project calculation
Since project control is intended to measure and ensure the success, progress and quality of projects , these must be thoroughly prepared, planned and calculated. This includes:
- the distribution of tasks to a sufficient number of participants
- the scheduling including milestones and time buffers
- Clarity about the costs and distribution of the available budget
Once these basic planning steps have been taken, control in project management can continuously evaluate the progress with more detail.
Record, check and adjust key figures
This also includes comprehensible key figures (KPIs) , their recording and an open error culture in the company for project controlling. This leaves room to adjust the key figures specified as a target if necessary and thus to be able to tackle omissions in good time.
Carry out regular checks
In order for project control to be able to make meaningful measurements and analyses, all important parameters and KPIs must be checked regularly . This includes, among other things, a constant check, such as a target/actual comparison , of data such as services rendered, completed tasks and sub-projects or progress over time.
4. Project controlling methods & examples
There are also specific procedures and methods in project controlling. Which measures are best suited for your own project depends on many factors, such as:
- Scope and importance of the project
- size of the company
- Size of the project team
- relevant key figures and measured values
5. Project controlling software
In times of versatile project management software , controlling in project management also takes place with suitable tools . You can plan using the unique work breakdown structure and schedule times including dependencies and milestones using the Gantt chart .
Control planning, deadlines and services
Effective traffic light controlling is possible in the tool, in which critical tasks are marked in yellow (critical) or red (very critical) in relation to the deadline. A target/actual comparison is also ideal for recording time . You can not only note a planned and a completed effort – the tool automatically calculates the remaining effort . So you can always estimate whether the capacities are sufficient to achieve the goals.
Establish and measure standards with templates
If you regularly work on the same or similar projects, you can save them as templates and use them again at any time. This establishes standards for your work and reduces the planning effort.
In addition, templates based on Lessons Learned allow planning to be more error-free. You can measure your improvements from project to project and thus continue to optimize for controlling .
Project controlling: Versatile means of success
Project controlling is complex and goes beyond the mere monitoring or control of a project. The methods simplify decisions and ensure cost-effectiveness and punctuality . However, this is not possible without precise planning and comprehensive transparency. However, if these framework conditions are in place, teams benefit from:
- Early detection of risks
- clear targets
- simplified communication with stakeholders and clients
- transparent analysis of performance, costs and punctuality
- Decision support for several alternatives
- Capture and check the elementary key figures
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