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(CSC-3710) Exploring the Effectiveness of an Independent-Integrated Project Controls Group - A Case Study

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Level: Intermediate
TCM Section(s):
2.4. Project Control Process Map
10.1. Project Performance Assessment
Venue: 2021 AACE International Conference & Expo

Abstract: Project controls should be an independent auditing group that reports on project and team performances and predicts remaining cash-flow and resources. Ideally this group must work along-side project managers to gain valuable insight while maintaining an objective viewpoint. The need to maintain objectivity towards performance is paramount as the distributed analysis is then used by organizations to take strategic business decisions.

However, in industry, it has been observed that the project controls groups either report to project managers or are structured under the accounting departments. Additionally, the groups are either relegated to only schedulers or, separate individuals are given responsibility for scheduling and cost analysis. These are inherently flawed systems as 1) they allow the project managers to influence analysis and 2) due to communication lapses schedulers and cost analysts often get siloed; thus, providing subpar analysis.

As a response to this gap, this paper with the help of a case study reaffirms the requirement of keeping project controls as an independent team and strongly advocates integrating scheduling and cost analyst roles. Further this paper initiates the conversation about competencies of project controls personnel and discusses the difficulties in implementing the shift of the team from a sub-group to its own independent entity.