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(CSC-4154) Controlling Small Projects

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Level: Basic
TCM Section(s):
9.2. Progress and Performance Measurement
10.1. Project Performance Assessment
Venue: 2023 AACE International Conference & Expo

Abstract: Controlling a project is the key to its successful completion. The fundamental principles and elements of project controls are the same for all projects, but the rigor of control is usually commensurate with project size and complexity. This paper describes some of the typical problems that are faced by project controls when controlling smaller projects and recommends potential solutions that can be adopted to manage small projects efficiently and effectively.

For this paper, the classification of “small projects” is defined as projects that are approximately 5 to 6 months in duration and less than $5M in costs, but the notion can be applied at a different scale depending on the organization.

The focus of this paper is to address the project control of small projects, where resources are often limited, but the timeframe to complete project deliverables is tight. As a result, regular and frequent monitoring, along with concise and insightful project updates to keep the project team appraised of the status of completed and planned activities are of critical importance.A few key planning steps are proposed for utilization during the early stages of the project.If properly implemented, these can make a marked difference in establishing a clear path for the project team to execute the work on time and within budget. Various methods are also presented to evaluate project status, progress reporting, and appropriate use of tools for these small projects.

The paper concludes with an emphasis on the critical components of the execution of a small project: the need for collaboration and coordination among the project team members and tracking of issues to take corrective actions on time. The concepts of project controls used in this paper are from a contractor perspective, however, the methodologies can be applied to owner-managed projects as well.