Product Cost Time And Quality In Project Management PdfBy Mirta B. In and pdf 22.05.2021 at 12:34 4 min read
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- Introduction to the Quality Triangle
- A Project Management Primer: Basic Principles - Scope Triangle
- A Project Management Primer: Basic Principles - Scope Triangle
Called the "Scope Triangle" or the "Quality Triangle" this shows the trade-offs inherent in any project. The triangle illustrates the relationship between three primary forces in a project.
Introduction to the Quality Triangle
Despite best efforts and intentions, many organizations find that large-scale projects miss their targets for a number of reasons: optimism bias, manual estimation errors, insufficient historical data, scope creep and many other factors. So what is the difference between a costly, long-overdue project and one that is delivered on time and within budget?
In many cases, the answer is good project controls. Project controls are processes for gathering and analyzing project data to keep costs and schedules on track. The functions of project controls include initiating, planning, monitoring and controlling, communicating, and closing out project costs and schedule.
Ultimately, project controls are iterative processes for measuring project status, forecasting likely outcomes based on those measurements and then improving project performance if those projected outcomes are unacceptable. While a project may deal with many parameters, such as quality, scope, etc. Hierarchically, project controls nest under project management. A project controller could be reporting to a project manager on a specific project or an entire portfolio of projects.
Project controls are integral to successful project management, as it alerts project stakeholders to potential trouble areas and allows them to course correct, if needed. For project controls to succeed, they cannot be applied in spurts or in a vacuum. Rather, project controls activities must run through the complete project life cycle—from the initiation phase until closure—to monitor and control the various factors that impact cost and schedule.
Interweaving project controls with the rest of project management provides timely insights that empower project stakeholders to make the right decisions at the right time. The strengths of project controls lie in their data-focused approach and attention to detail. A project manager does not simply want to know that there is a cost overrun, but rather wants to know the root causes, the precise numbers, and how it can be fixed.
Planning is one of the important steps in which controllers and project managers work together. Integrating the budgeting process into project activities is essential to calculate costs accurately and to understand when and why variances occur. By time-phasing budgets and refining the numbers, a transparent model is available for senior managers and team members alike to serve as both a benchmark throughout the project and understand vitally important cash flows.
Project controls provide a meticulous approach to managing risk. By preemptively identifying risks, monitoring risk continuously, and developing contingency plans to address and mitigate issues, it becomes possible to reduce impact on budget and schedule.
It also helps prevent some risks from happening in the future. This is why change management is critical. By tracking changes and understanding their impact, while following a clear process for evaluation, approval, and accountability, projects can remain on their charted trajectory.
By increasing the accuracy of estimates-at-complete, project controllers and managers can gain a lot more insight into the current drivers of cost and schedule overruns. Good progress measurement is a critical input to the forecasting process. It serves as the comparison against actual and committed costs that enable project controllers to extrapolate a forecast using a combination of standard forecasting methods and formulas. Regular, timely updates aid the project controller by enabling faster response and corrective action to when a project begins to get off track.
Defining and using key performance indicators KPIs to monitor project health and forecast trends is crucial to take corrective actions. This process involves establishing processes and systems that can help team members communicate and collaborate with each other. The goal is to track status updates, capture meeting minutes and lessons learned, and manage workflows seamlessly so teams can focus on actual execution rather than routine tasks.
The overlap in function between these two disciplines can at times make it difficult to differentiate between them. Many organizations assign the role of a project controller to one of the project managers, making this even more confusing. Project management is a holistic function that involves managing people, processes and deliverables in a project through various sub-functions.
It focuses on quality and scope, in addition to cost and schedule. The objective of project management is more exhaustive in that it aims to successfully complete a project given the resources available. Project controls are a sub-function and focus on just two parameters: cost and schedule. People management and quality control, for example, does not fall under the purview of project controls. The main objective of project controls is to minimize the variance in costs and schedule from what was originally planned.
Controls acts as a safety harness to project management. Sometimes project managers can focus almost solely on delivery, which leaves less room to examine costs, deviation from the project plan and other variables involved.
Project controls introduce a necessary reality check for project managers, giving a more data-grounded view of how the project resources and objectives are trending over time.
At its core, project controls are part of a monitoring function that analyzes scenarios and provides recommendations. A project controller reports on cost and schedule and advises the project team of potential issues. The actual execution of these recommendations is not done by the controller, but rather by the project managers.
Even though controls is a sub-function of project management, project controllers interact with more than just the project managers that they report to. These results emphasize the significance of controls, especially considering the number of major deviations from initial project estimates in the past. But without project controls to anticipate and resolve these issues, costs and delays can spiral into huge expenses and affect other areas of the business.
In megaprojects , the various moving parts can make it difficult to stay aligned with the initial plans. However, close monitoring, analysis, and regulation can keep this in check. Projects of all sizes, not just large projects, experience significant benefits when controls are properly executed. This makes it difficult for project teams to grab the attention of management.
However, when recommendations are backed by facts and actionable data, teams are more likely to embrace them. Here are a few reports that help to socialize project controls concepts with project teams and allow everyone to align on the best path forward:. One of the most frequently used tools for communication, a status report should include all metrics regarding project costs.
Examples of metrics on cost include actual budget consumed so far, committed expenditures—such as contracts signed with vendors for work yet to be completed—and ratios of actual versus planned work as of a given date. Cost reports can be shared in a variety of formats and frequency: some teams prefer a daily scrum style, some have their own customized templates sent on a weekly basis, and some pack them into real-time dashboards.
While frequency of reporting has been shown to improve project performance, all stakeholders should be clear on how to access the report and how to use the information provided. Scope creep is a common challenge for most project managers. A change management register keeps track of change in scope from the initial statement of work or estimate.
It identifies how much extra cost the project has to incur and how much the project may be delayed due to the addition in scope. This information helps project teams prepare for the impact and communicate that impact to customers, whether internal or external.
Sometimes, those customers may be willing to cut back on their requests when they understand the implications. It also provides a formal way to get all parties to review and sign-off on the changes.
A risk register is a document that manages risks and records contingency dollars associated with known risks. It works as a RAID risk, action, issues, decision log and is created at the beginning of a project, documenting risks, assumptions, issues, and dependencies. As a project progresses, the risk factors can change, and these changes are tracked in the risk register.
In large teams, a risk register provides visibility to everyone about the top concern areas. It lends clarity to stakeholders by addressing what-if scenarios and correlating these scenarios to their risk quotient.
It also builds more predictability into projects, as team members can review past occurrences of these changes or risks to anticipate how it may affect this project. Despite the growing recognition of controls as a discipline, the questions for organizations are: How well is it implemented within? Is it bringing in results as expected? Are these results consistent?
When projects fail, many organizations may end up blaming the effectiveness of their project controls. However, this is the time to assess whether the control processes have been adequately implemented. Project controls span multiple processes and interact with multiple roles to ensure project success.
They require consistent attention to detail throughout the duration of projects, some of which can run for years. Project controls are too important for the success of large projects—and the success of the organization overall—to let manual processes and errors get in the way.
A modern approach to project controls requires strategic project controls software. A strong solution like EcoSys Enterprise Project Performance software offers tools for budgeting, risk management, planning, administration, forecasting and more to keep your projects on time and on target, and deliver greater business value across your organization.
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If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising. What Are Project Controls? Processes That Define Project Controls The strengths of project controls lie in their data-focused approach and attention to detail.
Project Planning Planning is one of the important steps in which controllers and project managers work together. Budgeting Integrating the budgeting process into project activities is essential to calculate costs accurately and to understand when and why variances occur. Risk Management Project controls provide a meticulous approach to managing risk. Forecasting By increasing the accuracy of estimates-at-complete, project controllers and managers can gain a lot more insight into the current drivers of cost and schedule overruns.
Performance Management Defining and using key performance indicators KPIs to monitor project health and forecast trends is crucial to take corrective actions. Project Administration This process involves establishing processes and systems that can help team members communicate and collaborate with each other.
A Project Management Primer: Basic Principles - Scope Triangle
By Nick Jenkins minute read. Called the "Scope Triangle" or the "Quality Triangle" this shows the trade-offs inherent in any project. The triangle illustrates the relationship between three primary forces in a project. Time is the available time to deliver the project, cost represents the amount of money or resources available and quality represents the fit-to-purpose that the project must achieve to be a success. The normal situation is that one of these factors is fixed and the other two will vary in inverse proportion to each other. For example time is often fixed and the quality of the end product will depend on the cost or resources available. Similarly if you are working to a fixed level of quality then the cost of the project will largely be dependent upon the time available if you have longer you can do it with fewer people.
Today, we take for granted that the items and services we consume should work well as soon as we purchase them. However, there was a time when quality and effectiveness were not always the priority for goods and service providers. In addition, industry experts discuss how TQM compares to other quality philosophies and methodologies, such as Six Sigma and Kaizen. Total quality management TQM describes a management system wherein a company attains organizational advancement through a commitment to customer requirements. A company meets those requirements when it empowers every employee in every department to maintain high standards and strive for continuous improvement.
A Project Management Primer: Basic Principles - Scope Triangle
The prevention, detection, and dealing with defects incur costs that are called quality costs or costs of quality. It does not refer to costs such as using the highest grade steel to make a watch or using the best quality mahogany to build furniture, instead of fir or redwood. The overall cost of quality is reviewed as a part of project management to make decisions on how much will be invested in quality. There are 2 main categories within the definition of Cost of quality.
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Despite best efforts and intentions, many organizations find that large-scale projects miss their targets for a number of reasons: optimism bias, manual estimation errors, insufficient historical data, scope creep and many other factors. So what is the difference between a costly, long-overdue project and one that is delivered on time and within budget? In many cases, the answer is good project controls.