What are Project Controls?

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There are multiple crucial elements that work together throughout a project’s development and implementation to ensure its successful delivery.  Project Controls are central to this process as they increase the efficiency of projects in various ways and provide many other benefits. Knowing what a project control is and why it is a vital component within organisations can help you improve your own approach to project development. In this article, we explore what project controls are, why they are important, why MIGSO-PCUBED are subject matter experts on the topic as well as examine how the future of project controls may look.

An effective Project Controls (PC) service is critical to achieving successful project and programme outcomes.

Table of Contents

What are Project Controls?

Project controls (PC) are a set of processes used to understand and influence the amount of time or money spent on a project and are critical to achieving successful project and programme outcomes. Each project control focuses on a distinct part of the project plan, like performance, change, the schedule, resources, or potential risks. They highlight the right information and analysis in front of decision makers at the right time, enabling them to concentrate on the real issues that need dealing with.

5 Elements of Project Controls

The Importance of a Project Controls Service

Having robust and established Project Controls in place within your PPM business ensures that accurate reporting and monitoring of projects and programmes are possible. These processes can identify and mitigate risks to delivery as well as reduce the impact to budgets and schedules. MIGSO-PCUBED offers a wide breadth of Project Control Services using best practices and proven tools and processes to achieve results. These include:

  • Planning/Schedule Management
  • Risk, Issue, and Dependency Management
  • Cost management
  • Resource Management
  • Change Control

MIGSO-PCUBED have implemented Project Controls across many different industries including financial services, telecoms, and manufacturing. We introduce tools and processes specific to business needs focusing on outcomes and continuous improvement.

How are Project Controls different from Project Management or a PMO?

Project Control is one of the Project Management subsets with the primary focus of managing the project’s cost, risk and schedule. Project controls are processes, tools, and professional skills used on projects. Whereas Project management is the application of these processes. Furthermore, a PMO (Project Management Office) is a group that aligns all project management activities across a department or organization to support the delivery of an organization’s business goals.

A Project Controller’s roles and responsibilities include:

  • Project planning
  • Budgeting
  • Risk Management
  • Change Management
  • Forecasting
  • Performance management
  • Project administration 

Benefits of Project Controls

A successful PC function keeps a project on track and enables a project team to maintain control over the structure and flow of a project by providing checks and balances for the project to keep it on track.

 The following are some of the key benefits of project controls:

  • Reduced project costs through the ability to make timely decisions using KPIs
  • Increased project predictability for cost and completion date
  • Increased visibility into the financial health of the project at all stages
  • Ability to mitigate project scope creep
  • Meaningful benchmarking data for future projects via well-structured projects
  • Increased margins when working in a fixed-price environment
  • Improved reputation for properly managing and controlling projects
  • Competitive advantage over organizations with less mature project management capabilities
  • Increased job satisfaction for project team members

Why MIGSO-PCUBED are Subject Matter Experts in Project Controls

Project Controls is now the largest and most comprehensive service that MIGSO-PCUBED provide, and it is continuing to grow.  As a result of the long-established client relationships MP have across a range of different industries, our collective knowledge and experience is always expanding.  This has led to the creation of a Project Controls ‘Community of Practice’ which draws together over 30 consultants globally. Members continue to undertake specialized training on a range of Project Control subjects which are directly applied to their engagements. Our clients have access to consultants who are constantly developing and adapting to the ever-changing PC world.

Future of Project Controls

It is thought that Project Controls could merge with Project Management or just become a data engine feed with analytical capabilities. Collecting, updating, and storing data is continuing to become easier for all organisations, consequently meaning the transparency of data will be enhanced.

It will be critical for companies to make use of technological advantages as they emerge. However, with this comes increasingly complex processes and even greater risks; effective management and control will be crucial.

In summary MIGSO-PCUBED suggest 5 competences to help the critical shift:

  1. Firstly, a positive business-to-business relationship is critical. Start with a Project Controls Maturity Assessment which can be discussed with MI-GSO PCUBED by contacting us.
  2. Ensure the project and engineering enabling systems coexist in a single concurrent process.
  3. Have an awareness of the architecture of the digital tools used by the entire project delivery team to ensure that the solution is integrated.
  4. Ensure project leaders and practitioners have expertise in lean improvement techniques.
  5. Ensure that project leaders and practitioners are agile trained. Leaders must be able to develop a bespoke hybrid delivery model for the project that creates an empowered and innovative workforce that can pivot and deal with change in a rapid and effective way.


Project controls are the underpinning function responsible for delivering successful projects. They help keep the project focused and connected to team members and the company overall. The project manager can analyse project goals, tasks and resources using the project controls and helps to provide the foundation for each project component. In this way, the project can meet its objectives, schedule requirements and budget considerations.

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