Project control t the senior mngement level consists of evluting nd responding to forml Project Sttus Reports prepred by the project tem. These reports detil the overll progress of the project with specil ttention pid to production delys or budget overruns tht might jeoprdize contrctul greements. The reports ssist senior mngement in determining when expenditures on prticulr project re no longer profitble nd should be terminted. Depending on the level of mngement control, sttus reports my prompt senior mngers to provide dditionl funding, direction, or clrifiction to the project tem.
In contrst, project control t the opertionl level is driven by need to determine how successful the tem hs been in chieving specific plnned objectives nd by need to ssist in the coordintion of complex nd interrelted ctions. The project tem monitors the progress of ech ctivity, tking corrective ction when ctivities re shown to be delyed or drifting (Spinner, 1992). Knutson nd Bitz (1991) list five stges of the opertionl project control process:
Time, cost, nd performnce form the bsis for the operting chrcteristics of project. These fctors help to determine the bsis for project control. Project control is the process of reducing the devition between ctul performnce nd plnned performnce. Mesurements re tken on ech of the three project constrints of time, performnce, nd cost.
Cost Control. Cost Control. Tking the process one step further, cost control reports compre scheduled expenditures to ctul expenditures. The purpose of these reports, which re usully prepred by finncil plnners, is to identify or predict possible cost overruns. If cost overrun is likely, request for dditionl funds should be forwrded to senior mngement s soon s possible. If dditionl funding cn not be obtined quickly, nd the overrun is beyond the project's finncil tolernce, no further finncil commitments should be mde pending complete project cost nlysis. lthough this lck of finncil commitment my seem somewht hrsh, it is the best course of ction since it prevents the project from going bnkrupt, which would mke completion impossible (Spinner, 1992).
There re certin techniques tht cn ssist mngers in controlling nd monitoring the project. To mny mngers, the costs ssocited with project my be considered more importnt thn the schedule; t minimum, senior mngement will require timely cost sttus reports. During the plnning stge, this will tke the form of developing project cost estimtes for inclusion in the initil project budget. Once the project hs begun, this informtion my be forwrded s prt of cost schedule or cost control reports. If the tem is considering ccelerting or "crshing" the project, the tem my develop cost minimizing reports (Spinner, 1992).
Cost control hs received extensive coverge in the literture. Numerous ccounting nd reporting systems hve been developed over the yers for project cost monitoring nd control. Some of the strtegies suitble for controlling project cost include:
Reducing lbor costs