Value Driven Design Logo

2.06 - Project Planning and Control

There are a number of mechanisms for ensuring effective project control. They are needed at two levels:

  • Overall Project Control Strategy
  • Detailed Project Planning and Control

By applying these mechanisms in a considered manner a project may be managed to a successful conclusion, where success is measured by:

  • Keeping within time schedules
  • Keeping within budget
  • Meeting the commercial targets set
  • Achieving the predicted technical performance specifications
  • Assimilating all approved project changes successfully (*)
  • Successfully handing over on completion

Good Practice Elements for the Strategic Level

At the strategic level the elements necessary to ensure a Total Quality Performance are:

  • Selecting a strong leader and organising the team
  • Enlisting the support of senior management
  • Establishing progress reviews and control mechanisms
  • Training the team and combining their skills positively
  • Developing clear communication channels
  • Identifying and practicing relevant methodologies
  • Identifying measures to quality control as the project progresses
  •  (*) Identifying and controlling “scope creep”

Project Control Considerations at the Detailed Level

In addition, there are a number of techniques and tools for effective project control to the detailed level. These are shown on the input / output diagram next.

Input / output diagram for project control considerations



















Create WBS with inputs and outputs for each stage.

Establish activity sequence.

Prepare structured project plans.

Plan team building & training activities.

Plan the final handover acceptance procedure (including user training)


Define start & finish time for each activity.

Prepare structured, time phased work plans. Highlight key events on these plans.





Establish a responsibility matrix of activities against team members.

Estimate man-hours per activity.

Produce time phased manpower plan


How Much?



Call for estimates (comparative quotes where necessary) – use cost per man-hour, capital expenditure, etc

Establish time phased budgets & cash flow.


Adaptability to Changes?



Consider and understand the effects of change – refer back to the inter-stage I/O.

Develop contingency plans.

Establish change control system


On time & within budget?



Establish an integrated project control and information system, with regular two way reporting.

Devise performance & analysis criteria.

Some of the techniques outlined above follow established rules and criteria. Others are relatively simple guidelines, established to satisfy the criteria of the individual project. However, these guidelines then serve as reference points by which to control the progress of the project and therefore are very important.

Note – not all projects are in engineering areas. Any problem that requires a solution potentially requires a professional project approach and allocated resources. (See guide 2.14)

Further Reading