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Project Control Systems - Final Exam

- What is project control and how is it related to project management? In what areas of an organization/company can project control be implemented?

Project control can be defined as “Assessing actual against planned technical accomplishment, reviewing and verifying the validity of technical objectives, confirming the continued need for the project, overseeing resource expenditures, and comparing the anticipated value with the costs incurred.” Project control is to plan, monitor, and take action. A project manager must exercise “control” throughout the project execution phase: (1) must guide the project to meet performance requirements, scheduled due dates, and budgeted expenses, (2) track project performance vs. plan, (3) take corrective action as in making the project conform with the plan and making the plan conform to new realities/expectations. Project control is one part of an organizational “roll-up” control system that can be used from the: business level, portfolio level, program level, project level, work package level, etc.

- Discuss possible strategies for integrating a quality plan (including quality management/control) with schedule, budget, and scope management plans.

There are four major project control systems: (1) scope change control, (2) quality control, (3) schedule control, and (4) procurement control. Scope change control is to identify where changes have occurred, ensure the changes are necessary or beneficial, contain or delimit the changes wherever possible, and the implementation of changes. Quality control is to manage work to achieve requirements and specifications, take preventive measures to eliminate errors and mistakes, identify and eliminate sources of errors and mistakes, and include technical performance measurement. Schedule control is to keep the project on schedule and minimize schedule overruns, use time buffers, fight tendency to multi-task, frequently report activity status, and publicize consequences of delays and benefits of early finish. Procurement control is to monitor quality, schedule, and cost of all procured items, visit and inspect the facilities of subcontractors and suppliers, track subcontractors' and suppliers' progress and expenses, and prepare contingency for all major procured material, equipment, components, and services.

To ensure project quality a project quality management process needs to be implemented. There are three processes to the project quality management process: (1) Project quality control (QC) which is a process to ensure conformance to plan, (2) Planning for project quality which is to process to plan QA, and (3) Quality assurance (QA) which is the process to ensure quality. For proper quality control a project manager must first have scope verification which are deliverables acceptable to customer and then use quality control which are deliverables acceptable to contractor to ensure the project is done with quality. Configuration management is configuration identification (defining the system) and configuration control (modifications, waivers, and deviations). Configuration control process is that anyone may request change, change and motivation documented, impact evaluated (technical), feasibility evaluated (resources, schedules, …), change accepted or rejected by Configuration Board, plan implementation if approaved, and verify.

- What is the role of a PMIS in project management? Suggest and justify a strategy you think is appropriate for implementing and maintaining a PMIS within an organization.

PMIS is a framework, or system, that assists in the collecting, organizaing, storing, procesing, and disseminating of project related information. It can be paper-based or electronic. PMIS is a tool to help manage projects. PMIS features possibilities such as: (1) scheduling and network planning, (2) resource management, (3) budgeting, (4) managing multiple projects and project portfolios, (5) cost control and performance analysis, (6) knowledge management, (7) reporting, graphic, and communication, and (8) interface, flexibility, and ease of use.

The strategy that I think is appropriate for implementing and maintaining a PMIS within an organization is to get a tool that is reliable, easily thought, and can be used for several years.

- Your company is about to undertake a risky new project where there are significant penalties if the project finishes late. What scheduling technique(s) would you recommend to use during the planning phase to ensure the project has the highest probability of finishing on-time and why?

I would make sure to define the project objectives. Defining the project objectives is fundamental to achieving project success. Project objectives are defined by: business strategy (two or three high-level project objectives), traditional project triumvirate (time, cost, quality), and other areas (e.g., safety, reliability, etc.)