Project Controls – What Is It And How Does It Work?
Project Management is a difficult and complex discipline. It is focused on delivering the project successfully and involves various activities. One of them is project controls system. People who work engaged in the process of project controls report directly to the project manager and work with the team to ensure the coherence of a project.
Whether an organization appoints a specific person as a project controller is individual and depends on many factors, for example, the business model, the team’s organization or structural hierarchy.
Project control is a diligent process of gathering and managing data, predicting risks and time outcomes. It’s an analysis of overall project performance. Hence, it may not always be easy to appoint a specific person responsible for project control. It is a process through which the entire team learns and gains experience which later allows them to perform better and make smarter decisions.
The process of project control should be organized and broken down into structures. This will help in monitoring employee performance, repair broken frameworks within the organization, and successfully deliver the project. ProjectControlOnline presents it in the form of a graph, which shows how one part affects the other.
How to Monitor Employee Performance?
In order to deliver the project successfully, project managers have to monitor employee performance and their activities. But it’s just one element of the jigsaw puzzle. The second one is monitoring external forces that may unexpectedly impact the project. Either as a project manager or project controller, monitoring should be a must. In fact, the team itself should be accountable for their part of the project and monitor their work.
It’s necessary to control all the elements of the project to analyze if the plan is working. It will allow you to compare the actual progress with the plan and estimates. Especially, that when something not predicted in the plan impacts it, you will easily be able to go back, analyze and adjust the plan.
As presented on the graph above, it’s a full circle. If you want the project to be successful, you need to take care of each part of the circle so it doesn’t fall apart.
Here’s what you need to think about when monitoring employee performance and controlling the project:
- You only manage what you measure. It’s obvious – if you don’t track the progress, hours, budget, etc., you won’t be able to fix problems and improve because you don’t know what’s causing the problems.
- Don’t just track, act! Measuring is one thing. But doing something with the data is another element. Use the data you have to deal with problems.
- Giving negative feedback is the right thing to do. However, delivering it should be done with respect and openness. Talk to your employees, exchange doubts and try to solve the problem together as a team. Don’t coach them, be there for them and teach.
- Monitor team’s progress simply to know how they’re doing, what’s the progress of works and what can be improved in the project. It will help you better allocate resources.
- Laws and regulations in the workplace are important. Let employees know you’re monitoring their work and why you’re doing it, tell them what are their rights and be open for an honest talk.
What Tools Should You Use?
Monitoring employee performance and project controls would be impossible if it wasn’t for tools. Good software helps to measure progress, brings the team together and automates work. If you’re not sure which tools to choose, here’s what we suggest.
You can use all of them for efficient project management. They will allow you to monitor the progress of works and quickly address complex problems.
HeySpace is a task management software with chat features. It largely enhances collaboration and communication because it allows you to monitor your team’s task progress in the real-time. Kanban view helps to quickly and efficiently organize work.
HeySpace is a combination of Slack and Trello. And it has plenty of useful features:
- a convenient design – you can see three boards in one place – your team and spaces (different channels), chat, list of cards with tasks;
- you can easily convert part of your conversation into a task;
- files sharing;
- task adjustment (you can set date, assign people to it, add tags, description, files, comment on it);
⇓ Watch the video to see how HeySpace works ⇓
TimeCamp is one of the leading time tracking apps available on the market. It appears on the list of the top 50 Top Project Management Software. That’s why our software is a great solution if you need to keep the hand on every project and have everything under control. Here are TimeCamp’s main features:
- the software tracks all activities and keeps records of your work in the form of reports,
- billable and non-billable hours,
- automatic time tracking with desktop app,
- measuring project profitability,
- adjusting rates for specific projects,
- invoicing (also based on people or projects, tasks and others),
- measuring productivity,
- different types of reports,
- projects and tasks,
- mobile friendly, supports all platforms – Windows, Linux, Mac,
- a large number of integrations.
⇓ Watch the video to see how TimeCamp works ⇓
Since feedback is important in monitoring employee performance as well as in project controls, it’s important to collect it based on performance indicators. And that’s what 15Five can help you with:
- weekly check-ins that replace long reports, email threads, and spreadsheets,
- high-fives which help to appreciate employees work and praise them for their effort,
- objectives – Objectives and Key Results (OKR),
- one on one meeting to provide feedback and discuss the most important matters,
- self-review based on employee performance, peer review and management review,
- integrations with outside apps.
Recognizing employees for their work is significant. It motivates them and they know that their hard work pays off. That’s why you should show them that you value them. And the best way to do it is to use iappreciate.
The app helps you create meaningful award presentations with fun facts, quotes, certs, eCards and more.
It’s a fantastic and quick way to thank employees for their effort and put a smile on their faces.
Zoom is cloud-based software for communication and collaboration. It’s a suitable tool for remote teams who rely on communication and need to always keep in touch.
With Zoom you can make video call and conferences, record audio and video, send messages, integrate any 3rd party teleconferencing service, share all types of files, and simultaneously share screen. Zoom is available on Mac, Windows, Linux, Chromebooks, iOS and Android.
It’s a simple tool but can largely improve communication and flow of information.
To Sum Up
Monitoring employee performance through project control system is not an easy task. With all the data and information it’s easy to make mistakes. And even the smallest error may be detrimental to your project. For this reason, you should break down every project into smaller parts, assign people to specific tasks, use the right tools and methodology.
McKinsey&Company report clearly indicates that poor structural organization and lack of planning contribute to projects failure. And the only way to avoid that is to have project controls system responsible for overseeing every process.