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Project Controls 3.0 (PC-3.0)

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Patrick Weaver
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Published in the June edition of PM World Journal,  our latest paper, Project Controls 3.0presents an overview of the philosophy of Project Controls 3.0 (PC-3.0), and the reasons why a paradigm shift in thinking is needed to move controls from a complex and detailed reporting function, to a driver of project success.

Project delivery performance is unlikely to improve while project controls and management focus on history.  You cannot change the past, focusing on what has happened to drive a project is like using the rear-vision mirror to drive a car. The future is where the opportunity to manage lies.

PC-3.0 is designed to refocus project controls and management onto the future, where change is possible. The history of software development has shown that the best outcomes are achieved by allowing management the flexibility to succeed. But pragmatic decision-making needs useful information at the right time.

 PC-3.0 is designed to build onto the existing developments in project management and project controls to:

  • Overcome the problems apparent in the current diverse range of project management and controls practices,
  • Implement a simple, robust system that is effective for all types of project delivery, and
  • Refocus the controls effort on helping management craft success, rather than report on history.

This is achieved by:

  1. Knowing what work was planned to be accomplished
  2. Knowing how much work has been achieved
  3. Use these two metrics to assess the rate of production
  4. Understanding what the likely consequences of the current production rate is on the projected completion
  5. Doing something to change an unacceptable projection.

The major challenge in implementing PC-3.0 is not the technology, it is cultural. PC-3.0 runs in a simple spreadsheet, and most of the rest of the requirements for PC-3.0 are well understood current practice. The difficulty will be shifting management attitudes from a focus on history and cost, neither of which can be changed, towards actively seeking to identify, then resolve problems proactively – no more hiding issues in a mass of detail.

Download the PC-3.0 paper:

For more on PC-3.0 see