Project Controls : What is it and why is it important ?
Definition of Project Controls : 
Project Controls can be defined as - Management action, either preplanned to achieve the desired result or taken as a corrective measure prompted by the monitoring process. Project controls is mainly concerned with the metrics of the project, such as quantities, time, cost, and other resources; however, also project revenues and cash flow can be part of the project metrics under control. Thus, we believe an effective Project Controls process can be applied in a collaboration of its various sub-disciplines, such as: 

1) Planning, Scheduling & Project Reporting
·      Scope management; 
·      Project deliverables: 
·      Work breakdown / Cost breakdown structures;
·      Schedule management;
·      Schedule forecasting;
·      Corrective action;
·      Progress measurement / reporting;
·      Productivity Analysis & Calculation; 

2) Earned Value Analysis & Management

3) Cost Engineering & Estimating
·      Estimating;
·      Cost management;
·      Cost control;
·      Cost forecasting

4) Change Management & Controls
·      Change order control;
·      Trend Analysis; 

5) Risk and Delay Claims
·      Risk Assessment & management;
·      Delay Claims Quantification
·      Forensic Schedule Analysis

Put simply, Project Controls encompass the people, processes and tools used to plan, manage and mitigate cost and schedule issues and any risk events that may impact a project. 
 In other words, Project control is essentially equivalent to the project management process stripped of its facilitating sub-processes for safety, quality, organizational, behavioral, and communications management. Project control may be considered the quantitative resource control subset of the project management process. 

Importance of Project Controls : 

The successful performance of a project depends on appropriate planning. The PMBOK Guide defines the use of 21 processes that relate to planning out of the 39 processes for project management, (Globerson & Zwikeal 2002). The execution of a project is based on a robust project plan and can only be achieved through an effective schedule control methodology.  The development of a suitable Project Control system is an important part of the project management effort (Shtub, Bard & Globerson 2005). Furthermore, it is widely recognised that planning and monitoring plays a major role as the cause of project failures. Despite the continuous evolution in the project management field, it appears evident that the traditional approach still shows a lack of utilisation of Project Controls and there have been a number of articles published to support the importance of control in the achievement of project objectives. It has been proved time and again that Project performance can be improved if dedicated Project Controls systems are in place. An IBC 2000 Project Control Best Practice Study carried out by IPA identified that good Project Control practices reduce execution schedule slip by 15%. Project Controls cost range from 0.5% to 3% of total project, (including cost accounting), therefore, to break even, Project Control needs to improve cost effectiveness by around 2%.  A sample study carried out by the IBC Cost Engineering Committee (CEC) in 1999, showed cost improvements for the projects in the study, was more than 10%. It is noted also that NPV (Net Project Value) also benefits from schedule improvements. Success factors are based on good Project Control practices, which result in good cost and schedule outcomes.

"The fact that one failed project can potentially wipe out an entire year’s profit helps put the value of Project Controls into perspective."