Project Controls Technical Papers
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Published Technical papers


Title Author  
Project Controls – Continuous Improvement
Cost overruns in large technical projects is not an extraordinary phenomenon. According to a recent study of McKinsey1, no less than 98% of megaprojects suffer cost overruns of more than 30 percent and 77 percent are at least 40 percent late. Poor organization, communication, planning, risk management and data management are among the main causes. Based on these figures and other examples, it is necessary to improve the project controls profession.
Christiaan des Bouvrie
Incorporating Risk Assessment into Project Forecasting
The science of project management was founded, in large part, to manage risk and prevent it from negatively affecting project objectives, schedules, and budgets.

Risk in any project is unavoidable. Fortunately, there are proven methods to identify and analyze potential threats so that appropriate risk responses are developed and the project's level of exposure is controlled.

Risk analysis has become an important discipline within the field of project management. It involves prioritizing risks and assessing each identified risk's probability of occurrence and potential impact, whether positive or negative.

This paper explores both qualitative and quantitative risk analysis techniques applied to the environmental industry. It explains how to incorporate risk assessment into forecasting and shows how a project was able to increase forecast accuracy from 50% to 95% by using the described approach.
Dione Palomino Conde Laratta, PMP
Schedule Levels – Major Projects
This is a major milestone type of schedule; usually only one page, it highlights major project activities, milestones, and key deliverables for th e whole project. It is used to summarise the project schedule in reports and other documents whe n a more detailed schedule is not required. Frequently developed by the ‘client’ as part of its initial feasibility studies for the project and th en maintained by the contractor; may be used to assist in the decision making process (go/no-go, prioritization and determining the criticality of p rojects). Can be used to integrate multiple contrac tors / multiple project schedules into an overall program schedule. Audiences for this schedule Level include , but are not limited to client, senior executives an d general managers. If included with a bid and/or t he Contract, demonstrates conformance to contractual a nd other milestones.
Mosaic Projects
Schedule Risk Analysis; Are You Ready For It?
This paper raises concerns that the application of schedule risk analysis (SRA) may sometimes be merely a means to an end rather than as an aid to allow projects to make well founded decisions. The paper is not looking to describe the SRA process, or to detail the benefits of SRA. Instead the paper seeks to outline key questions a project manager should ask themselves about their project and organisation before undertaking an SRA.
Tom Olden
BMT Hi-Q Sigma
Progress, Position, Prediction The key to completing projects on time
Current methods for assessing activity progress, calculating project position and forecasting project completion (including the use of earned value analysis) are examined in this paper. The disadvantages of current forecasting methods are discussed with special reference to single data point extrapolation and the difficulty for non-specialists in analysing s-curves. A different method of forecasting project completion using simple linear regression and time series analysis is proposed which has real practical applications for project managers and allows them to easily and rapidly produce position and forecast data in a format that is understood by layman and specialist.
David Bordoli BSc MSc FCIOB MAPM ACIArb
Driver Group
Oil and Gas Industry Megaprojects: Our Recent Track Record.
In a recent major study of industrial megaprojects, the author finds that oil and gas industry megaprojects fared very poorly. Earlier studies showed that the results of oil and gas megaprojects were quite similar to the results from megaprojects in other industrial sectors. With this much larger and more recent set of megaprojects, we find that upstream megaprojects are more fragile than their nonoil and gas industry cousins. The author attributes this finding to the poor functional integration that characterizes upstream project organizations, which makes these complex projects much more sensitive to poor preparation, schedule aggressiveness, and loss of continuity in project leadership.
Edward Merrow
IPA Founder and CEO. SPE Oil and Gas Facilities. April 2012.
FPSOs: Getting the Project Right!.
David Rosenberg. Presented at Global Floating.
Production Systems 2009
London, UK. December 2-3, 2009
United Kingdom. Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. “Productivity in the UK Engineering Construction Industry
This study explores engineering construction labour productivity in the United Kingdom for “engineering construction projects”, authorized between 1998 and 2008. These projects involve the construction or refurbishment of facilities in industries such as petroleum refining, chemicals manufacturing, power production, and the like. These projects generally require extensive engineering input and are usually heavy consumers of high skill crafts such as pipefitters and electricians.
Edward Merrow, Kelly Sonnhalter, Radha Somanchi, and Andrew Griffith. Ashburn, Virginia, USA: Independent Project Analysis, Inc, September 2009. (BER-0901-SPS).
Performance of Capital Projects in Australian Processing Industries
Joseph O'Brien. Independent Project Analysis, Inc., June 2009.
Market Trends- A Focus on Engineering Productivity
Dean Findley. Northwest Construction Consumer Council, Seattle, Washington, May 29, 2008.
Best Practices for Qualification Success: A Statistical Analysis of Characteristics and Practices that Drive IQ and OQ Cost and Schedule.
Installation qualification (IQ) and operation qualification (OQ) are frequently on the critical path of the activities in the construction or modification of pharmaceutical facilities. any delay during the IQ/OQ phase is a major problem if it prevents product from being delivered to meet market demand and/or regulatory approval.
Allison Aschman and Gordon Lawrence. ISPE Pharmaceutical Engineering Online Exclusive, January 2007.
Mega-field developments require special tactics, risk management.
Edward Merrow. Offshore, 28(6):90-96.
The Business Stake in Effective Project Systems Edward Merrow. The Business Roundtable. 1997.
Developing Standards for Enterprise Schedule Quality
Project-oriented organizations must approach quality from all angles—from the planning process to execution, and ultimately, through customer satisfaction. The need for quality is a constant, guiding force. However, as thousands, perhaps millions, of companies can attest, while quality is not necessarily expensive in the traditional sense, it can be difficult to obtain and an absence of quality can be costly and potentially fatal for a company.
Tom Polen
Director Professional Services, Acumen
Integrating Risk Management with Earned Value Management
A paper summarizing a study of the current status of the integration of risk management with earned value management and recommendations for further actions. This study was conducted by the National Defense Industrial Association Program Management Systems Committee's Risk Management Working Group.
National Defense Industrial Association
Scheduling a Project at Different Levels
Scheduling a project at the right level, at the right time, is an important consideration in project planning and scheduling. During management-level planning, when executive and senior management are involved, project-level schedules prevail. Read more by downloading the paper .
Dr. Gui Ponce de Leon
GPM® and Forensic Total Float
The critical path method (CPM) is widely used as a project management tool. Basic to CPM is for the planner to draw a project network first, and then to use CPM software to calculate activity dates and total floats, establish the project completion date and locate the critical path. Read more by downloading the paper .
Dr. Gui Ponce de Leon
Application to Critical Chain on high value petrochemical projects
This paper examines the practical application of the critical chain philosophy in the project management of high value petrochemical projects.
John Welsh
Practical Application of Earned Value Performance Measurement Using P3
The aims of this presentation is to review practical methods that may be used for managing projects using Earned Value Performance Measurement methods.(307 KB)
Paul E Harris
How P6 Resource Driven Activities Calculate
This paper lists a number of points that users shuld be aware off when importing a Microsoft Project file into a P6 database. Please contact the Eastwood Harris if there are some points that you consider should be added to this paper.
Paul E Harris
Notes for importing a Microsoft Project File into a P6 Database
The aim of this presentation shows how a P6 Resources Driven Activities calculate, it explores the interaction of the Resource and Task calendars and demonstrates that P6 calculates differently to other software scheduling software.
Paul E Harris
Primavera P6 Version 7 Bars formatting presentation
The P6 bar defaults may be misleading. For example the Baseline bars and the Negative Float bar have the same colour and are on the same line, the Level of Effort bars are not displayed and completed activities show Total Float. This presentation outlines changes to the Primavera default bar formatting that should be considered and as a result your schedule should be clearer.
Paul E Harris
What Primavera P6 Baseline Bars am I Displaying?
The aim of this presentation is to explain the different types of project schedule Baselines, how the Planned Dates are calculated, why the Planned Dates often display irrelevant data, the issues with the Planned Dates, what functions control the display of the Planned Dates as Baseline Dates, and how to ensure you have the Baseline dates and not the Planned Dates displayed as Baseline Bars.
Paul E Harris
A Step-By-Step Guide Using Software Development Kit(SDK) for Primavera Version 6.X schedule
Jeoffrey B. Reyes Sr.Planning Engineer Building Works / Road & Infrastructure Jubail Industrial City, K.S.
Importing Microsoft Project 2003 – 2010 files into Oracle Primavera P6 Version 7
Microsoft Project and Oracle Primavera P6 Version 7 calculate differently. It is unlikely that a schedule will calculate the same dates and other values such as durations and resource data in both packages unless the schedules are very simple or a large amount of manual manipulation is applied after conversion, down load and read on.
Paul E Harris
Cashflowing with Expenses in P6 by importing for an excel spread sheet
Paul E Harris
Primavera Bars Tricks and Traps
The defaults setting for the display of bars in Primavera P6 can be greatly improved with some formatting, this presentation outlines the issues and solutions. Presented by Paul E Harris at thePrimavera User Group in Melbourne June 2010.
Paul E Harris
Issues and Solutions facing Construction Contractors Implementing Primavera P6
Presented by Paul E Harris at the my PRIMAVERA09 Peak Project Performance conference in Melbourne. (633KB - June 2009 )
Paul E Harris
Asta Power Project to Primavera Version 5.0 Import and Export
Some notes written by Paul E Harris on the process of exporting schedules from Asta PowerProject to Primavera Version 5.0 (449 KB - July 2007)
Paul E Harris
P3 and Tilos data Interchange
A paper written by Paul E Harris on the import and export of data between Asta Tilos, a Linear scheduling software package from Germany. (1,356 KB - July 2007)
Paul E Harris
Theta Planning
This document has been compiled by Andrew Dick to assist in setting up a Primavera Enterprise project to enable resource scheduling to be achieved. (4,966 KB - July 2007)
Paul E Harris
Asta Power Project - an introduction
This document is designed to assist people who are using SureTrak, P3, Primavera Enterprise or Microsoft Project to learn the basics of PowerProject to create an unresourced schedule. (1,525 KB - Updated July 2009v)
Paul E Harris
Using P3 Batch to Rebuild Corrupt P3 Files
The process used by Paul Harris to rebuild corrupt files. This is a zip file that includes instructions and bat files. ((32KB - July 2007)
Paul E Harris
Importing and Exporting data to and from P3 using Excel and DBF format
This is a step by step guide on how to complete this process. (278 KB - June 2007)
Paul E Harris
Comparison of EVM Standards
The comparison of AS4817 Project performance using Earned Value 2006, ANSI/EIA-748-A-1998 Earned Value Management Systems and PMI Practice Standard for Earned Value Management (163 KB - 3 July 2006)
Paul E Harris
Guidelines for training people in using Planning and & Scheduling software
The aim of this paper is to outline some guidelines for organizations to structure their training as part of implementation of Planning and Scheduling software for the planning and control of projects. (151 KB - May 2005)
Paul E Harris
Guidelines for Implementing P&S Software
The aim of this paper is to outline some guidelines for organizations to use when looking at implementing a corporate project planning and scheduling system. Many of these guidelines equally apply to the implementation of a stand alone planning and scheduling system. ( 314 KB - April 2004)
Paul E Harris
Practical Application of Earned Value Performance Measurement Using P3
The aims of this presentation is to review practical methods that may be used for managing projects using Earned Value Performance Measurement methods.((307 KB)
Paul E Harris
Book Review Guide
A guide for people writing books reviews (158 KB - September 2003)
Paul E Harris
SureTrak % Calculation
This article explains how SureTrak calculates percent complete in the various fields available. ((102 KB)
Paul E Harris
Linking P3 Database with Excel or Access:
This article demonstrates how a P3 schedule database may be linked to Excel or a dbf file using the Pervasive ODBC drivers. (278 KB)
Paul E Harris
Techniques for Managing Complex Projects with Planning and Scheduling Software
This paper will discuss techniques that may be used for developing and managing schedules that have a large number of activities and a number of complex relationships. (246 KB)
Paul E Harris
Converting P3 and SureTrak files to and from Microsoft Project
This article looks at the various methods of converting files to and from Microsoft Project and P3 or SureTrak. (226 KB)
Paul E Harris
Selecting Project Management Software
This article is aimed at assisting companies in the process of selecting new project management software but could be applied to the selection of many other types of software. (28 KB)
Paul E Harris
Issues and Solutions facing Construction Contractors Implementing Primavera P6
Presented by Paul E Harris at the myPRIMAVERA09 Peak Project Performance conference in Melbourne. (633KB - June 2009 )
Paul E Harris