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H O W TO M A K E YO U R

O RG A N I Z AT I O N S TA N D O U T
WHY YOU NEED
BEST OF BREED
PROJECT CONTROLS
The success of your organization depends on how
well you are able to control all of the processes,
activities, and the events that occur in the course
of project management. However, as the project
manager, you are in a position to help your
organization stand out from the competition
through the use of best of breed project controls.

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WHY A RE BE ST O F B R E E D
PROJE C T C ONT RO L S I MP O RTA N T
TO PROJ E C T M A N AG E R S ?
You need to ensure all processes and actions are upheld with the most stringent of criteria. With
time, dozens of projects controls have been created to make project management more efficient.
Unfortunately, project control software suites are not created equally, and some project controls can
create more work than hand-written approaches to project management.
Obviously, the modern project manager must know how to identify poorly designed project controls
from those that will benefit an organization. For example, what good does risk management project
controls do if the system is limited in its ability to conduct a comprehensive risk analysis without
consideration of previous projects? To be effective, project controls should offer the capability to access
stored information within the system from previous or similar projects.
This is where best of breed project controls come into play, and you can differentiate your organization
from poor performers in your industry by understanding what qualities are present in these project
controls and how they will benefit your organization. If you have not previously considered the use of
best of breed project controls, think about how they will impact your project.

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WHAT ARE THE
BENEFITS OF
BEST OF BREED
PROJECT
CONTROLS?

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FLEXIBLE STANDARDS
Flexible standards are the hallmark of best of breed project controls, which ensure your organization
can adapt to changing environments. Flexible standards naturally give rise to better project
management by allowing project managers and members of the project management team to meet
changes in project scope and respond to potential issues in risk management.

Flexible standards are also beneficial to stakeholders and upper-level management. Upper-level
management is able to define specific standards for different projects within a global database.

For example, Oracle EPPM enables program managers to set boundaries for each project manager, who
may then determine the appropriate project controls to use for each member of the subsequent project
team. Essentially, flexible standards are a must for an organization to maintain a top-down structure. In
contrast, poorly performing project controls would result in severe problems in data management and
reporting if a change suddenly occurred. Flexible project controls enable agility and fluidity among all
parts of an organization.

USING AGILE METHODS FOR BUSINESS


IMPROVEMENT INITIATIVES
Agility is often confused with flexibility. While flexibility refers to how well a given activity, task, or
standard may change, agility refers to how well the team members, project managers, and other
workers respond to the changes.

In best of breed project controls, agile solutions are those that enable all parties involved in a project to
view datasets and information about their workload. This may include the use of project dashboarding
tools, performance management features, and resource allocation displays and schedules. Essentially, a
great wealth of knowledge for review enables better identification of inefficiencies and problems, which
helps project managers come up with innovative solutions.

This concept is critical to the improvement and growth of an organization. It enables project managers
to learn more about how to respond to potential setbacks in the future, and it ensures all members of
the project management team understand how each action transpires into consequences or benefits for
the respective organization.

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DEFINED WORKFLOW TO OPTIMIZE
BUSINESS PROCESS
The workflow is comparable to the lifeblood of an organization. A successful workflow enables all
employees to communicate, complete their assigned responsibilities, and start working on the plans
of tomorrow. This is the optimized business process, but it can be further optimized through the use of
best of breed project controls.

Best of breed project controls optimize business processes by defining what is currently going on, what
needs to be accomplished within a set time frame, how likely adverse events are to impact the current
activities, and how closely the current activities mirror the original plans. This is almost the same
definition as project controls, but not all organizations follow this structure.

Finding out a problem exists after all workers have been relieved or reassigned at the end of a project
is only going to cause additional delays and unnecessary expenses. Alternatively, best of breed project
controls may have been used to identify potential problems or ensure all workers had completed tasks
appropriately.

For example, completing the welding requirements for Floor 1 should have automatically triggered a
minimal quality inspection, which would require the approval of the supervising project team member
for the respective activities.

Sometimes, problems in project management arise from a project managers fears about relinquishing
control over parts of a project. When all business processes are optimized with best of breed project
controls, project managers can rest assured that all processes are accounted for appropriately and
completed as planned. However, best of breed project controls rely on standard processes, tools, and
policies across all projects to truly make an organization stand out from the competition.

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STANDARD PROCESS, TOOLS, AND
POLICIES ACROSS ALL PROJECTS
Business processes, especially those in project management, should follow a standardized structure.
This enables all members of the project management team, upper-level management, and skilled
workers to know exactly how to respond to a given situation. Simply having minimalist project controls
in place is likely to result in the use of many different standards and processes for reporting, forecasting,
risk analysis, dashboarding, quality assurance, and many more parts of a project. However, best of breed
project controls can improve this aspect of project management as well.

Best of breed project controls enable optimized business processes by giving all parties access to the
same data, schedules, and abilities, which may be changed slightly to reflect specific job duties. However,
the key to differentiating your organization with optimized business processes rests in how members of
your project management team are able to communicate and increase their productivity.

For example, adherence to deadlines and the project budget can be improved if all team members
can actively see how the current status of the project stands in relation to the percentage complete.
Although it would seem like project team members cannot improve the situation, knowing this
information and accessing advanced tools in project controls can help team members scale back
expenses within their assigned responsibilities, such as reducing the number of overtime hours worked
by nonessential employees. In contrast, team members may increase the number of workers to ensure a
deadline is met if the current percentage of completed tasks appears to fall behind schedule.

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PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
FOR ALL PROJECT TEAM MEMBERS
AND STAKEHOLDERS
Professional development is another key benefit of best of breed project controls. An organization is
only as good as its weakest link. In other words, an employee who does maintain his or her professional
requirements is more likely to cause additional costs and delays for the organization. Furthermore,
some parts of professional development are required by governing authorities, and failure to maintain
professional development, such as updating of certifications and licensure, could result in a liability for
the organization and its respective projects.

Best of breed project controls enable an organization to monitor the performance and professional
development of all internal parties. This helps to ensure all workers and employees understand their
job duties and responsibilities, maintain a competitive wage, retain all required documentation and
certifications, and grow as the organization expands. Growth and success are the ultimate goals of all
organizations, and best of breed project controls facilitate this growth by maintaining accountability.

MOVING TO CLOUD-BASED
TECHNOLOGY
Legacy systems have always had drawbacks in project management and organizational leadership.
Systems were limited in their ability to store, analyze, and retrieve data, and periods of expansion often
brought severe financial and physical setbacks to an organization. However, the rise of the cloud has
changed how organizations respond to the needs of their clients.

Terminal-based databases are impractical, and it contributes to error-causing assumptions. Updated


information on one terminal may not necessarily reflect the latest information on another terminal.
However, the cloud enables an organization to upload and download the most recent data for each
process.

Cloud-based technology enables all parties within an organization to make informed decisions. As a
result, delays and costs are reduced, and an organization can use its cumulative experience to ensure all
plans and preparations avoid previous pitfalls. Yet, problems may still arise.

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BEST OF BREED SUPPORT FOR YOUR
PROJECT MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY
AND PROCESSES
Regardless of the quality and scope of risk analysis, every project is going to result in unforeseen
problems, which may include environmental, political, or information technology (IT) problems. While
some risks are unavoidable, project management technology and processes within best of breed project
controls should include comparable best of breed support.

Having a plethora of resources and tools is useless if the system fails and technical support is
unavailable. Furthermore, support must be available at all times, even when it would seem impractical.
For example, support for project controls during evenings and weekends may seem like an unrealistic
initiative. However, some workers, project managers, project team members, or members of upper-level
management may need to update the system or review current progress after hours. This is especially
important in industries that are directly influenced by the daily activities of the market, such as the oil
and gas industry. Ultimately, best of breed project controls demand an equally best of breed support
network.

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PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
What sets your organization apart? Does your organization value
attention to detail, or does your organization routinely experience
common setbacks in your industry? These questions are the key
indicators of how well your existing project controls function. If your
organization seems to continually be behind, you need to consider how
best of breed project controls could differentiate your organization
from your competitors. After all, your organization probably wants to
be seen as a leader in your industry, not a follower.

See how partnering with IMS


will provide your company with
incremental gains and long-term
business value.

LEARN MORE

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