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Project Control Systems - Achieving Balance

The design of any control system should recognize the fact that investment in control is subject to sharply diminishing returns.

  • The controls should be directed toward the correction (and avoidance) of error rather than toward punishment.

  • Exert control only to the degree required to achieve its objectives.

  • Utilize the lowest degree of ‘bureaucracy’ consistent with accomplishing the goals (as formalized in KPIs).

  • Recognize that as control increases past some point, innovative activity is more constrained, and then finally shut down completely. The more that creativity involved, the greater the degree of uncertainty surrounding outcomes.

  • Control is not necessarily the enemy of creativity, nor does creative activity imply complete uncertainty of outcome.

Here are three general approaches to controlling creative projects:

  1. Progress Review – is the process sound?

  2. Personnel Reassignment – which personnel are productive?

  3. Control of input resources – focus on efficiency.

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