Criteria for controlling projects according to plan
Experienced project managers understand the need to control their project according to established plans. But accomplishing this feat is easier said than done: Doing so involves applying the available tools and techniques effectively. This article examines a three-year-long field study on the practices that 400 project leaders used to their control projects. In doing so, it identifies the types of project control problems these leaders have often experienced, the practices they use, their performance history in implementing these practices, and the criteria they use for determining effective project control. It explains the study's methodology and analyzes its results, identifying the five reasons that project leaders believe will cause poor project performance and the five reasons that senior managers believe will cause poor project performance. It also lists the eleven problems that pose the greatest barriers to project performance and details seventeen lessons that the researchers learned from this study, lessons related to the forces driving high-performance projects. It concludes by recommending eight practices that project managers can use to effectively control engineering projects and programs.