Keep costs on track

The program control team on the Central Phoenix/East Valley Light Rail Transit Project used an integrated system to improve efficiency, productivity and quality

Case study. Scheduled to open in 2007, the $1.13 billion Central Phoenix/East Valley Light Rail Transit (CP/EV LRT) system will link the Arizona cities of Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa. This article examines the customized work breakdown structure (WBS) and integrated reporting system that is helping this project toward a successful conclusion. After eliminating off-the-shelf project control software and outsourcing as options, CP/EV LRT decided to employ internal resources to develop their own cost- and schedule-control system, creating a tailored WBS and cost accounts to serve as the system's foundation, as well as an integrated database system that utilized both Primavera Project Planner (P3) and Microsoft Access databases. A customized reporting system regularly delivers information to stakeholders about expended costs, percent complete, and estimate at completion (EAC). The CP/EV LRT integrated cost control system is enabling the project control team to manage the project budget and anticipate problems in time to apply prevention or mitigation strategies.
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