We know it takes a lot of hard work to become a Project Controller. Most Project Controllers have a Bachelor’s Degree in engineering or a field related to technology. There are just a few industry specific Project Controller’s curriculum in colleges and universities, so most learn by joining a project management team in a company in the industry they want to make a career.
The general duty of a Project Controller crosses most industries and includes responsibility for making a company’s resources work together efficiently. These resources include:
- Space (meeting rooms, classrooms, etc.)
In order to effectively have all resources work together, planning and scheduling are common to Project Controllers in every industry imaginable. Planning, scheduling and control comprises of preparing a plan for meeting a project completion date set by senior management, scheduling the team working to support the plan and giving management periodic progress reports as to how the plan is working compared to the deadline.
So here are 5 New Year’s Resolutions that will hopefully help you start 2015 with a bang!
Resolution One: Maximize the Tools You Have & Get the Tools You Need
Affordability is not an obstacle with so much of the scheduling software that is available from free to very costly. Many Project Controllers use various spreadsheets to keep track of scheduling, team members, resources, equipment, etc. So exploring the scheduling software you currently have and maximizing the usage of those features you most likely are not using such as the report writing tools or synchronizing calendars will help you log your resources, budget performances and project cost accurately – so you know exactly where your time and money is going. If you don’t have one, there is abundant project control software available that will assist you in tracking task progress so working projects don’t get derailed and delayed.
Resolution Two: Don’t Forget ROI
Evaluate projects to make sure the return on investment (ROI) is in line with company goals. Set project goals that will help you clearly demonstrate your ROI which in turn will represent positive returns of time, money and client satisfaction that will assist in acquiring future projects.
Most successful companies owe much of their success to project management.
David Buisson, PMP, program manager at Headland Project Management Ltd., said,
“A strong project management discipline brings exceptional value to the business, because when there is a demand for a product, we are the ones who deliver it.”
Mark Brodnik, Chandler, Arizona, USA-based program/project manager also works at Intel and said:
“Now we focus on metrics, data and standardization of processes to deliver better results.”
Resolution Three: Earn/Maintain Certification in the AACE
Unfortunately, few things in life are guaranteed. With the advent of a global economy, companies come and companies go. However, the global economy also offers opportunities for employment in foreign countries. To change jobs within the United States or across the globe, one credential that most prospective employees want to see, is a certification from the AACE [American Association of Cost Engineering].
Equally important, certification tells your employer that you are committed to using best practices in your leadership role. Your ongoing learning and ability to have a peer support network improves your value to your employer. Seek out additional training and programs that will help boost your career and add to your currently qualifications to help differentiate yourself from others.
Resolution Four: Recognize your own strengths and be willing to delegate tasks
Many projects require that you delegate. If you are of the school that believes no one can do the tasks required to bring a project to completion, then you are doing your team a great disservice. Part of your job is to teach your team all the skills possible. This improves their job satisfaction and their likelihood of promotion. At the same time, delegation allows you to focus on those parts of your job that you are highly skilled at.
In order to delegate properly, good communication skills are necessary. When speaking to your team about delegation of tasks let your team know you are available if a question or problem arises.
But the biggest barrier to delegation by Project Controllers is not communication; it is the fear of loss of control. Ironically, the solution is frequent communication and transparency with people to whom you have delegated to. This allows you to check the task’s progress and gives you an enhanced sense of control and, at the same time, decreases the fear of losing control. So resolve to trust your skills at delegating.
Resolution Five: Make Sure Project Goals Align With Project Strategy
What causes this gap between planning and performance? Research shows that 95 percent of individuals in a company do not know or cannot understand the strategy they are working towards. This means that if those who operate processes designed to enhance the company value do not know the strategy, they lack a necessary component of the knowledge needed to help the company implement it correctly.
Project Controllers do understand the strategy and goals they need to deliver and measure. Always remind your team of what the strategy is and how the project works maintain value. Another way to accomplish strategy and project alignment is to utilize KPIs [Key Performance indicators] or Balanced Scorecard and associated tools to help measure project status and team performance.
“Organizations that combine excellence in tactical project implementation with alignment to strategy, teams knockout projects successfully 90 percent of the time. Those that neglect strategic alignment are successful only 34 percent of the time.”
Make these five Project Controller’s resolutions for 2015 and see your team soar to the top, with you in the lead.