9 greatest benefits of using a Project Controls Software

Benefits of using a Project Controls Software

Keeping a project under “control” can be an extremely challenging process. Project controllers need to be alert and take initiative in handling the budget. They should analyze data from different sources. They also need to address any important questions that come up during the project.

‘Is the project overspending? Is the project going according to schedule? Why has the forecast changed?’

With the technological advancements and a high degree of automation over the last years, it is now possible to use a project controls software tool to keep up with the challenging demands.

Here’s a list of the 5 greatest benefits of using a project controls software:

1) Standardization of project controls processes

To be able to find answers quickly and easily you must know where to look at. Even large organizations that have to deliver multiple projects of any size, still rely heavily on Excel spreadsheets.

Locating the right data within numerous spreadsheets can be time-consuming and prone to errors because of manual processes. This can lead to disconnected workflows for project budgeting, forecasting, and performance measurement.

Using project controls software tools can help standardize work processes, organize large amounts of data, centralize document storage, and much more. Using a centralized location simplifies the creation of templates with company-specific data, such as breakdown structures. You can then easily reuse these templates for any new project. Moreover, it can also make it easy for any team member to access and collaborate by sharing documents, timelines, and status updates.

2) Integrated systems

Purchase orders, actual invoices, scheduling, and progress data, might come from multiple systems such as finance, project management or ERP systems. Therefore, aligning data coming from different resources can be tricky. A project controls software like Cleopatra Enterprise allows for the integration of the output of those systems within one tool. This can save valuable time and coordinating data.

3) Progress measurement

The basis of proper cost control is knowing what has been done in relation to what remains to be done. That progress relates to both costs and schedule, so knowing where you are right now gives an indication of total costs at completion, as well as when the project is expected to be completed. Project controls software provides the means to gather all the relevant information you need to determine the progress of a project, as well as ability to process that information to make reliable predictions about the expected development of that project.

4) Performance measurement

Continuous monitoring is vital to give the project team and stakeholders insight of the project’s performance and underline areas that require special attention and may need changes. Using a project controls software simplifies this process by utilizing input data to produce cash flow plots, time-phase costs, create snapshots to monitor changes over time and provide project metrics.

With this proactive approach, you can understand what you have done, what you need to do, and whether you need to take corrective actions. Therefore, you can easily avoid budget overrun and delays. Making use of graphic representation of plots and metrics, you can also effortlessly reproduce reports and present key performance indexes to management boards.

5) Change management

Changes occur in every project due to internal or external factors, and they can be of different statuses (anticipated, pending, approved, rejected, etc.). Whenever someone issues a change, they should categorize and register it. Perform an impact analysis and finally, implement and reflect on the change in the project’s budget. Recording changes in a dedicated project controls software tool eases change management and increases project controls’ effectiveness.

6) Connected cost estimation and cost control

To effectively control a project, you need to establish a solid baseline that you can use to measure progress. Estimating forms this baseline. Furthermore, connecting cost estimating and project controls in a software tool will minimize data handling and increase your working processes’ efficiency.

Establishing a solid baseline is essential for effective project control, and this starts with accurate estimation. By integrating cost estimation and project controls within a software tool, you minimize data handling and streamline your workflow. Thus, this interconnected approach creates a feedback loop where estimated costs can be adjusted for project controls, and actual costs can provide feedback to improve estimating accuracy.

7) Manage actual costs

To keep track of the money spent on a project so far, it’s important to store it in a well-structured way, allowing for analysis and benchmarking. Assigning your actuals to cost items, breakdown structures, and schedule, helps to gain insight into your expenditures compared to the original budget. Project controls software also allows you to distinguish between actual costs and commitments to further specify the status of a project.

8) Earned value management

Earned value management, or EVM, is a project management technique that provides insight in the work performed so far and the value it represents. Cost control software like Cleopatra Enterprise has far more capabilities to perform EVM and the related analysis, than any existing spreadsheet tool.

9) Reporting

It’s not an easy task to capture the status of a large and complex project in a way that is understandable for management yet to-the-point enough to not waste valuable time on details or irrelevant information. With the use of proper software you are able to create real-time dashboards and reports that present the project’s costs, metrics, KPI’s and much more.

As said before, not every project requires extensive software for cost control. Yet it is important to take it into consideration before you start project execution, rather than stubbornly sticking with Excel and regretting that decision halfway through the project.

About Cleopatra Enterprise

Cleopatra Enterprise stands as the innovative Project Cost Control Software for the industry, seamlessly integrating cost estimating, scheduling, cost management, and benchmarking. Trusted by over 500 industry-leading companies in 75 countries for over two decades, Cleopatra Enterprise empowers organizations to control large technical projects and elevate project performance.

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