The practical operation of project controlling requires methodological components that ensure that information is available at the appropriate time. In our experience, the most important thing for our Clients is to have information about the factors that will influence the end result of a project, and the extent to which they will influence it, as soon and as accurately as possible. We have developed our methodological components, and continue to develop them on the basis of our day-to-day experience, accordingly.
The project controlling cycle
Project controlling means the concerted operation of planning, tracing and analytical and information provision processes. Under our methodology, during the life-cycle of a project several scenarios are created that extrapolate the final result and completion date of the project based on available current information. But the latest, prevailing effective project plan keeps changing continuously as time passes. This is due, firstly, to factors independent of fact figures, i.e. the receipt of proposals, the conclusion of contracts and the rendering of more accurate technical content, while on the other hand it is also driven by divergences between the factual costs generated by the movement of resources and planned costs. During the life-cycle of the project, “the wheel of the project controlling cycle” is turned several times, i.e. the more frequently new information is incorporated in the project plan, the more often we get an estimate of the end-result and completion deadline for the entire project.
Steps ahead of accounting
In the case of construction firms it is extremely important that fact data should not necessarily only mean invoices that have been entered in the books, because invoices entered in the accounts can be significantly delayed relative to the actual consumption of resources. This can be critical for decision-making, as the time at which the Project Manager or Management are able to control budget coverage and costs is by no means indifferent. In order to allow the necessary measures to be taken as soon as possible, our methodology does not track the project on the basis of costs entered in the books but on the basis of fundamental technical and financial information. This means that in the Procon-X Enterprise system it is possible to record fact costs on the basis of primary trade vouchers (delivery notes, consignment notes, machine operation logs, survey logs). As the IT system contains the basic technical and financial information, it is also worthwhile to use the Procon-X Enterprise system to issue performance certificates to suppliers and subcontractors. In addition, it is also possible to manage procurements and orders comprehensively. Naturally, the costs recorded in the system must agree with those on the invoices according to our methodology as well, which is achieved by matching primary documents with invoices after invoices are loaded electronically from the accounting system. Using our methodology, the entire process of fact costs can be tracked in the Procon-X Enterprise application, from the conclusion of contracts to the payment of invoices.
An encapsulated system from budgeting to performance certificates
Our practical experience indicates that the fact that their various technical and financial processes operate in isolation from each other is one of the most significant problems for construction industry firms. This means that while companies to work with every important process from budgeting through scheduling and tendering to cash-flow, those processes are managed with varying IT support, in different systems and tables, separated from each other in an insular manner. During everyday operation, this causes no end of irritation and also results in the duplication of effort, what’s more, obtaining individual pieces of information from the various systems is either impossible or requires a significant extra amount of time compared to the situation in which the various processes are accessible in a single IT application. According to our methodology, the various construction industry processes need to be managed in a single IT tool, the Procon-X Enterprise system. By using this IT tool, previously isolated applications and processes are integrated in a single, secure and transparent system. In the Procon-X Enterprise application, all data and information are closely connected to other data, for instance performance certificates are linked to contracts, budgets, schedules or cash-flow. By using this system it becomes possible to detect divergences as soon as possible as regards both coverage and scheduling.