Project Controls is a vital discipline to support the delivery of complex major projects and programmes. Arcadis and Parallel have come together to develop and launch the Arcadis Project Controls Academy. Based on the APMG Project Planning and Control™ qualification, this course is delivered by practising project controls professionals. The training will go beyond the theory and look at how to apply project controls in practice to a wide range of projects. The academy is open to anyone from the project controls profession, subject to availability. You can book with Parallel on this link Project Planning and Control™ (PPC) Foundation and Practitioner – Parallel Project Training.
What is Project Controls?
Project controls is the discipline of defining, planning, control and monitoring of projects and programmes. Project controls aims to provide the project team with the information they need to successfully deliver the Project. This means understanding how to present project information to different stakeholders in the best way. For example, senior managers need a high-level summary of the project. In contrast, work package managers need detailed day-to-day plans. A project controls professional works across multiple disciplines and combines process knowledge with data to facilitate effective decision making. Examples of typical tools in use across the industry today include:
- Cost Control in tolls such as Prism, Cobra, EcoSYS or even MS Excel
- Planning utilising platforms such as Primavera P6 or Microsoft Project
- Risk management using tools such as RiskHive, ARM or Safran
- Baseline and Change Control using examples such as MS Excel or PowerAps
- Business intelligence tools such as Power BI, Tableau or Qlikview
This Academy focusses on the underlying processes, tools and behaviours of a project control professional and not any one specific toolset.
Why is Project Controls important?
Effective project controls will give the project team a clear understanding of the project plan, the project’s current status, issues, potential risks and changes. Without this visibility, the project runs the risk of being lost in a fog of confusion and chaos. Access to accurate and timely information leads to clarity and effective decision making. An effective project control system should be streamlined, efficient, and cost-effective, providing up-to-date information in a format that the project stakeholders understand. The foundations of effective project controls are established at the start of the project. A project controls professional has the experience, knowledge and skill to design the controls system in a way to meet the anticipated needs of the project. This requires them to understand project controls holistically, considering an integrated view of the information needs of the project. For example, how the schedule integrates with the commercial, document control and procurement systems. Project controls professionals are becoming increasingly crucial to the success of delivery as projects move toward digital project management solutions and data-driven decisions, as described in the PMI in Developing Digital-Age Project Management Skills
Who is this Academy for?
The Arcadis Project Controls Academy is open to anyone who wants to develop a career in project controls. Typically this includes;
- Planning Managers & Engineers.
- Project Control Managers & Engineers.
- Cost Engineers.
- Project Managers.
It includes both the APMG Foundation and Practitioner qualifications, so it is not suitable for absolute novices. Novices might be better starting with the APM PFQ Project Fundamentals Qualification. The academy is open to people from any organisation, not just Arcadis. You can book with Parallel Project Training at: Project Planning and Control™ (PPC) Foundation and Practitioner
Who will deliver the training
The course will be delivered by practising project controls professionals from Arcadis and Parallel Project Management. The current team includes:
Richard Brown, Arcadis
Richard is a Project Controls Director within the Arcadis Rail Consultancy business. Having spent 30 years across multiple engineering sectors and 20 of those in planning and controls, he seeks to drive continuous improvement and consistency in delivery in programme and project controls across the Arcadis mobility sector. He is currently supporting clients such as Network Rail and Highways England and large scale infrastructure projects.
Frank McGovern, Arcadis
A Chartered Engineer with 15 years’ experience of Project Planning & Project Controls. He has worked in various business markets, including Civil Engineering, Oil & Gas, as well as Defence & Manufacturing. Recent high-profile projects include A9 Dualling, Hinkley Point C, A14 & HMS Queen Elizabeth Aircraft Carrier. In his current role he supports both the Arcadis planning function across large scale multidisciplinary programmes as well as managing a project controls team in the UK. He is also the Arcadis UK SME on Primavera P6 and a member of the IET Project Controls Network Executive Team.
Martin Smith, Arcadis
A Chartered Engineer and Programme Management consultant who has delivered solutions in multiple sectors including Aerospace, Civil Engineering, Financial Services, and Infrastructure. His practice knowledge and use of toolsets, (Microsoft, Primavera, Cascade) reflects his 40 years experience of the profession and is a driver for the need for businesses to use data to underpin their decision making.
Paul Naybour is a professional project and project controls trainer. He helps organisations in many different sectors to improve their project management capability. They range from infrastructure, nuclear, banking and IT. Paul has practical experience implementing project controls as a former head of planning and risk management. Paul is the author of several books on project management, primarily aligned to the APM qualifications.
What will I learn as part of this course?
Both foundations and practitioners cover the same content. The difference is in the format of the exam. The course contents are:
Planning techniques and approaches including:
- Scope management,
- Requirements management,
- Works information and statement of works,
- Stakeholder management,
- Breakdown structures, levels, PBS, WBS, OBS, RAM, CBS and RBS,
- Dependency management
Budgeting and cost control including:
- Types of estimate,
- Contents of an estimate,
- Estimating methodologies,
- Definition of budgeting,
- Funding and budgeting,
- Cost breakdown structures,
- Cash flow,
- Budget transfers
Scheduling practices including:
- Steps in establishing a schedule and the different types of schedule including:
- medium and short term
- and as build schedules.
- Project trackers required to support the schedule including
- Procurement schedules,
- Design and other trackers,
- Elements of a schedule, including:
- Critical path,
- leads and lags.
- Estimating durations,
- Resource management.
- Horizontal and vertical integration of schedules from different perspectives including combining schedules from several organisations.
- Schedule interfacing and coding,
- Contingency and the use of buffers
Communicating the Schedule including:
- Bar charts,
- line of balance,
- time chainage
The supporting components of a schedule including:
- Schedule narrative including calendars,
- activity codes,
- permits and licences.
Schedule review including the processes for approving and accepting schedules.
Building Information Management (BIM) including the integration of the schedule with the design process
Agile including planning for the use of sprints, timeboxes and other ag
Monitoring and Control including
Performance reporting including
- drop line method,
- activity weeks,
- milestone monitoring,
- cost value.
Cost Control including
- cost control process,
- performance management baseline,
- performance measurement
Change management including
- Change control process,
- Adjusting the schedule to accommodate changes,
- Communicating and reporting change
Risk Management including
- Risk management process, risk drawdown, quantitative schedule risk analysis (QSRA), Quantitative cost risk analysis (QCRA)
- Forensic analysis
- Purpose of forensic analysis, Methods including planned vs as built, Impact method
- Record keeping
- Document management
- Handover and closeout
- Lessons learned.
Format of the examination
- Multiple Choice
- 50 questions per paper
- 25 marks required to pass (out of 50 available) – 50%
- 40 minutes duration
- Complex Multiple Choice
- 8 question paper with 10 marks available per question
- 40 marks required to pass (out of 80 available) – 50%
- 3 hour duration
- Open-book (Project Planning & Control guide only)
You can try a sample of these exams at: Sample Papers (apmg-international.com)