Can Project Controls Do Its Job?

Gregory Howell1 & Glenn Ballard2

1Civil Engineering, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131. 505 277 2328. [email protected]
2Construction Engineering & Management Program, Department of Civil Engineering, 215 McLaughlin Hall, Univerity of California, Berkeley, CA 94720. 510 530 8656. [email protected]


Advanced practice is well out front of theory, the lack of which now inhibits further progress in practice. In order to bridge this gap, a production management model is proposed for project controls, in recognition of the dynamic nature of today’s projects and the new management challenges they pose. Projects that once were small, certain and simple are now becoming large, uncertain and complex. The models and techniques suited to the management of yesterday’s projects do not work on the projects of today. We need to control management processes, not only project outcomes. Traditional outcome measures such as cost and schedule can only be used for management decision making on dynamic projects when the project management systems are themselves in control. The primary indicator of such control is the reliability of production planning.




Howell, G. & Ballard, G. 1996. Can Project Controls Do Its Job? , 4th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction , -.

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