Control of Project Progress
The project control engineer evaluates the actual position of the project, compares the actual state with the desired state, and takes corrective actions if required.
The primary role of the project control engineer is to track and coordinate the progress of the project on a day-to-day basis to ensure that the project is on-track. Some of the specific activities in this direction that usually find mention in a project control engineer’s job description include:
- developing and maintaining detailed product schedules
- monitoring cost and commitment through requisition and invoice review
- ensuring active engagement of team members by delegation of tasks to the appropriate person both on a long term and on a day-to-day basis
- ensuring adherence to recommended best practices such as the critical path method based on PERT and the like
- ensuring adherence to quality standards such a Total Quality Management or Six Sigma by ensuring employees follow quality standards and by using quality control checklists
- coordination and regulating various meetings such as project progress review meetings, quality circles, and the like
- application of various project progress methods to ensure the project schedule is on track to meet deadlines or deliverables
- devising strategies to overcome roadblocks or delays through various methods such as using industry related technical knowledge, innovating short cuts or alternative ways, improvising with available resources, scheduling overtime to meet the deadline, and the like
- ensuring compliance with safety standards
- developing and monitoring project cost forecasts
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Ensuring Resource Availability and Allocation
Among the major duties and responsibilities of a project control engineer is forecasting the required resources and tracking the availability of the resources on a real time basis to ensure the smooth progress of the project.
The project control engineer needs to estimate the inputs required for all the various tasks, and ensure placing orders or requisitions to ensure the availability of such input at the required time. Further, the project control engineer has to ensure that such inputs arrive at the required time to prevent hold ups, and track inventory on a real time basis. The project control manager also sees that the output reaches its destination.
A critical component of ensuring resource availability is that of human resources. The project control engineer’s job profile includes:
- coordinating with human resource management in HR planning and recruitment functions
- exercising the power to recommend leaves and overtime
- preparing duty rosters
- recommending training interventions to increase productivity and develop quality of work
A major role of the project control engineer is coordinating with other departments or agencies. The project control engineer needs to requisition raw materials or inputs from the stores, coordinate with human resource to ensure availability of human resources, coordinate with the safety and quality departments, report to the planning department, and the like.
The project control engineer also needs to liaison with various external agencies for progress and maintenance of critical project components. Some examples of such liaison with external agencies include securing permission to transport a large boiler through city roads, securing license to undertake demolition work, ensuring the canteen contractor makes food available on time, and the like.
Another crucial component of a project control engineer’s job profile is reporting. The major forms of reporting include:
- providing vital inputs to daily and periodic project progress and status reports to top management and other stakeholders
- monitoring, tracking and reporting project cash flow
- planning and preparing man hour budgets, and schedules
- preparing and submitting financial analysis reports.