Russell D. Archibald
PMP, PMI Fellow

PMI-Texas Connection 2001
Sept. 14-15, 2001 Houston, Texas.
Published here March 2002.

Abstract | Challenges | Full Power | Business Strategies | Objectives
Portfolio Management | Process | Principles | Key Roles | Planning & Control
Team Working | Improvement | Integration | Internet | Conclusion

Application of Integrative and Predictive Project Planning and Control Systems

This second key concept of the project management discipline requires that

  • Each project be planned and controlled on an integrated basis;
  • Including all contributing functional areas or organizations;
  • Through all of the project life cycle phases: conception, definition, design, development/manu-facture/construct, installation/initial use/operation, post-completion;
  • Including all the elements of information (schedule, cost and technical) pertinent to the situation, together with proven earned value[13] techniques with cost and schedule variance reports; and
  • Using currently available Web-based project management software systems.

Integrative means that all phases of the project and all the elements of information mentioned above are logically linked together. Predictive means that the system forecasts what will happen in the future based on the current plans, and estimates, with the actual physical progress and reported expenditures constantly updating the schedule and cost baseline for the future forecasts.

CEO Project Planning and Control Demands:
14. That every project is planned and controlled within the guidelines specified in the corporate project management process documentation.

15. That all P & C systems and procedures are integrated so that all project information is current and consistent throughout the organization.

16. That only one summarizing project planning and control system is used throughout the organization.

17. That earned value progress evaluation and forecasting methods be applied on all projects.

Most organizations are faced with the need to plan and execute many projects simultaneously using common resource pools, creating the need to use one common project planning and control information system for all projects. Effective application of the powerful computer-supported project planning and control systems available today requires using one integrated system (usually consisting of project-oriented subsystems that are properly linked together) for each and every project within the organization to:

  1. Define and control systematically the project's objectives and scope.
  2. Evaluate and proactively manage individual project risks together with the aggregate project portfolio risks.
  3. Define and control the specification, quality, configuration and quantity of intermediate and final products (or deliverables) of the project.
  4. Systematically define and control the work to be carried out using the project/work breakdown structure (P/WBS) approach.
  5. Estimate the labor, material and others costs associated with the project's deliverable products and related work elements, and each summary element in the P/WBS.
  6. Plan and control the sequence and timing of the project deliverables and related work elements using a top level project master schedule plus an appropriate hierarchy of schedules.
  7. Authorize and control the expenditure of funds and work hours required to execute the project.
  8. Provide the information„regarding both a) actual progress and expenditures and b) forecasts in the future„required by project managers, department managers, functional task leaders and work package leaders on a timely and reasonably accurate basis.
  9. Continually evaluate progress and predict and mitigate problems with quality, cost, schedule and risk using earned value project management methods.
  10. Report to management and customers on the current status and future outlook for project quality, cost and schedule completion, including post-completion reports.
CEO Demands:
18. That the corporate project management process includes a detailed description of the corporate project management information and control system.

With regard to the earlier statement that only one corporate system be used, there are times when customer demands or other factors may require that a specific project planning and control system that is different from the corporate system be used for a particular project. In such cases the different system must be capable of linking with and providing summary information to the corporate system so that all project information, and particularly the time-related resource data, can be viewed on an integrated basis for the total company.

CEO Demands:
19. That all modules shown in Table 3 are included in the corporate project management process and the overall corporate information and control system.

An Overview of Project Management Systems: There are many ways to define and depict a project management system. Cleland[14] has defined an overall project management system consisting of five subsystems (planning, information, control, human, and facilitative organizational subsystems) and two additional elements (techniques and methodologies, and cultural ambiance). Tuman[15] presents detailed descriptions and analyses of project management information and control systems from several perspectives, reflecting his long experience in developing and implementing computer-based systems for project planning and control. He defines a "project management and control system" of broad scope, as shown in Table 3, including both technical and risk information and control systems, in addition to a project information and control system.

However one defines such systems they all consist of

  • documents (containers of information) and
  • procedures and software systems for preparation, maintenance, preservation, transmittal and utilization of the documents that are used for creating, planning, evaluating and executing projects within a given organization.

Technical Information and Control System

Project Information and Control System

Risk Information and Control System

Engineering Management Module

Project/Work Breakdown Structure Module

Planning Assurance (Risk Assessment) Module

Procurement Management Module

Planning and Scheduling Module

Quality Assurance Module

Construction/Production Management Module

Cost Management Module

Reliability Module

Test Management Module

-- Cost Estimating

Maintainability Module

Configuration Management Module

-- Cost Estimating Support

Safety Assurance Module

-- Craft and Crew


-- Unit Material


-- Unit Labor hours


-- Source Document


-- Cost Control


-- Cost Projection


Accounting Module


Data Entry Module


On-Line Query Module

Table 3. Definition of a Project Management Information and Control System [16]
CEO Demands:
20. That all (with specifically approved exceptions) project planning, authorizing, controlling and reporting documents be produced by the supporting computer software systems.

Table 4 presents a summary of the documents typically used for project planning, authorizing, controlling and reporting. Procedures must exist for the preparation and use of each of these documents. Computer software systems incorporating essentially all of these documents and procedures have proliferated within the past ten years and have made it possible to use one integrated information system for managing all projects within the organization.





• Project Summary Plan

• Master Contract Release

• Management Reserve Transaction Register

• Monthly Progress Reports
- Narrative
- Project Master Schedule
- Cost Performance Reports
- Risk Tracking Reports


• Project/Work Breakdown Structure (P/WBS)

• Project Release

• Cost Expenditure Reports

• Task Responsibility Matrix

• Subcontracts and Purchase Orders

• Updated planning and authorizing documents, comparing actuals with budgets and schedules
- Project Master Schedule
- Milestone Charts
- Other

• Project Master Schedule

• Integrated Project Network Plan


• Project Interface and Milestone Event List


• Cost Performance Reports

• Management Reviews of Critical Projects:
- Major Project Identification Data
- Summary Status Reports
- Above Reports as required

• Project Budget


• Schedule Variance Reports

• Project Funding Plan


• Earned Value and Cost Variance Reports

• Project Chart of Accounts

• Task Work Orders

["Task: A short-term effort ƒ performed by one organization... ."[17] May be synonymous with "work package"; usually comprised of more detailed activities.]

• Technical Perf. Measurement Reports

• Task Statements of Work

• Risk & Issue Tracking Reports

• Task Schedules

• Milestone Slip Charts

• Task Budgets

• Trend Analysis Charts

• Detailed Network Plans

• Task Estimates to Complete (ETC) and Estimates at Completion (EAC)

• Technical Perf. Planned Value Profiles and Milestones

• Action Item Lists from Project Review Meetings

Table 4. Summary of documents for project planning, authorizing, controlling and reporting.[18]
The Key Integrative Roles  Key Integrative Roles

13. See Fleming, Quentin W., and Joel M. Koppelman, Earned Value Project Management, 2nd Ed, Nrewtown Square, PA, Project Management Insitute, 2000.
14. Cleland, David I., "Defining a Project Management System", Project Management Quarterly, Project Management Institute, Drexel Hill, PA, December 1977.
15. Tuman, John, Jr., Chapter 27, "Development and Implementation of Project Management Systems", Project Management Handbook, David I. Cleland and William R. King, Editors, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 2nd Ed., 1988, 652-691.
16. Ibid, 673.
17. Archibald, 1992, op cit, 24.
18. Ibid, 301
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