Get SET for Project Control


By Delwyn Ooi, BSc, PMP


“The closest to being in control we will ever be is in that moment that we realize we’re not.” – Brian Kessler

Your first million dollar project is due to launch in two hours, when the customer calls in to request a major change in scope that will delay the project launch by many weeks. Meanwhile the project team is still rushing bug fixes. Will you start panicking? Or are you in control of all your projects?

Many a time as project managers, we manage multiple projects daily, handling different customers, teams and sometimes external vendors. Every detail inside our project tools and techniques – from scope of work to bar charts to communication plans and procurement documentations – is what keeps us feeling in control of every project. We get so involved in being good project managers that we make absolute certain to be in the know of everything project related. Should anything slip between the cracks, we go all out to track the cause and source of that miscommunication gap and fix it. We do all these not just because we want the project to run smoothly, but also to give our stakeholders the confidence that we’re doing our job the best that we can. Because we are the project manager – anything affecting our project is our responsibility… hence we feel the need to be in control. But is control always a good thing?

“Control your own destiny or someone else will.” – Jack Welch

Consider Jack Welch’s statement in relation to project management: If you do not control your project resources, another project will utilize them. If you do not control your project schedule, a delayed task will impact your overall timeline. If you do not control your project budget, your stakeholders will attempt a cost overrun. Project control is therefore, in such context, a crucial element of your project’s destiny which keeps it on-track, on-time and within budget.

But how much control is enough? Too much control is time-consuming; too little control runs project risks. To curb this dilemma, consider applying the 3 key controls for your next project – Stakeholders, Expectations and Team (SET).


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About the Author

pmwj14-sep2013-ooi AUTHOR IMAGEflag-singaporeDelwyn Ooi


Delwyn Ooi is a PMP certified project manager with over ten years of experience in the Information Technology industry. He has worked with several small and large companies in Australia and Singapore and specializes in leading technology projects.