The Impact of Effective Project Control Plans on Buildings Construction Projects


Prof. Dr. Mostafa H. Kotb, Dr. Mohamed S. Atwa and Ahmed S. Elwan

Cairo, Egypt


One of the biggest challenges for Engineering, Procurement, and Construction Management (EPCM) companies is retaining control over the continuous health of medium to large scale projects, and more specifically, understanding the current status of the project in terms of cost, schedule, resources, progress, and performance at any given point of the project’s life cycle. Since the construction industry has always been cost and schedule conscious; however, in lean economic times, that consciousness becomes more important than ever before. An effective, well-defined, easily understood, and dedicated Project Controls Plan (PCP) is the foundation of any successful project. This paper has focused on the impact of effective project control plans on building construction projects.

Key words:   Construction – Impact – Project Control – Benefits – Cost – Schedule

  1. Introduction

At the upper level of the project management process is project control. It can be part of the daily responsibilities of the project manager, or it can be under the authority of the more specialized project analyst. Project control combines the management skills of the project manager with the analytic focus of the professional accountant.

In today’s commercial construction market, adhering to a schedule and maintaining a delivery date within the planned budget often define the difference between success and failure. Contracts carry substantial penalties for performance failures in the form of liquidated damages as well as the actual and consequential damages that may result from the delay.

Cost and time of construction projects are controlled with the objective of delivery within a predetermined time and a cost budget. Determining these objectives is the starting point of project control because it serves as a baseline to measure against.

2. Function of Project Control

The PMBOK® defines Project Control with the following statement: “A project management function that involves comparing actual performance with planned performance and taking appropriate corrective action (or directing others to take this action) that will yield the desired outcome in the project when significant differences exist.” Project control is the function of integrating cost and schedule data to establish a baseline or guidance system for monitoring, measuring, and controlling performance. Project control can be performed by the project manager or can be an independent discipline within the project team performed by the project analyst or project auditor. Project control is the aspect of the project management process that provides the analytic tools for keeping the project on track, on time, and within budget.

3.  Symptoms of Poor Project Control

Time and cost can easily get out of control on a construction project, even on a small project. While these two variables are independent, they are closely linked on all construction projects. Changes to schedule can affect the cost and vice versa. (We have all heard stories of projects that ran 30 percent over budget and six months late in delivery. How can this possibly happen? In most cases, lack of or loss of control is the underlying factor). There are many symptoms which show that the project is out of control.


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About the Authors

Prof Dr. Mostafa Hassan Aly Kotb

Al Azhar University
Cairo, Egypt



Professor Mostafa Hassan Aly Kotb is a seasoned expert in structural engineering with more than 38 years’ experience as an academic professor in Al Azhar University, Faculty of Engineering, and a project management expert. He can be contacted at [email protected]


Dr. Mohamed Saad Atwa

Al Azhar University
Cairo, Egypt



Dr Mohamed Saad Atwa is an associate professor in architectural engineering in Al Azhar University, holds a Ph.D. degree from Department of Construction Science, Collage of Architectural Engineering, Texas A&M University (USA) Dissertation Title: “Quality Assurance in Supervision of Building Construction”, and has many researches in Architectural Engineering, Quality management in construction industry, Quality systems in Building Construction, Safety & health system in Building Construction and Project construction management. He can be contacted at [email protected]


Ahmed Salah Elwan

Construction Manager
Cairo, Egypt


Mr. Ahmed Elwan
, Msc, PMP® is a construction manager with 11 years expertise in construction implementation and supervision in the buildings sector (governmental facilities, schools, hotels, offices, commercial and  residential buildings) that relate to planning and  finishes, special construction and  modern material.  In addition Ahmed is a certified project management professional and holds a master’s degree in the architectural engineering. He can be contacted at [email protected] or [email protected]