Project controlling

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In the German-speaking world, project controlling refers to ensuring that the project goals are achieved and thus controlling the project process. In the English-speaking world, there is also the component of project control ; however, this is excluded from this article.

Differentiation from project management

Project controlling is part of project management . According to DIN 69901 project controlling is the "assurance of achieving the project objectives by: target-actual comparison, detection of deviations, evaluating the consequences and proposing corrective actions, participation in the action plan and monitor implementation." While the project management, among others Employed with the selection and management of employees, time recording and personnel planning, the project controlling concentrates on determining which resources are required for a project and on monitoring whether project goals and project costs are being met.

Key figures and methods of project controlling

The following three key figures are in the foreground for successful project controlling:

  • Time to complete the project
  • Expended costs and hours to complete the project
  • Degree of completion

In order for these key figures to be meaningful, it is important to define them in advance - e.g. B. as percentages. Other important key figures are open items, project plan monitoring, project sales and project results. The latter is determined with the help of a project costing.

Methods of project controlling

Good project management is only possible with a methodical approach. There are various methods for this, such as project plan , Gantt chart , network plan technology , milestone trend analysis or performance value analysis .

Project plan

A good project plan shows which employees have been busy with which activity for how long. The project manager can always check the status of the project and knows which employee is working on which project step. The project plan is important for project controlling because it graphically illustrates all project steps.

Milestone trend analysis

The milestone trend analysis is also well suited for successful project controlling. In the process, binding milestones are set. For example, a specific project step should be completed on a specific day at a specific time. It is easy to check whether this has happened. However, it is important to plan realistically and allow for buffer times. With the help of the milestone trend analysis, compliance with several project steps can be monitored well and a trend can be derived from the result. This is helpful for the schedule of the current project - and also for future project planning.

Performance analysis

Earned Value Analysis has proven itself for the monetary assessment of the degree of completion of a project. The current schedule and cost situation is described by key figures. The key values ​​are planned value, actual costs and earned value. A trend analysis is possible by tracking the key figures.

Traffic light method

With the traffic light method, the project status can be determined at a glance. Employees' working hours or external service budgets, for example, can serve as a basis. At a glance, analogous to the traffic lights, you can see whether everything is in the green area, to what extent the budget has been charged (yellow) or, when it is red, that the budget is about to run out or has already exceeded this point. So red does not necessarily mean that all activities are to be stopped suddenly, but that countermeasures and, if necessary, faster progress are required so that the project can be completed economically and on time.

Target / actual comparison

A basic method in project controlling is the target / actual comparison. Factors such as the working hours spent in one's own company, travel costs and external services from suppliers, which can be recorded in the form of project budgets, are often compared. The target / actual comparison is often available as a project report. Similar to traffic light controlling, the target status and deviations are often marked with signal colors. As part of the target / actual comparison, planning based on project budgets as project sub-units has proven itself. The smaller the units, the more precisely the project can be planned and monitored. Typically, project budgets are set up for working hours, external services, travel costs and, if necessary, supplements. But these can also be subdivided. On the basis of the budget, the target / actual comparison can be used to regularly check whether these are still within the framework, have already been exceeded or are in danger of doing so.

Cost planning

The project controlling uses the preliminary calculation, the concurrent calculation and the post calculation for cost planning. The preliminary calculation is based on the detailed cost estimate of the work packages and budgeted for the project organization . The concurrent costing is a cost plan when the project needs to be adapted, such as B. unplanned deviations. It is important for the target / actual comparison and any readjustments. In the post-calculation, the costs for the final project analysis are determined. The aim of the post-calculation is to analyze the final actual data. It also serves as a basis for experience for follow-up projects.

Project controlling software

In order to be able to control projects optimally, there is a wide range of project controlling software. As a rule, these are isolated solutions that were specially developed for project management and controlling. Project controlling is sometimes also part of ERP software. Important functions of project controlling solutions are project plans with project chart of accounts for the project overview, project budget planning, project costing (e.g. according to HOAI ), project budget monitoring, project time recording, project recalculation, supplement management and subcontractor management. The requirements are much higher for larger planning offices, because they usually have several locations (branches) and a multidimensional company structure. The demands on modern project controlling software are high. A central document management system ( DMS ) has to cope with the flood of e-mails and documents within a project. In addition, efficient project controlling should display the current status at all times and deliver individual reports, right down to the project details, subcontractor contracts and service statuses. Effective resource management must ensure that employees are optimally integrated into the projects, but not overloaded.

In a multidimensional company structure, the software must take into account dynamic rather than strictly hierarchical project responsibility. A project that is supervised by service phases 1–9 can e.g. B. affect three business areas: three business area managers and, for larger projects, possibly also three project managers. This creates a need for a flexible and transparent communication structure.

In the case of small and medium-sized planning offices, software should be selected from the outset that will grow with the company if necessary.

Providers are, for example, InLoox , PLANTA Project and Projektron BCS . Project controlling software is usually a part of project management software .

Web links


  • Rudolf Fiedler: Controlling of projects: With concrete examples from company practice - all aspects of project planning, project management and project control. Wiesbaden 2009, ISBN 3-834-80889-X .
  • Maurice Reisch: Breaking new ground in project management. , Freiburg 2014,
  • Tino Böhler: Project controlling and fee supplement management , Leipzig 2014, Deutsches Ingenieurblatt - Bauplaner
  • Hartwin Maas: Project Controlling - Basics, Procedure, Tasks and Goals at a Glance , Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-638-87997-2