Projects and with you an efficient project controlling have gained in importance. Growing globalization and cost pressure have increased the pressure to rationalize. One possibility to use costs and resources flexibly is to offer projects as they are limited in time and thus manageable for companies. However, projects are not always on schedule. For this reason, it is particularly important during the project implementation to regularly obtain detailed information about the project process and to use it.


Definiton project

Project controlling is part of project management. According to DIN 69901, project controlling is for the

“Securing the achievement of the project objectives by: target-actual comparison, determination of the deviations, assessment of the consequences and proposals of corrective measures, participation in the planning of the measures and control of the implementation.”
A project can be defined precisely by the following characteristics:

Time limit
Specified target
Personnel Restrictions
Interdisciplinary teamwork
Fixed budget
In each case, a target is defined without knowing the way to the goal (introduction of SAP, acquisition of new machines, development of a new market, etc.).


Different phases of a project


Project definition

In this phase, it is important to record a decision-making basis. This is divided into the description of the initial situation, description of the project, the rough planning of the project and the composition of the project team and budget.

Project planning

As soon as the project is released, the planning is done. A project structure plan (PSP) is created. In this you define services, dates, resources and finances. The project is subdivided into planned and controllable units, which then form the basis for the detailed distribution of tasks within the project team.

Project realization

It is, the better the planning, the easier is a good implementation. In essence, the tasks of project management and project controlling cover the following areas: instructing and leading the team members, coordinating the co-operation of the team members, carrying out project discussions, information gathering and reporting. In addition, the decision making, which is reserved for the project management alone. The continuous monitoring and documentation of the project process is essential for the success of the project since it is possible to identify possible deviations. In the implementation phase, the project controller also has the task of checking compliance with the milestones.

project completion

After long and hard work the moment has come, a project can be completed. This is certainly to celebrate once. But the analysis is also important to learn about future projects. The following points can be judged:

Satisfaction of team members / users / customers etc.
use of personnel
Quality of cooperation



In project controlling, a distinction is made between the strategic and operational aspects. Strategic project controlling is mainly concerned with the decision making which projects are carried out by the company and can therefore be classified as a long-term process. On the other hand, operational project controlling continues to deal with the planning process during the course of the project as well as optimizing workflows and resource utilization during the project.

Tools for strategic project controlling:

Project structure plan (PSP): A representation of the project on a hierarchical schema. All activities on the time axis are entered and dependencies are visible.
Milestones: A significant part of project controlling is the setting of milestones at appropriate points within the project. The milestones represent a binding time frame for the project process.
Value analysis: Determination of objectives and weightings / Assigning points for the projects / Determining and analyzing the results
Tools for operational project controlling:

Performance-related progress: The actual effort is compared with the planned expense and analyzed.
Temporal progress: Analogous to the performance only calculated with the temporal component.
Earned Value Analysis: The Earned Value Analysis is a comparison of plan costs, target costs and actual costs. By contrast, the causes for deviations can be better distinguished from each other. For the sake of clarity I would like to refer to Wikipedia.
With project controlling, the whole project stands and falls. With project controlling, you get transparency about your projects and can intervene immediately in case of deviations – for example, involve new employees, search for new suppliers, or even negotiate with the client. The earlier you work, the more likely you are to successfully complete the project.

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