Hal Macomber just submitted a post titled "The Future of Project Controls - Five Years Later." In this post Hal states.
"The future of project controls is to place the responsibility for gauging where we are and how we are doing at every moment with the people who are executing the project. No separation of execution and control. (for that matter, no separation with planning either) Control happens in recurrent practices of assessing the project. On Scrum projects team members do their assessing in the daily scrum and in their retrospective sessions. On Last Planner® projects the assessing happens in the weekly planning conversations with work group leaders. It takes acts of design by the leader and the team to establish and then conduct themselves in this manner."
I was befuddled to say the least. This is the antithesis of how the federal government (FAR and DFAR guidance, plus individual service PM Handbooks - NAVAIR, NASA, USAF, and US Army), CobiT, ITIL, OGC Project, Program, and Portfolio Management methods suggest projects be managed.
If I read this right - and there is a possibility I am interpreting this completely wrong - those performing the work get to say what progress is being made. Hal notes.
Aw, poor babies. Pressure to tell the truth about physical percent complete? So let's let those under pressure be the ones to tell us the progress they have made? Probably a really bad idea.
I'm hoping to hear back from Hal on my misunderstanding of the post. In the mean time, let's all be clear about the role of Project Controls in the defense and space business.
- Maintain the integrity of the cost and schedule baseline
- Manage changes to and retain records of scope, schedule, and cost
- Report progress to plan
- Analyze variances
- Highlight trends and produce forecasts
- Identify road blocks and propose mitigations
- Record risk and track mitigations and retirements
- Generate EAC/IEAC (Estimate to Complete / Independent Estimate to Complete) forecasts
using our firms marketing phrase
If this role is now replaced by those doing the work, those developing code, pouring concrete, welding pipe, assembling cars, where is the Independent assessment of progress to plan? From my several decades in the software development, systems management, and PP&C business, every project that I've seen in trouble had it start with the lack of credible assessments of progress to plan. The classic ERP story is:
in the system development business
in nuclear remediation (heavy construction)
It's a fantasy tale of "magic beans" used to get the project back on track.
A good colleague from Houston once told me while we were slaving away on a large pulp and paper plant turn around project (which BTW cost several million an hour when they don't start on time) in his best southern Louisiana accent
When the "doers" are the ones doing the tellin, we're in the ditch