60 Seconds with Paul
How did you get into project controls and what is your current role and project?
I am currently the group head of programme controls, planning and reporting for QinetiQ and have responsibility for developing the project controls function to support project and programme delivery across the global business. My background has been in project and programme management and prior to my taking up the role in QinetiQ, I was responsible for all aspects of the delivery portfolio in a joint industry/government partnership. My understanding of project, programme and portfolio management (P3M) and the practical development of project management offices (PMOs) contributed to my suitability for the current role.
How does project controls contribute to more effective delivery of projects?
I firmly believe that the foundations for good quality project delivery are set by the project controls function. The core activities of planning, scheduling, baselining, monitoring, control and reporting are delivered by project controls specialists. They are the ‘navigator’ to the project manager ‘pilot’. Without the solid application of good practice, it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain projects to time, quality and schedule constraints and the project manager is continually firefighting. Our project and programme managers should be given the bandwidth to provide leadership, vision, stakeholder management and strategic direction, leaving the more technical aspects of project management to the project controller.
What would be your advice to anyone wanting to develop their career in project controls?
I would suggest they recognise the vital nature of the peer-to-peer relationship between project manager and project controller, develop a real understanding of the key processes, systems and ways of working within their company, be confident to challenge and put their ideas forward. It’s also important to keep a good sense of humour when the waters get a little choppy!