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P ROJECT C ONTROL : L ITERATURE R EVIEW A project control system aims to mini- mize the gap between project planning and project execution in order to achieve project aims, i.e., cost, time, and con- tent. This paper reviews the current liter- ature on project control systems. The first part provides an overview of the nature and importance of project control. The second part deals with current proj- ect control tools and techniques, fol- lowed by a discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of these systems. Keywords: project management; project control; control systems ©2006 by the Project Management Institute Vol. 37, No. 4, 5-14, ISSN 8756-9728/03 Introduction A “project” is defined by A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) (PMI, 2004) as “a temporary endeavor undertaken, to cre- ate a unique product or service.” “Temporary” means that every project has a definite beginning and a definite end. “Unique” means that the product or serv- ice is different in some distinguishing way from all similar products or services. As time passes, there is a need to update the methods, tools, and techniques used in the management of projects. The authors are not aware of any literature survey on the subject of “project control” undertaken over the past couple of decades. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to update the literature on project control. The literature on project control is vast and it is not our intention to refer to each of the existing publications. However, the main references on each of the rel- evant areas are covered and interested readers may research the appropriate refer- ence articles for further information/material. This paper presents a literature survey that will be discussed in the following sections: (a) project management bodies of knowledge, which introduces the main and most important knowledge in the area of project management and proj- ect control; (b) the nature of project control, which defines the scope of project control; (c) the importance of project control, which exposes the project control system as a key element in striving for project success; (d) project control systems, which describes existing project control systems; and (e) a synthesis of require- ments for project control and further research. Project Management Bodies of Knowledge (BoK) The increasing demand for project management solutions is reflected in the devel- opment of bodies of knowledge (BoK) that summarize the main and most impor- tant knowledge in the area of project management. BoKs have been compiled by two professional associations: the Association of Project Management (APM) and the Project Management Institute (PMI). These BoKs are unique phenomena with- in the areas of industrial engineering and management.
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