Maturity in risk, controls and governance: Keeping projects on track

Maturity in risk, controls and governance

Over the past decade, owners have paid considerable attention to project risk and controls and it is starting to pay off.

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Maturity in Risk
  • Owners appear confident that their investments in project controls have paid off
  • Half of the respondents say their organization has yet to introduce an integrated project management information system (PMIS) 

A strong sense of optimism pervades the responses to this year’s survey. Sixty-four percent believe that their management controls are either ‘optimized’ or ‘monitored,’ meaning that they are documented and integrated, with either real-time or periodic testing and reporting, and frequent or occasional training.

However, almost a third of respondents feel their controls are merely ‘standardized,’ with no testing or reporting to management and only limited training of staff. These organizations may need to consider how they can upgrade this approach to introduce a best practice. The technology companies taking part in the survey are the least likely to have optimized or monitored controls.

Maturity in Risk

Over the past decade, owners have paid considerable attention to introducing cutting-edge software to improve their project controls. This appears to have brought positive results. It is a similar story when it comes to assessing the benefits of investment in risk management tools and project cost reduction.

The respondents also believe that the money spent on project governance and controls has paid off. Over three-quarters say that they have reduced costs. However, a significant minority (30 percent) from larger organizations believe that these investments have either not resulted in lower costs, or are unsure of their benefits. It is possible that the scale and complexity of the organization, along with disparate systems, have restricted the impact of new software, which may not be fully integrated.

Maturity in Risk

The optimism continues when the subject of reporting is raised. A large majority of 73 percent are confident about the accuracy and timeliness of the project level reports they get from their project managers and contractors. Once again, however, respondents from the bigger companies or institutions are slightly more cautious.

Maturity in Risk

Project management information system (PMIS) use still not widespread

A PMIS is designed to improve project planning, scheduling, monitoring and controlling, in order to raise the quality of decision-making in each phase of the project life cycle. It enables engineers and project managers to communicate project status swiftly and accurately with functional departments, while also keeping senior management up to speed on all the projects in the organization’s portfolio.

The respondents to this year’s survey are divided exactly 50:50 in their use of such systems, suggesting there is considerable room for improvement – although 41 percent of those without a PMIS say that they plan to acquire one within 2 years.

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