Project Controls 3.0



By Patrick Weaver

Melbourne, Australia


The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of a new approach to the management and control of projects. This approach, Project Controls 3.0 (PC-3.0) is designed to build onto the existing developments in project management and project controls to:

  1. Overcome the problems apparent in the current diverse range of project management and controls practices,
  2. Implement a simple, robust system that is effective for all types of project delivery, and
  3. Refocus the controls effort on helping management craft success, rather than report on history.

This paper is in two parts, the first part looks at the evolution of project controls and identifies some of the current issues and challenges.  The second is a brief overview to introduce the concept of PC-3.0.

The Phases of Project Controls

In this paper, projects are considered to be an organized undertaking to deliver a predefined objective, within some level of time and cost constraint[1]. The degree of definition attached to each of these parameters is variable and depends on the nature of the work being undertaken.

Projects as defined above have been undertaken for millennia. However, the controls mechanisms used to keep the project on track to achieve its objectives have changed significantly over time. The three major phases of project controls are described below, with a discussion of an emerging stage – 4.0 included for completeness.

Project Controls 1 – Static

The earliest controls tools appear to have been models and drawings showing what was expected to be achieved. The design of the Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence (above) was in the form of a large model. A separate design and model for the dome was made in the 15th century[2]. There are indications models were used in the design of the pyramids, and artistic representations continue to be an important element in the architectural design process[3].

By the 19th century a range of paper-based project management and control tools were emerging many of which are still used today[4]:

  • Bar charts were in use by 1765, they started to be applied to projects in the mid to late 1800s.
  • Orthographic projection (used for engineering drawings) was described in Géométrie descriptive (1798)
  • WBS and OBS Charts were developed in the 1850s
  • Project cost charts in the early 1900s.

These merged into a comprehensive project controls process by the 1930s[5].

The limitation of these developments was the static nature of the information.  The project manager could see what was planned, could measure what was achieved or spent, and see the variance between the two. However, the systems could not (without a manual recalculation) predict the consequences of the variance. It required the development of computers in the 1950s to make project controls dynamic.

Project Controls 2 – Dynamic (2.X)

The second phase of project controls was driven by the development of dynamic project control tools. This started in 1957 with the development of CPM and PERT scheduling software[6] and has continued through to the present time. EVM was standardized in 1960s[7]. Monte Carlo and other risk tools became available on personal computers from the early 1980s.

These dynamic tools have a number of common characteristics:


To read entire paper, click here

How to cite this paper: Weaver, P. (2024). Project Controls 3.0; PM World Journal, Vol. XIII, Issue VI, June. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/06/pmwj142-Jun2024-Weaver-Project-Controls-3.0.pdf

About the Author

Patrick Weaver              

Melbourne, Australia


Patrick Weaver, PMP, PMI-SP, FAICD, FCIOB, is the Managing Director of Mosaic Project Services Pty Ltd, an Australian project management consultancy specializing in project control systems.  He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building (FCIOB), and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (FAICD). He is a member of the PMI Melbourne Chapter (Australia), as well a full member of AIPM, and the Project Management College of Scheduling (PMCOS).

Patrick has over 60 years’ experience in Project Management. His career was initially focused on the planning and managing of construction, engineering and infrastructure projects in the UK and Australia. The last 40 years has seen his businesses and experience expand to include the successful delivery of project scheduling services and PMOs in a range of government, ICT and business environments; with a strong focus on project management training.

His consultancy work encompasses: developing and advising on project schedules, developing and presenting PM training courses, managing the development of internal project control systems for client organizations, and assisting with dispute resolution and claims management.

In the last few years, Patrick has sought to ‘give back’ to the industry he has participated in since leaving college through contributions to the development of the project management profession. In addition to his committee roles, he has presented papers at a wide range of project management conferences in the USA, Europe, Asia and Australia, has an on-going role with the PGCS conference in Australia and is part of the Australian delegation to ISO TC258.

Patrick can be contacted at patw@mosaicprojects.com.au or at www.mosaicprojects.com.au.

To view other works by Pat Weaver that have been published in the PMWJ, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/patrick-weaver/

[1] A more complete definition of a project can be found at:
[2] For more on the Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore see Project Management in the 15th Century:
[3] For more on communicating design information see Understanding Design – The challenge of informed consent:
[4] See The Origins of WBS & Management Charts:
[5] See the USA Government report on the Wheeler Project:
[6] For more on the history of:
–  The Critical Path Method (CPM) see: https://mosaicprojects.com.au/PMKI-ZSY-030.php#Overview
–  The origins of PERT see: https://mosaicprojects.com.au/PMKI-ZSY-030.php#Process2
[7] For the history of Earned Value Management (EVM) see: