The steering mechanism on a car is a control system. You move the steering wheel, and the front wheels turn and if the car is in motion, its direction of travel is altered. Control systems cause a change.
Altering the duration of a task in a schedule, or calculating the current cost performance index and estimate at completion for an EVM report changes nothing. All you have is new data.
If the data is going to cause a change, it needs to be communicated to the right people. They need to receive, understand and believe the data--this changes the data into information. Then they need to use this new information to change their future behaviors.
This is a communication process. The challenge facing schedulers and other controls staff is recognizing their primary role is communication not controls. Certainly they need to be able to gather and process information effectively but this is wasted effort without equally effective communication.
Other challenges include:
• Identifying the right people to communicate with--the project manger is the only one
• Formatting the data in a way that can be easily understood by the receiver. Without understanding, there will be no action.
• Focusing the information on what matters in the future
No one can change the past and it's always too late to change the present. The only value a project control tool can offer is to influence future actions and decisions. This requires making schedules, cost plans and the like as simple as possible to improve communication and facilitate understanding by the project team.
Only after the project team fully understands the information can you expect them to use the information to make wise decisions about future actions.