Document Detail

Title: RS316-1 - Organizational Strategies for Instantaneous Project Controls
Publication Date: 12/1/2015
Product Type: Research Summary
Status: Supporting Product
Pages: 24
Summarizes the research team's efforts to investigate current state of instantaneous project controls in the construction industry, determine their value on industrial projects, and offer guidance on implementing or improving an organization's capability for on-demand information. Briefly presents the results of the team's survey and case studies of industry organizations. Discusses nine forward-looking strategies (in three categories) to facilitate continuous data feeds and instant (or at least prioritized) reporting frequencies. Also introduces the maturity matrix developed by the team and the three tools based on it: 1) the Quick Assessment (QA) tool; 2) the Instantaneous Quotient (IQ) tool; and 3) the Workflow Implementation Process.

NOTE: Actual tool included with IR316-2.
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Project controls information should be accurate, continuously generated, and effectively communicated during all phases to support good decision-making on individual projects, within portfolios, and across organizations. In highly competitive environments that require up-to-date information, data security concerns, ever-increasing reporting requirements, and narrow profit margins, stakeholders demand accurate and timely project data to support informed and proactive decisions. Project decision-makers should not have to wait until the next reporting period simply because the information they seek is blocked by information integration barriers, contractual hindrances, or ineffective data collection.

To prevent the data “lag time” that can lead to bad decision-making, proactive organizations prioritize information to determine how often is should be generated. CII established Research Team (RT) 316, Instantaneous Project Controls, to identify, synthesize, and prioritize the key strategies and critical success factors enabling instantaneous project controls and critical project metric reporting in the construction industry. The team’s objectives were to investigate the state of instantaneous controls in the construction industry, establish their value, and offer guidance on implementing or improving an organization’s capability for on-demand information. Industry organizations that currently implement instantaneous reporting on critical control functions do so mainly to improve project status awareness, enhance decision-making, and strengthen competitiveness. The most common target of these efforts is any highly variable control function that, if its variability is not addressed, can significantly affect project performance. For instance, if a cost deviation trend is too long ignored or not properly reported, management will not have time to plan and implement mitigation actions. Indeed, risk, uncertainty, and variability are at a peak during construction and commissioning and startup; hence, key control functions related to cost, schedule, and field operations during those phases are commonly chosen for instantaneous reporting efforts.

Following are some of the most common benefits of instantaneous project controls:

  • timely and better-informed decisions, with more time available for data analysis than data collection
  • improved cost and schedule performance
  • effective project risk mitigation; efficient capital portfolio management
  • competitive market advantage.
Although instant information delivery offers such significant benefits, it requires a considerable investment of effort and resources. Thus, organizations must weigh these benefits against the necessary investment, and then prioritize their efforts accordingly.


By surveying industry organizations and conducting case studies, RT 316 identified nine forward-looking strategies to facilitate continuous data feeds and instant (or at least prioritized) reporting frequencies. The team organized these strategies into the following three broad categories: organizational behavior; project controls; and advanced information technologies. To help organizations implement the strategies, the team also developed a maturity matrix that was, in turn, the basis of three tools: 1) the Quick Assessment (QA) tool; 2) the Instantaneous Quotient (IQ) tool; and 3) the Workflow Implementation Process. If properly implemented, these tools will help organizations optimize project execution effectiveness, overcome process-inhibiting barriers, and maximize the likelihood of meeting or exceeding project success criteria.