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The Top 5 Questions CEOs should ask their C Suite about Project Controls

by Paul Vogels, on Mar 30, 2023 11:00:00 AM

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The desire for growth carries a double-edged sword for organisations. You want to take on more projects to increase revenue. But a poor choice of project can rapidly eat into that revenue, margin and profits.

The challenge for the growth-focused CEO is to clear picture in the C-suite of how things are going. But just how clear is that picture? Are opportunities being missed? Could there be nasty surprises lurking around the corner?

To gain that sharper clarity, here are the top five questions CEOs should be asking their C-suite colleagues about Project Controls.

Question #1 - What to ask your CFO

You’re at your desk and need to understand the numbers, the true numbers. You’ll have questions around the cash position, cash flow, risk, exposure and reserve for buffers in mind.

But the critical question to ask your CFO - who has their own challenges - is this. What is our Earned Value position within our portfolio - and are there any major exceptions?

The EV reveals how well operational excellence and efficiency are combining. Ideally, halfway through a project you want 50% completion and 50% spend. Ideally, you’re looking for an EV score of one. Across your whole portfolio, if EVs are running between 0.8 and 1.2 it’s a good sign. Anything outside of that may need urgent attention.

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Question #2 - What to ask your CIO

Where IT is concerned, you’re not interested in the details. You just want to know the tech works and there are no issues hindering performance delivery.

However, it is worth keeping your CIO on their toes around the smart tech, different platforms and apps being used across the organisation. If there’s poor connection, weak integration or a hazy gathering of data, it may be time to consider options for upgrading the system.

But the biggest of the challenges your organisation may face is data security. So, the big question to ask your CIO has two aspects to it: Are we fully compliant and data secure - across the organisation and all of our projects?

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Question #3 - What to ask your COO

You are only as good as your last project. To maintain trust and brand reputation, you’re going to demand consistent project success from your team.

There’s plenty to keep you and your team awake at night. Supply chain issues, ensuring safety on a daily basis, and ensuring lines of communication do not drop at critical project stages. 

When your COO is reporting, it’s time to ask the tough question. Do we have the right people, processes and resources in place to deliver all of our portfolio projects

Building capabilities through PM mastery is one way for your COO to have good answers ready for you.

Question #4 - What to ask your CPO

Project Controls is the part of PM that crosses between Operations and Finance. Typical KPIs cover time, money, scope, risk and resources.

It’s why having a Chief Projects Officer (CPO) in the boardroom is a smart move. They can link with your COO and CFO, and also work with HR to get the right people in place.

Your CPO is a kind of linchpin for project success. They’ll manage the risk for you. They’ll manage the resources. They’ll have a focus on delivering consistent project success

The critical question to ask them is this one: Are our projects in scope and budget

Question #5 - What to ask about data for better decision-making

All of the critical questions to ask in the C-suite are around building up that bigger picture of what’s happening today - and what’s up ahead.

Whether you are running a single or multiple projects, there will be a lot of information flying around. What you and the C-suite need is a single source of truth.

For accurate reporting, your boardroom team needs access to clean, accurate and real-time data. If you’re not using Project Controls - or have a mishmash of tech struggles to optimise tools and processes - that may prove a challenge.

The critical question for making data-based decisions is simple. Do we have a single source of truth here?

Project Controls in the Boardroom

Organisations can only build growth through excellence. Reputations are built on quality, standards, service, communications and results. Project Controls brings all of that together.

To learn more about the top 5 questions (and other significant questions) CEOs should be asking in the C-suite, download Primaned’s free executive insight guide, Building Growth Through Excellence: The CEO’s Guide to Project Controls.

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Topics:PC Boardroom


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