Keeping architecture and engineering projects on track is always difficult, but small jobs present a unique challenge. There simply isn’t the time available to use a sophisticated project controls system. And if things get behind schedule or over budget, there isn’t time to get back on track. So here are some keys to keeping small jobs on track:

  1. Do a VERY SIMPLE project management plan that defines the following:
    • What tasks need to be done
    • Who is responsible for each task
    • When each task should be completed
    • How much of the total budget should be allocated to each task
  2. Distribute copies of this simple project management plan to all those involved in the project. And hold a 15-minute kick-off meeting to explain it to them. (You can keep this meeting short by taking the chairs out of the conference room and holding a “stand up meeting.”)
  3. Use a simplified Earned Value Management (EVM) system to track the status of the project every week.
  4. Take corrective action as soon as you start to see things getting off track.

PSMJ has developed a free tool that will help you do all these things using a simple Excel spreadsheet we call PlanTrax® Lite. Based on our popular PlanTrax® project management tool, PlanTrax® Lite is a simple and easy EVM tool designed for small projects. We hope you find it useful!