Understanding Project Control

This chapter will help you understand project control (or project controlling). "Controlling" can be defined as processes and rules within project management that ensure the project goals are achieved. Parts of this ‘control’ include baselines, progress grade, and actual resources.


A baseline covers all data associated with an approved project to a certain date. This data can contain appointments, durations, input, costs, resource allocation, etc. Officially, only the first of all approved deadlines within the project is the beginning of the baseline. Generally speaking, however, self-documented intermediate results of the appointments within the project are also shown as baselines.

The baseline therefore contains all reference values for project controlling and should be carefully documented. The actual plan status of long or often changing projects should be saved as a baseline regularly in order to be able to retrace the history of the project.

Progress grade

In the European Standard DIN 69901, progress grade is defined as the "relation of accomplishment as per a certain date to the total accomplishment of an activity or a project" and leaves every practitioner stumped. The main question is how a partial accomplishment can be evaluated quantitatively. Therefore, the criteria used in Tilos are work quantity, distance, or percentage.

Actual resources

Actual costs are those that have truly been incurred: the total costs/quantities of a project, subproject, work package, or activity to a certain date. The use of relevant resources in the project, rather than the flow of payment, is the crucial factor. For example, the agreed payment for a supplier for his work counts as actual costs as soon as his work is completed, even if the invoice is paid later. Overhead, such as room costs or administration costs, also belong to actual costs (as long as this was defined within the calculation).