It’s said that the quality of one’s life is determined by the quality of one’s decisions. The same holds true for project management: project quality is based on decision quality. So how can project managers make better decisions? The key rests in the hands of the project controller, the person responsible for managing the cost, budget, and scheduling of the project.  

Not enough ‘hands on deck’ 

Unfortunately, many projects are in jeopardy because there are simply not enough ‘hands on deck’ to ensure project success. Estimates point toward a $200 billion dollar loss globally due to the staffing shortfall, as well as a staggering 90% of public sector organizations reporting underperforming projects in recent years due to inadequate project management support. There is an urgent industry need not only for more project controllers, but for project controllers with better training. 

An elite fleet 

To address this need, Management Solutions LLC launched Project Control Solutions (PCS) in June 2020 to focus on hiring and recruiting the next generation of project controllers and managers. CEO and founder of MSLLC, Misty Mayes, notes that from 2020 to 2027, there will be a need for more than 22 million personnel in the project management field.  

Project Controls Solutions is helping to bring on a new, elite fleet of project controllers and managers by delivering customized project controls capabilities assessments, training programs, advisory, and recruitment services to a wide variety of commercial businesses and government agencies. Project Controls Solutions combines Management Solutions’ decades of experience in project controls with a best-in-class, learning management program consisting of: 

  • Maturity Assessment 
  • Gap Analysis 
  • Customized recommendations and course placement 
  • Enrollment in an academic certificate program or professional development courses 

“This is a win-win not only for the candidates who enter our program but also for employers who are seeking skilled workers and for communities seeking economic opportunity,” said Mayes. “After successful completion of our Academic Certificate Program in Project Controls, apprentices are well positioned to attain a full-time project controls job – often paying well-above the average salary in their local community – and are embedded alongside Management Solutions subject matter experts to provide mentorship and to ensure they arrive on the job ready to solve their new employer’s most difficult challenges.” 

Charting your own course 

Project Controls Solutions was founded not only to answer the call for a more technically equipped workforce, but to expand access to the project controls profession, particularly for groups who are historically under-represented in STEM fields. PCS training programs create a pathway for aspiring project controls professionals to develop the skills and capabilities they need to build a meaningful career in a fast-growing profession. 

Over 70% of the students Project Controls Solutions has trained come from rural, economically disadvantaged regions. Project Controls Solutions is at the vanguard of efforts to provide meaningful work, dignity, and social mobility to people no matter where they live or who they are. Opportunities for improved quality of life and organizational performance are on the horizon for the growing number of people who partner with PCS to chart their own course into the future of project controls. 

 Earn while you learn 

Over the past decade, the UK government has made efforts to address the need for a more technically equipped workforce by updating apprenticeships in England to make them more focused on occupations and driven by employer requirements.  

Apprenticeships combine hands-on training with academic study, so the apprentice can receive a nationally recognized certification while earning and advancing along their career path. 

The ‘earn while you learn’ approach not only benefits the apprentice, but also the employer. The UK government researched the value that apprenticeships bring to businesses, and compiled the following statistics: 

  • 86% of employers said apprenticeships helped them develop skills relevant to their organization 
  • 78% of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve productivity 
  • 74% of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve the quality of their product or service 

And to make the deal even sweeter for employers, the UK government can even help pay for apprenticeship training.  

Apprenticeships are available at a variety of levels, targeted at people with a variety of educational and professional experience. The development of level 3 and level 6 apprenticeship standards in Project Controls has played a significant role in the development of project controls careers and the provision of opportunities for students.  

An employer-led Trailblazer group consisting of many companies, organizations and professional bodies, and supported by the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board (ECITB), developed the standards that meet the needs of today’s industry requirements. PCS Principal Project Controls Trainer and industry expert Michelle Banner, was part of this initial Trailblazer group and reflects on her experience. According to Banner, “It was fantastic to be involved in setting the standards and providing insight into what knowledge, skills and behaviors that the apprentices should be able to display at the end of their apprenticeship. To be an integral part of this was an honor.” The standards Banner helped establish allow apprentices to develop the knowledge, skills, and behaviors to undertake a wide range of project controls disciplines including estimating, planning, scheduling and cost engineering to ensure that their career in Project Controls takes off from day one.