Management’s objectives for a project and the client are generally expressed in the areas of quality, schedule and cost. In each of these areas, planning establishes standards of performance. In each of these areas, management needs information on progress to compare with the planned standards. Information systems do not provide control; they provide feedback. Control is considered action. The action may be the issuance of an order. But it may more probably be a conference, seeking an agreement with a colleague, negotiating with a vendor, or any other interpersonal action.
The action is the result of a decision. Decisions are best based on adequate information. The collection, accumulation, sorting and reporting of progress information for schedule and cost deal with common elements. These elements are the successive activities that people do to complete the project.