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Control accounts
Network:1146



Hellow everyone,
Can you please elaborate more about what a control account is in a WBS?
what is the relationship between work packages and control accounts, in other words, is it one to one relation or one to many or many to many or many to one...etc?
is it a must to have control accounts? when to have them? why have control account?
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Control Account vs Work Package


Once the project scope is divided in the form of WBS, work packages, and activity level, it is time to track 2whether a project is reaching its milestones. However, it is very difficult to track a project at a very high level or at the lowest level (the lowest level is the activity level).

So, in order to to manage the project better, we take a point between the WBS and work package call it the Control Account.

Control Account is a management control point where scope, cost, and schedule are integrated and compared to the earned value for performance measurement. Control Accounts are placed at selected management points in the WBS. Each Control Account is defined with a unique code or an accounting number which can be used to link to the performing account system.

The ‘Work Package’ is a deliverable which is obtained after decomposing the WBS. Work packages are further divided into activity levels. A Control Account usually has one or more work packages. The following figure explains the relations or the hierarchy in which each of the components is placed.

When doing Earned Value Management within a standard project structure there can be a defined level that is considered a "control account". A control account is normally the intersection of the functional organization doing the work and the Project organizational hierarchy. This is typically defined as the level that you can aggregate BCWS, BCWP, and Actuals AND is a level that is controlled by a single organization. Below a control account is a "Work Package". The work package is the level of the project that the user plans and a takes status on for EV.

Below is the general hierarchy concept of organizing and maintaining a control account or work package:
• A work package is BELOW a control account. However, it does not have to be directly below a control account.
• You cannot have a control account below another control account.
• You cannot have a work package below another work package.
• Management Reserve and Undistributed Budget cannot be part of the control account hierarchy. In other words
o Cannot be an object that has a Control Account defined BELOW it.
o Cannot be an object that has a Control Account defined ABOVE it.

Once the project structure is defined into control accounts and work packages responsibility and ownership can now be established. This requires assigning Control Account Managers or CAMs to play an essential role in Earned Value Management. They are responsible for the planning, coordination, and achievement of all work within a control account. They also provide authorization for all scope, technical and cost changes for their respective control accounts.
...
3 replies by Anish Abraham, Syed Faizan Ali Shah, and meisam mehrvarzi
Feb 13, 2018 6:28 AM
Syed Faizan Ali Shah
...
Very well said. Very informative
Feb 13, 2018 4:07 PM
Anish Abraham
...
Very informative, Kevin and thanks for the detailed explanation.
Jun 06, 2018 12:10 AM
meisam mehrvarzi
...
Very usefull , Thank u Kevin.
Network:7576



work packages are connected to one control account, but it cannot be connected to more than one control account. The control account will have few work packages.
...
1 reply by Vincent Guerard
Feb 14, 2018 11:41 AM
Vincent Guerard
...
Very good explanation, well done
Network:1851



Trying to add something to Kevin comment above (the only thing I could add is a reference and not more than that) take a look to PMI´s WBS practice standard.
Network:225



Feb 13, 2018 5:21 AM
Replying to Kevin Drake
...
Control Account vs Work Package


Once the project scope is divided in the form of WBS, work packages, and activity level, it is time to track 2whether a project is reaching its milestones. However, it is very difficult to track a project at a very high level or at the lowest level (the lowest level is the activity level).

So, in order to to manage the project better, we take a point between the WBS and work package call it the Control Account.

Control Account is a management control point where scope, cost, and schedule are integrated and compared to the earned value for performance measurement. Control Accounts are placed at selected management points in the WBS. Each Control Account is defined with a unique code or an accounting number which can be used to link to the performing account system.

The ‘Work Package’ is a deliverable which is obtained after decomposing the WBS. Work packages are further divided into activity levels. A Control Account usually has one or more work packages. The following figure explains the relations or the hierarchy in which each of the components is placed.

When doing Earned Value Management within a standard project structure there can be a defined level that is considered a "control account". A control account is normally the intersection of the functional organization doing the work and the Project organizational hierarchy. This is typically defined as the level that you can aggregate BCWS, BCWP, and Actuals AND is a level that is controlled by a single organization. Below a control account is a "Work Package". The work package is the level of the project that the user plans and a takes status on for EV.

Below is the general hierarchy concept of organizing and maintaining a control account or work package:
• A work package is BELOW a control account. However, it does not have to be directly below a control account.
• You cannot have a control account below another control account.
• You cannot have a work package below another work package.
• Management Reserve and Undistributed Budget cannot be part of the control account hierarchy. In other words
o Cannot be an object that has a Control Account defined BELOW it.
o Cannot be an object that has a Control Account defined ABOVE it.

Once the project structure is defined into control accounts and work packages responsibility and ownership can now be established. This requires assigning Control Account Managers or CAMs to play an essential role in Earned Value Management. They are responsible for the planning, coordination, and achievement of all work within a control account. They also provide authorization for all scope, technical and cost changes for their respective control accounts.
Very well said. Very informative
Network:1146



Thank you all for your helpful replies, just please tell me if the following is right or wrong at every point
(1) a control account is not a work package (not part of the actual work that has to be done), it is a point in which work performance data is consolidated for the purpose of measuring and tracking (cost, schedule...etc)
(2) a work package can be the child of another work package, but at the end, each and every work package must be linked to one control account
(3) control accounts may hold data that is not a part of work packages such as management reserve
(4) a control account may have many work packages under it, but each work package must be linked to one control account only!
Network:1506



Abdulrahman -

1. Correct
2. No - the term work package denotes the lowest level of a WBS branch
3. Management reserve will not be part of the control account - it normally is reflected as a project-wide allocation (or sometimes even managed at a portfolio level).
4. Correct

Kiron
...
1 reply by Sebastian Singer
May 18, 2018 4:49 AM
Sebastian Singer
...
Thank you for your explanation in No. 2: this was an eye opener.
Network:1146



thank you all, things are much more clear now
Network:105



Thanks Kevin and Kiron for detailed information and clarifications.
Network:2399



I can't agree more with what have been said above, it is a good reference to identify and trace out each.
Network:1639



Feb 13, 2018 5:21 AM
Replying to Kevin Drake
...
Control Account vs Work Package


Once the project scope is divided in the form of WBS, work packages, and activity level, it is time to track 2whether a project is reaching its milestones. However, it is very difficult to track a project at a very high level or at the lowest level (the lowest level is the activity level).

So, in order to to manage the project better, we take a point between the WBS and work package call it the Control Account.

Control Account is a management control point where scope, cost, and schedule are integrated and compared to the earned value for performance measurement. Control Accounts are placed at selected management points in the WBS. Each Control Account is defined with a unique code or an accounting number which can be used to link to the performing account system.

The ‘Work Package’ is a deliverable which is obtained after decomposing the WBS. Work packages are further divided into activity levels. A Control Account usually has one or more work packages. The following figure explains the relations or the hierarchy in which each of the components is placed.

When doing Earned Value Management within a standard project structure there can be a defined level that is considered a "control account". A control account is normally the intersection of the functional organization doing the work and the Project organizational hierarchy. This is typically defined as the level that you can aggregate BCWS, BCWP, and Actuals AND is a level that is controlled by a single organization. Below a control account is a "Work Package". The work package is the level of the project that the user plans and a takes status on for EV.

Below is the general hierarchy concept of organizing and maintaining a control account or work package:
• A work package is BELOW a control account. However, it does not have to be directly below a control account.
• You cannot have a control account below another control account.
• You cannot have a work package below another work package.
• Management Reserve and Undistributed Budget cannot be part of the control account hierarchy. In other words
o Cannot be an object that has a Control Account defined BELOW it.
o Cannot be an object that has a Control Account defined ABOVE it.

Once the project structure is defined into control accounts and work packages responsibility and ownership can now be established. This requires assigning Control Account Managers or CAMs to play an essential role in Earned Value Management. They are responsible for the planning, coordination, and achievement of all work within a control account. They also provide authorization for all scope, technical and cost changes for their respective control accounts.
Very informative, Kevin and thanks for the detailed explanation.
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