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12 Compelling Reasons Why Harkcon’s Program Control System is Right For You

By Jen Emswiler | Harkcon’s Program Control Analyst

As our business began to grow we realized that we needed a more mature program control system for managing, monitoring, and controlling projects. We started by assessing our current needs, as well as our future needs, and began our search. To our dismay we ran into several obstacles and found that many management systems:

  • Were too expensive – even the more affordable systems quickly became expensive when we needed to tailor the system to align with our contracts.

  • Couldn’t be customized the way we needed per contract type (FFP, T&M, contract size etc.).

  • Were too time consuming to manage – the systems became too complex to manage on a regular basis. Transitioning to the new systems would have been too time consuming and the training provided was far from comprehensive.

  • Not user friendly – the systems we tried were not easy to use.

After extensive research, trial and error, implementing two new systems and still not having our needs met, we decided to give it a shot and create our own system. After all, we were now experts and knew what would work and what wouldn’t for our business. Our main goal was to find a tool that aligned with how we could best manage our projects our own way.

Our system is:

  1. Cost effective.

  2. Scalable – can grow with us.

  3. Minimal training – because it was implemented using already familiar applications such as Excel.

  4. Quick implementation and transition – we moved all of our contracts over to our new system and have the first project brief to Executives within a month. If there is a new contract, it is up in and running in no time.

  5. Customizable – we are able to tailor our template and system regardless of contract type, size or number of resources.

  6. Streamline systems and departments – incorporates HR reports, Accounting Reports, and Operation processes into our system which saved time, improved accuracy and allowed for better communication.

  7. Efficient – Program Managers can update their projects within 5 minutes and are able to review and prepare their dashboard/presentation with ease. This is especially desirable for Program Managers who have multiple projects.

  8. Dashboard for reporting to Executives – data is taken from our project sheets and combined into a dashboard to report to Executives.

  9. Sharing & Collaboration on Cloud - provides team flexibility to work together and the ability for all stakeholders to view project health at any time, even if team members are remote.

  10. Fit easily into workflow – our new system has saved Program Managers 75% of their time and fits into their monthly workflow.

  11. Take input from stakeholders and incorporate into tool (at any time) – if a stakeholder wants data displayed differently, wants to see project on a day-to-day basis, we can tailor the project sheets and dashboard at any time.

  12. Easy to use – our system and sheets are intuitive and user friendly

Going our own way and creating a process that works for us was the best thing we could’ve done. It has been incredibly beneficial to all of our stakeholders and has provided us with better visibility regarding project health and accuracy. It is comforting to know that while we continue to grow or if we take on a new contract that our system can be tailored and customized accordingly. We can leverage this experience to help your company create your own program control system! If you would like to contact the author of this blog, send an email to and reference the title, "12 Compelling Reasons Why Harkcon's Program Control System is Right For You."

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