.net barcode reader component 7: Project Cost Management in Software

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7: Project Cost Management
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2 Determine Budget Process
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The Determine Budget process is where you combine all the estimates from the Estimate Costs process into one overall project cost budget You also add in any cost contingency, usually in conjunction with risk management (for example, those risk events that have a high probability of impacting the project if they occur) Remember, contingency reserves should be included as part of the overall project budget Collectively the project budget should consist of the approved funds to begin executing the project
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There will be times when only a portion of the project budget will be authorized for a particular phase; for example, the concept phase may be funded to cover the costs of prototyping the solution so you can demonstrate the solution will work prior to the total project being funded
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Once the budget is authorized, you need to establish and confirm the key measurements These measurements will need to be tracked and reported on a regular basis (usually monthly) to the project sponsor(s) to demonstrate you are managing the project budget
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Budget Estimating and Measuring Project Health
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The project status (that is, the health of the project) can be measured in a number of ways To perform any health checking, you must first have an agreed-upon cost performance baseline You should remember baselines from 5 Earned value (EV) is a good way to measure progress and the overall health of your project It will be covered in more detail later in this chapter
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Cost Performance Baseline
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The cost performance baseline is an authorized time-phased budget at completion (BAC) BAC is one of the key components in calculating earned value (EV) In setting the cost performance baseline, you must first look at the scope baseline to ensure the cost is aligned with the scope The cost baseline should also take the scheduled activities and work packages into consideration because this is where the budget will be spent Other key considerations should be the project contract, the SOW, and specific performance requirements of these documents
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Each project should have a formally approved and communicated performance baseline (PB) that describes the integration of the technical objectives and requirements with the schedule and cost objectives
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Here are the main reasons for establishing, approving, controlling, and documenting a performance baseline:
To ensure achievement of project objectives To manage and monitor progress during project execution To define the project for approval and authorization by the office of management To ensure accurate information on the final configuration (as-built drawings, specifications, expenditures, and so on) To establish performance-measurement criteria for projects
According to Performance Baseline Development and Validation, by the US Department of Energy, Development of the PB begins with the planning cost, schedule estimate, and the preliminary scope included in the mission need statement, and is further defined in conceptual design documents [4]
3 Control Costs Process
Now that you have an approved budget, which is the main output of the Determine Budget process, you need to be thinking about how to control costs The key to effective cost control is the management of the approved performance baseline and the changes to that baseline It is common to reset the performance baseline, especially on larger projects, and this should only be done through proper change control Project cost control includes the following:
Ensuring all change requests are responded to in a timely manner Reviewing possible impact to the project (cost, time, scope, risk, and so on) Managing the actual changes when and as they occur (document and communicate) Preventing unapproved changes from impacting the project and budget Managing the cost expenditures to not exceed the approved funding by period and in total for the project Monitoring cost performance to isolate and understand variances Monitoring work performance (value of work performed, or EV) against approved budget and time
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