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Activity Cost Estimates Template

PREMIUM deliverable

You've created your Work Breakdown Structure and are now in the process of estimating costs. Use this form for each project to keep track of your Activity Cost Estimates.

How to Keep a Project Under Budget

by Mike Tressler, MBA, PMP

Using a step-by-step approach to budgeting will make your life easier in the long run, allow you to accurately answer any questions about project expenditures, make much more accurate future cost estimates for similar projects and generally give you more control over the project. Here's some help.

Can Agile Projects Self-Organize with a Fixed-Price Mentality?

by Sachin Dhaygude

The answer is “yes”, even though the typical fixed-price mentality violates the values stated in the Agile Manifesto. But fixed-price contracts are necessary for the market, so agile projects will have to adjust and offer a workaround.

Budget Template Workbook

PREMIUM deliverable

The Budget Template Workbook includes: a cost estimate sheet to document your initial cost assumptions, a planning template to help you take a detailed look at planning costs, and a tracking template to track actual costs against budget and document reasons for variances. It's a great planning and communication tool to help you stay on top of project finances.

Making Project Management Information Systems Agile

by Kevin Aguanno, PMP, MAPM, IPMA-B, Cert.APM, CSM, CSP

When one PM was asked to list the key requirements for a PMIS that would enable it to better support project and organizational effectiveness, he thought about past project, portfolio and program management experiences. The result? A “dream list” of features for a PMIS to support large, traditionally managed projects...a list that was surprisingly agile.

The Key to Optimum Outsourcing

by Jiju (Jay) Nair, PMP

Some studies have indicated that the real benefits of offshore outsourcing can be diminished by issues in communication, skill sets and accountability. But if managed properly, offshore IT projects can reap substantial rewards.

The Vendor-Client Conundrum

by Laura Burford

What each vendor and client might think is black and white about their project can actually be gray. Just recognizing and accepting this is a conundrum--and resolving it requires aligning perspectives for the good of the project. Do you have the flexibility to change, collaborate and communicate?

Hiring a Consultant: What to Do, What Not to Do...and Why

by Mark Mullaly, PMP

Is "consultant" a dirty word? Many consultants get a bad name from the fact that they become indistinguishable from the organizational employees that they work alongside. How do you know that hiring a consultant is a good idea?

The Pros and Cons of Consultants

by Michael Wood

What comes to mind when you ponder the possibility of engaging a consultant? Dread or excitement? The high cost or opportunity for growth? Most of us have heard good things and bad things about using consultants, most of which are true.

The ABCs of Always Beneficial Consultants

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

Consultants can be a helpful resource on a project or they can take up valuable space. Here are some ideas for the best way to deal with consultants and make sure they are beneficial to the project.

The Consulting Relationship: A Matter of Trust

by Andy Jordan

Many consulting engagements see frustrated consultants because they are not allowed to do what they feel is needed to maximize the chances of success. Here, we look at how these scenarios can be avoided--something that starts with trust.

Of Martial Arts and Methodology

by Patti Gilchrist, PMP

Choosing the best framework or methodology requires thought, but be careful not to overanalyze it. PMs can gain valuable insight from Bruce Lee’s philosophies, which offer a sound approach to achieve success in any area.

What Role Should the PMO Play in Project Finance?

by Andy Jordan

There is one aspect of project management where it's rare to find any consistency at all within PMOs: project financials. Let’s look at some of the different options and see if we can figure out some models that might work effectively.

Calculating Level of Effort: How Do We Approach It?

by Jiju (Jay) Nair, PMP

Why is LOE as important for a project as other aspects like stakeholder satisfaction, cost overshoot and schedule variance? And are you approaching it the right way?

The Path to the PMP (Part 7)

by Bruce Garrod

The best part about Project Cost Management is that there are only three processes. And while the first two processes are light dumbbell lifting, the third throws some heavy barbell exercises your way. Are you prepared?

The Cost of PM Efficiency

by Andy Jordan

Nothing comes free, but do you understand the true cost? When we look for ways to improve business efficiency, we consider two primary factors. But sometimes organizations push so hard for efficiency that they ignore the potential impact--and that’s when the problems start.

Project Finance: The Project Manager's Role

by Jiju (Jay) Nair, PMP

Whatever the approach, mandate or processes adopted by each organization, you as the PM should be aware of the following best practices and ensure that they are adopted in one way or the other to guarantee your project’s financial transparency.

Five Project Management Pathologies

by Walt Washburn, PMP

Since it’s the cold season, we wanted to share a list of maladies that will take your project down if you aren't paying attention or fail to keep your guard up. Each are preventable, and as the old saying goes: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Defining Failure

by Andy Jordan

PMs don’t always have the right view of what makes a project successful. Our discipline has evolved and now requires us to have a much more complete view of how our projects impact organizations. Just how do you define "failure"?

The Evolution of Annual Planning

by Andy Jordan

It's inevitable--organizations will change the way that planning cycles are executed. For many organizations, this is a natural extension of the commitments that they are already making--EPMOs, strong and executive supported portfolio management, and results-focused execution. For others, this is a major shift. Here we explore some of the ways that annual planning can be improved.

Flashlight or a Flood Lamp?

by Kenneth Darter, PMP

There are many different methods a project manager can use to rebaseline the project plan. Unfortunately, the one most often used is reactive instead of proactive. Approach your rebaselining event in a careful and methodical manner to make it worthwhile and benefit the project.

Cross-PMO Communication

by Andy Jordan

Enterprise PMOs are going to continue to grow and evolve--and over time the vast majority of organizations will evolve their PMO models to an EPMO model. However, as we look at the way that companies manage their PMOs today, we can’t help thinking that there is a lot of work ahead.

The Green Machine

by Rob Saxon

Now is a great time for us as project managers to consider how we might change our habits for the better. It’s very easy to get trapped into a set of activities without examining how we can improve our delivery. By incorporating the three “Rs” (reduce, reuse and recycle) we can better manage our projects.

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"Love your enemy--it will scare the hell out of them."

- Mark Twain

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