Staying Sustainable After Launch

Carleton is an Associate Director Portfolio Management in Queensland, Australia.

Do you know what your project's real end-to-end costs are? Most projects deliver an outcome that has a life far exceeding the project timeline. This in-production lifespan can cost significantly more than the original project implementation costs.

Understanding the whole end-to-end life cycle of your project allows you to make project budget decisions during the early planning stages that may provide major savings over the coming years. Simple decisions such as choosing particular vendors; deciding whether to lease or buy equipment; and setting asset life-cycles can have major cost implications. This article gives you the tools to examine the financial sustainability of your project across its entire existence.

Total Cost of Ownership
While total cost of ownership (TCO) has been popularized by Gartner as a means of establishing the total cost of IT solutions, the original concept dates back several centuries. TCO attempts to examine key components of a project from the set-up and acquisition phase, through operation, post go-live, up to and including decommission and disposal at end of life.

As an example, consider buying a home. If this was your project, the scope would encompass the search for a house, buying the house, making any alterations, transporting furniture and moving in. This is a discrete project with a fixed budget that has an outcome of you living …


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