Project Management

The Money Files

A blog that looks at all aspects of project and program finances from budgets, estimating and accounting to getting a pay rise and managing contracts. Written by Elizabeth Harrin from

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Recent Posts

How to Measure Schedule Performance [Infographic]

Interoperability: The key to efficient working

What do you do when you can’t track project cost? [Video]

Risk Identification: How to Do It

How to Make a Benefits Dependency Map [Infographic]

How to Handle Management Reserves [Video]

Categories: budget

management reserves

Ah, the mythical management reserve. This hits project managers who have sponsors that are poor at following through on their promises. The sponsor says that there is some kind of ‘contingency’ or ‘management reserve’ that can be spent at their discretion if required, say, in the event of an unplanned project disaster.

Said disaster happens and suddenly they don’t have authority to access those funds, or another project has used them, or you need to write a business case to access them…

How to fix it: You will struggle to fix this one in advance but your best bet is to make sure that you have full confidence that any pot of money that is being held outside your official project budget does actually exist and is there for you. Of course, the best thing to do will be to manage the project so you don’t need to tap into additional reserves.

I explain more about how to handle management reserves in this video.

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how to handle management reserves

Posted on: September 02, 2020 08:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

5 Key Financial Dates For Projects [Video]

Categories: budget

In this video I give you a quick overview of some of the key date-driven milestones you should be aware of on your project and why these are important. Budgeting is so driven by business timescales. If you miss a date, the implications could be huge – especially, say, if the date is to submit your budget requirements for the next financial year!

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key financial dates for projects

Posted on: July 07, 2020 08:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (2)

What tool do I use for tracking a project budget? [Video]

Categories: budget

tracking budget tools

If I had a pound for every time someone asked me what tool I use for tracking my project budget…

Unfortunately, it’s one of those questions where the answer isn’t as clear cut as you might hope. In this video I talk through the challenge of choosing a tool and there’s a teeny rant about why ultimately it doesn’t much matter as long as you get on with tracking somehow and just make a decision!

What tool do you use to track your project budget? Let us know in the comments section!

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Posted on: June 25, 2020 12:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)

What are sunk costs? [Video]

Categories: budget, cost

sunk costs

In this video I explain what sunk costs are and why they are so emotive on projects, especially when projects are challenged or no longer viable.

I try to give you some background on sunk costs so that when you’re faced with execs who are looking at sunk costs as a reason to continue with a project, you’re armed and ready to at least debate with them about why that isn’t a good idea!

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sunk costs pin

Posted on: April 23, 2020 08:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (5)

What is project cost control? [Video]

Categories: budget, cost, cost management

project cost controlProject managers often get concerned about project cost control. This video talks about what project cost control actually is and why you shouldn’t be worried about getting to grips with your budget. Most of what you have to do is the same type of ‘monitoring and controlling’ you do on other areas of the project, so it isn’t really that different… just with large amounts of cash attached!

This video aims to demystify project cost control and share some thoughts about just getting started.

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project cost control


Posted on: March 03, 2020 09:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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