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Topics: Cost Management, Earned Value Management, Using PMI Standards
Cost Control/Management
Network:364



I am interested in the community's insight and opinions on their level of involvement in project cost control/management and what current processes/procedures/tools they have found useful. Also would like feedback on the direction a PM - who's been out of the cost control game for awhile and level of involvement is currently minimal but might be increasing soon - should go in to gain knowledge? What resources are available? I know this is a broad and sweeping question, but any thoughts would be helpful. Thanks.
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Network:72



Certainly a refresher course on cost / finance management would definitely be helpful in such a scenario. Self study material online is also available via various resources (websites, obtainable via Google). A practical training session with playback / hands on, would be better.
Network:1662



Kurt -

A lot will depend on whether the project better fits a predictive or adaptive lifecycle, the level of reporting possible from your company's financial systems and the level of control desired based on the context of your project.

If you can provide some insights about the above, that might help community members provide specific feedback.

Kiron
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1 reply by Kurt Koch
Nov 05, 2019 7:11 AM
Kurt Koch
...
Kiron: thanks for the response. I don't have specifics as I'm looking at new opportunities at the moment. I guess I'm just looking for advice that points me in the right direction? To what extent is everyone involved in cost considerations? For the most part I've been involved in monitoring vendor expenses - budget was established and I tracked hours spent on the project. But I didn't establish the budget. What new tools do you use to manage cost?
Network:364



Nov 05, 2019 6:55 AM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Kurt -

A lot will depend on whether the project better fits a predictive or adaptive lifecycle, the level of reporting possible from your company's financial systems and the level of control desired based on the context of your project.

If you can provide some insights about the above, that might help community members provide specific feedback.

Kiron
Kiron: thanks for the response. I don't have specifics as I'm looking at new opportunities at the moment. I guess I'm just looking for advice that points me in the right direction? To what extent is everyone involved in cost considerations? For the most part I've been involved in monitoring vendor expenses - budget was established and I tracked hours spent on the project. But I didn't establish the budget. What new tools do you use to manage cost?
...
1 reply by Kiron Bondale
Nov 05, 2019 11:00 AM
Kiron Bondale
...
Kurt -

I am not aware of any "new" tools - the financial analysis capabilities of most project management platforms combined with the reporting out of procurement, billing, time-tracking & general ledger systems is mostly what I'd be using in conjunction with earned value management.

You could throw Monte Carlo simulations in there if you wanted to model a range of possible cost outcomes for projects...

The extent to which the PM is involved in end-to-end cost management often depends on organization standards and on the context of a given project. For projects in small organizations, the PM might be fully involved whereas in much larger contexts, the PM would play the "conductor" role for an orchestra including a number of financial analysts.

Kiron
Network:216



I worked in projects with full P&L responsibility, where I had to report every month also the project financials - costs, risks with financial estimation, and at some point of time we had to report non-conformity costs (financial est.). We had project commercial managers assigned to the projects, coming from Finance department to support with monthly reporting in the company ERP system and support the PM with the financial figures reporting. The project status was reported on a monthly basis in the PPM tool.
Detailed financial figures were tracked by PMs usually in Excel files. We did not have integration between ERP and PPM, and was necessary to bring all data together to get the whole picture - budget, costs per cost centre (planned, actual, forecasted), project team billable hours, etc.

I think it is beneficial for the PM to work closely with Finance department to align on reporting processes and data sources.
Network:1911



In our case we control project costs, not project budged. We have a central tool where each month we load the project costs that a role we call bugeteer send to us.
Network:1854



Dear Kurt

Interesting question
Thanks for sharing

It is essential to have analytical accounting implemented

Control accounts, in my opinion, should be aligned with one or more work packages.

I think the Project Manager should be involved in designing what the control accounts will be

And of course, receive periodic information about the costs
Network:96



We have a lengthy internal cost/ expenditure approval process. Project budgets are typically determined by the project sponsor, and usually start off as rough order magnitude (ROM) +/- 50%, and as the project evolves through our three "planning" stages/ phases the project costs are refined by PM staff from indicative to substantive. This process includes a review and approval by costing analysts from our finance department. The project budget is assigned and "owned" by the CFO (via an attestation letter), and the PM has the discretion to spend the "budget" accordingly. The PM reports regularly on how the project is spending against the approved budget.
Network:1662



Nov 05, 2019 7:11 AM
Replying to Kurt Koch
...
Kiron: thanks for the response. I don't have specifics as I'm looking at new opportunities at the moment. I guess I'm just looking for advice that points me in the right direction? To what extent is everyone involved in cost considerations? For the most part I've been involved in monitoring vendor expenses - budget was established and I tracked hours spent on the project. But I didn't establish the budget. What new tools do you use to manage cost?
Kurt -

I am not aware of any "new" tools - the financial analysis capabilities of most project management platforms combined with the reporting out of procurement, billing, time-tracking & general ledger systems is mostly what I'd be using in conjunction with earned value management.

You could throw Monte Carlo simulations in there if you wanted to model a range of possible cost outcomes for projects...

The extent to which the PM is involved in end-to-end cost management often depends on organization standards and on the context of a given project. For projects in small organizations, the PM might be fully involved whereas in much larger contexts, the PM would play the "conductor" role for an orchestra including a number of financial analysts.

Kiron

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