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Control – part 6 - Cost

Can be accurately controlled via software

This is easier said than done utilising software.
Apart from keeping tabs on resource costs, for example, Fred’s work rate is £50 per day and aligning this to all the tasks that Fred does, you need to add other costs to the project. There may be capital expenditure, consultancy costs, rental costs, cross departmental costs etc.

To accurately assess costs the schedule needs to go to a low enough level to identify individuals actually doing work packages.
If this can be done, that in itself is fine. However, for reasons referred to previously , from a project management control viewpoint, it is not always desirable to identify individual persons responsible for each tasks but may be more efficient to identify those accountable.
Those would be supervisors or Team Managers for example.

Also, Fred may well work on Task ‘X’ for 100% of the time but it is more likely that Fred is multitasking and Fred’s time could be split 10%, 30%, 60% between parallel tasks.

Whilst it is possible to allow for this within the software it is time consuming.
If Fred is ill it may throw a huge spanner in the works unless he is replaced with someone at the same cost rate.

As usual, only go to a level of accuracy that you are able to easily monitor and control.

Sophisticated cost control against a baseline, using suitable software can be achieved with effort.

When looking at monitoring cost and timescales the best measure is via the ‘milestone’.
Milestone means deliverables. Was it achieved on time, how are costs progressing, have all the deliverables arrived?

Under PRINCE2® 2005 assessing progress is about knowing what has happened and comparing it with what you expected to happen.
A simple robust monitoring system is required that provides a steady flow of information o n the project progress.
[see Controlling a Stage (CS) - part 3 - Assessing Progress (CS2) and Controls - part 1]

PRINCE2 2009 the theme Progress is used.
The purpose of the Progress theme is to establish mechanisms to monitor and compare actual achievements against those planned; provide a forecast for the project objectives and the project’s continued viability; and control any unacceptable deviations.
Two of the principles of PRINCE2 [see ‘The Complete Project Management plus PRINCE2’] are managing by stages and continued business justification.
The Progress theme provides the mechanisms for monitoring and control, enabling the critical assessment of ongoing viability.
[see Progress - purpose]

PRINCE2® is a Registered Trade Mark of the Office of Government Commerce in the United Kingdom and other countries.