When the cost of your IT project starts to swell and resemble the budget for constructing the new Yankee Stadium, maybe it is time to take a second look at the way you manage your projects. A recent article from the PM Hut addresses the need for efficient budgeting, recognizing that organizations today face increasing pressure to only invest in projects that are sure to be successful. The five tips they suggest to stay within budget are:
- Review and forecast the budget frequently.
- Have tight scope management.
- Track risk and issues.
- Fully utilize resources.
Spotting problems early on is when you have the best chance of making necessary changes in the budget to fix them, which is why the budget forecast should be reviewed often by project management and the accounts department. As for tight scope management, the article states:
Scope creep or change requests can cause unnecessary issues for a project and is one of the most common causes of project overruns. Having unintended work has a way of creeping its way into a project. Unplanned resource hours can play havoc with your projects pre-designed budget. As the project manager, he/she must have a process in place to deal with extra work and manage the projects scope. Having a change order system in place could provide you with the necessary control needed to keep your budgets in order.
Communication is as vital in budgeting as it is in all other aspects of business. All important details of expenses must be related to other project members so that they may help you to keep to that determined budget. Tracking risk and issues is similarly self-explanatory, as risks left unchecked will inevitably find a way to splinter your project into a bunch of useless (and expensive) fragments. Recognizing all the resources and skills available to you as the project manager and using them in the right way will go a long way toward keeping the budget on track.
Juggling all the variables in an IT project to stay within budget is not always easy, but if you follow these basic tips, you might at least dodge a call from the Steinbrenners asking you when they can expect those new marble sinks for the stadium bathrooms.