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An Introduction to Project Payments business cost management Apr 18, 2021

[Note: Beginning with last week's article and continuing forward, in addition to tagging articles with knowledge areas, we will be adding new tags for business, leadership, and technical. We will update past articles over time. This will align content with the new PMP® exam content areas,...

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5 Tips for Effective Sprint Planning cost management schedule management scope management Nov 29, 2020

Effective sprint planning is essential for the success of any agile project.  The agile project manager should ensure every iteration delivers the highest possible value to customers to stay true to agile values.  Without effective planning, the team will not start the sprint with a...

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6 Essential Tools for Project Financial Control cost management Mar 29, 2020

Use these six important tools to keep your project on budget:

  1. Contracts: Contracts, whether formal or informal (e.g., MOU), can reveal what aspects of the project are most important. Incentive clauses in contracts can keep everyone on the same page.
  2. Reviews: Short interval reviews, such as...
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Managing Risks of Fixed Costs cost management risk management Sep 22, 2019
Last week we looked at a fixed schedule, so its only natural to want to look at fixed costs too. Or perhaps I should more precisely say "fixed price" since fixed costs have a connotation of overhead. And there's a further clarification to make as well (finances are so much more complex than...
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5 Tips for Handling Difficult to Estimate Tasks cost management schedule management Aug 04, 2019

Getting good estimates is often challenging for projects.  Here are 5 tips for getting better estimates for difficult-to-estimate tasks:

  1. Decompose the work further to understand it more fully. Document all assumptions and constraints.
  2. Look for similar estimates provided for past...
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Look Before the Project - Part III cost management project integration management scope management Jul 21, 2019

For the last two weeks, we looked at two different ways to evaluate project selections to determine which to work on. This type of activity is often carried out by senior management and not the project manager. The project manager is usually involved once the project charter has been developed. A...

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Look Before the Project - Part II cost management project integration management Jul 14, 2019

Last week we looked at the BCR -- Benefit-Cost Ratio as a way of evaluating a project. This week I'd like to look at a related technique -- Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). The purpose of many projects is to introduce a new product or service. Often this new product or service has a later ongoing...

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Look Before the Project - Part I cost management project integration management scope management Jul 07, 2019

For the next few weeks, I'd like to take a closer look at initiating projects, with special attention to costs. This is an area of weakness for many who jump in to do work before looking at the consequences or rewards. Rather than use a microscope, you need a telescope to see to the far and of...

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Cheapest Isn't Always Least Expensive cost management Jun 16, 2019

When selecting any resource of any type for a project, always keep in mind the automatic selection of the "cheapest" won't always be the least expensive option. This is why we have competitive bidding for major contracts -- we get a peek at the other dimensions. Does the resource meet our needs?...

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Keeping Your Projects on Track with Earned Value cost management schedule management scope management Jun 02, 2019

A lot of folks in San Diego wonder how the construction of Petco Park, a managed project, could have possibly spent all the funding before it was half completed without anyone knowing. While I certainly don't have proof as to the actual cause, there is a very good way a project can get into this...

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Earn Your Value - Part III cost management schedule management scope management May 19, 2019

To recap parts one and two of this post, we saw:

- how earned value is useful for monitoring both costs and schedule
- the basic formulas used to see if our projects are off track (and by how much)
- the recommendation that earned value be looked at weekly
- the ideal values for cost and schedule...

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Earn Your Value - Part II cost management schedule management scope management May 12, 2019

Last week we looked at the basic principles and formulas surrounding Earned Value Management. While the full practice of EVM may be very complex, it also provides a simple way to update clients on the status of smaller projects. But before we look at the "how", let's take a look at the "how...

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