Goal: Estimate costs

Applies to
Microsoft Office Project 2003
Microsoft Office Project Server 2003
Microsoft Project 2000 and 2002

Project helps you to develop cost estimates for the resources and tasks that are needed to complete your project. To obtain realistic cost estimates, you may want to review historical data to use as a basis for entering cost information in Project. Then you can review and fine-tune your costs to create an accurate budget. The best cost-estimating method for your project depends on the scope of your project, the level of accuracy needed, and the practices of your organization.

 Tip   This article is part of a series of articles that describe a broad set of project management activities. We call these activities "goals" because they are organized around the project management life cycle: Build a plan, track and manage a project, and close a project. The project life cycle is outlined in The Project Map, where you can find a link to an article about each project management goal. Most of the articles include links to supporting information or procedures that you perform in Project or Project Server. These "goal" articles were designed to help you not only use Project but also better understand project management.

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See all goals on the Project Map

Adding machine with tape

number 1  Review historical data     Examining the cost histories of similar projects allows you to better estimate costs in a current project.

Number 2  Enter cost information      You can establish cost estimates in Project by entering costs for resources (resources: The people, equipment, and material that are used to complete tasks in a project.) or tasks, or both.

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Number 3  Review planned costs      After you enter costs for resources or tasks, or both, you can examine them to see if they need to be adjusted to meet your goal for costs.

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Number 4  Optimize costs     Before you establish your cost estimate as a budget (budget: The estimated cost of a project that you establish in Project with your baseline plan.) for your project, you can make final adjustments to the cost totals to ensure that your estimates are as realistic as possible.

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