View the project costs You can view the totals, the costs over time, or the costs in a chart. Doing this can help you to see whether you are meeting your targeted budget and whether you need to adjust your costs.
Optimize the plan to decrease the costs If you determine that the planned costs do not meet your targeted budget, you can use several strategies to cut costs.
Click all of the following that apply:
- Enter costs for resources to adjust the regular and overtime rates, per-use costs, fixed costs, or cost resources.
- Remove or replace a resource assignment to cut costs by replacing a more expensive resource (a person, equipment, material, or cost) with a less expensive one, or to reduce the number of comparable resources on a single task. Sometimes, using less expensive resources results in corresponding trade-offs of decreased scope, longer schedule, or lower quality. Still, this is one of the most realistic strategies for optimizing the costs. If you remove a more expensive resource from the assignment (assignment: A specific resource that is assigned to a particular task.), this resource is free to work on other tasks or projects that are more cost-effective.
- Reassign the remaining work on a task to control which of several resources does what portion of the remaining work, or to specify exactly when the remaining work will be done.
Do all of the following that apply:
You might need to reduce the scope to meet the finish date or the budget. Or, after building your project plan, you might find that you have more time or money than you expected. In either case, you can change the scope of the project. You can choose between changing the deliverables (deliverable: A tangible and measurable result, outcome, or item that must be produced to complete a project or part of a project. Typically, the project team and project stakeholders agree on project deliverables before the project begins.) of the product or changing the scope of the project.
- Cut the product deliverables If you reduce the scope by cutting product deliverables, you are actually providing less to the customers or stakeholders than you planned. For example, suppose you are working on a project to develop a new product. To meet the finish date or budget, you decide to cut product features that were originally planned and approved by the customers. In this case, you probably need to obtain customer approval, and you may need to adjust the contract, if applicable.
- Cut the project scope You may be able to provide the same product deliverables by changing the way that you produce them.
For example, on the project to develop a new product, you decide to remove a market research task, and you also reduce the duration of the product testing in order to meet the finish date or budget. In this case, the end product and deliverables don't change. However, you changed the method for providing this end product by reducing the scope of the project.
- Use the available time or budget If you find that you have more time or money than you expected, you can add deliverables. Or you can increase the scope of the project itself, which often results in a higher-quality product.
- Consider the impact of the scope on quality You might need to reduce the scope to meet the finish date or the budget. Or, after building your project plan, you might find that you have more time or money than you expected. In either case, you can change the scope of the project. Consider that quality and scope are closely related. If you cut the scope, you might have to accept a reduced level of quality. If you increase the scope, you probably will increase the quality of the project and the resulting product.
- Change a duration to reduce the amount of time that is planned for tasks. Make sure that the reduced duration still allows the work to be completed. Also be sure to adjust the corresponding amount of work that is assigned to the resources.
- Remove a task if it is not absolutely necessary. But be aware that removing tasks can decrease the quality of the overall project implementation. Tasks that must be done should still be reflected in the plan, and only those tasks that are considered optional should be removed.
- Replace a resource assignment by replacing a more expensive resource (a person, equipment, or materials) with a less expensive one. Sometimes, using less expensive resources results in corresponding trade-offs of decreased scope, longer schedule, or decreased quality. Still, this is one of the most realistic strategies for optimizing costs.
Adjust the plan to take advantage of additional budget After you build your plan, you might find that you have more budget available. You can choose to bring the project in under budget. Or you can increase the scope and the quality goals for the project.
More . . .
After you build your plan and Microsoft Office Project 2007 calculates the schedule (schedule: The timing and sequence of tasks within a project. A schedule consists mainly of tasks, task dependencies, durations, constraints, and time-oriented project information.) and cost (cost: The total scheduled cost for a task, resource, or assignment, or for an entire project. This is sometimes referred to as the current cost. In Project, baseline costs are usually referred to as "budget.") for the project, you might find that you have more time or an increased budget available. You can choose to end the project ahead of schedule or under budget. Or you can increase the scope and add quality (quality: The degree of excellence, or the desired standards, in a product, process, or project.) to the project.
- Check with the customer Ask the customer or stakeholders (stakeholders: Individuals and organizations that are actively involved in the project or whose interests may be affected by the project.) of the project how they prefer to use the time or budget. They might prefer to leave the plan as is and have the project come in ahead of schedule or under budget.
- Check your contract Check for contractual incentives (or in some cases, even penalties) for coming in ahead of schedule or under budget. The type of contract (fixed price, cost reimbursable, or unit price) may determine how you should take advantage of the available time or budget.
- Add scope You can add the tasks (task: An activity that has a beginning and an end. Project plans are made up of tasks.) or phases (phase: A group of related tasks that completes a major step in a project.) that you wanted but thought you wouldn't have enough time or money for. You can increase the duration (duration: The total span of active working time that is required to complete a task. This is generally the amount of working time from the start to finish of a task, as defined by the project and resource calendar.) of existing tasks, so that the resources (resources: The people, equipment, and material that are used to complete tasks in a project.) have more time to complete the tasks. Be aware that adding scope is likely to add both time and cost to your plan. Changing the scope and deliverables (deliverable: A tangible and measurable result, outcome, or item that must be produced to complete a project or part of a project. Typically, the project team and project stakeholders agree on project deliverables before the project begins.) may have contractual implications, so be sure to check the contract and obtain client approval when necessary.
- Raise the standard of quality You can use surplus time or budget to add tasks or phases that add or check for quality. You can increase the duration of existing tasks, so that the resources have more time to do higher-quality work. Another way to raise the quality is to add more highly skilled staff, more efficient equipment, or higher-grade materials. These types of resources can be more expensive, but they can also be a good use of surplus budget.
Enter a note about the cost changes Log information about the changes that you made to meet the budget. Such notes can be helpful when you are tracking actual progress, closing the project, or collecting data for the next project.
Evaluate the results of cost optimization Verify that you did indeed lower the costs, and that the finish date, workload, and other projects are not adversely affected by these changes.
Click all of the following that apply:
Communicate the assignment changes to the resources If you assigned new tasks to the resources or changed or removed any existing assignments, you need to publish these changes for the affected resources.