You have tasks. You have resources. Now you need to match them up. Tasks + resources = assignments. With human, equipment, and material resources assigned to tasks, Microsoft Project can create a project schedule that reflects not only the project calendar, task durations, dependencies, and constraints, but also the calendars and availability of assigned resources.
Microsoft Project can help you plan, forecast, and track costs associated with the performance of the project. The bulk of your costs is likely to be generated by the resources assigned to tasks. There might also be costs directly associated with
The starting point is to enter unit resource costs and any fixed costs for tasks. As resources are assigned to tasks, Microsoft Project calculates these unit costs to forecast the cost for each assignment, resource, task, and the project as a whole.
Use this cost estimate to develop your project's budget. Or if the budget has already been imposed, see whether the project plan is in line with the realities of the budget. If not, you can make the necessary adjustments.
Cost planning involves estimating your costs and setting your budget, which is the subject of this chapter. If necessary, you can adjust the project plan to conform to the budget. As soon as you start executing the project, you start tracking and managing costs. At that point, you can compare actual costs to your original planned costs and analyze any variances between the two.
For information about tracking costs, including setting cost baselines and entering actual costs, see Chapter 10, "Saving a Baseline and Updating Progress." For information about managing costs, see Monitoring and Adjusting Costs. For more information about adjusting the project plan to conform to the budget, see Reducing Project Costs.
In a perfect world, you'd define the project scope, schedule
In reality, however, this is rarely the case. After you've scheduled tasks and assigned resources, you
If you get the wrong answers to any of these questions, you need to adjust your project plan until you get the right answers. For example, if the finish date is too far away, you can add more resources to major tasks.
After you make such adjustments, you'll need to check the project plan again. Adding resources to tasks might bring in the finish date but it also might add cost if you
To save time as well as money, you might decide to cut certain tasks, a
This relationship between time, money, and scope is sometimes referred to as the project triangle (see Figure 9-1). When you change one side of the triangle, it affects at least one of the other sides of the triangle.
You need to know which side of the triangle is your most important consideration. Is it schedule—you definitely have to finish by November 14? Is it budget—there is
Depending on which side of your project triangle is your absolute, you might adjust your project plan to do one of the following:
After you've made your adjustments and balanced your project triangle to meet the project requirements, you'll be ready for stakeholder buyoff. After you have
Sources of Your Project Scope, Finish Date, and Budget
Your project scope, finish date, and budget can be imposed on you for various reasons, depending on the type of project and the specific situation. The following are a few examples: