Businesses have always had something of a love-hate relationship with budgets – we always like what we have, but going over them is never fun. Here are three ways to ensure that your projects don’t exceed the budget allotted to them.
The full scope of the project should be clearly detailed from the very start – everyone involved should understand what they’re doing, how they’re going to measure their success, and how the budget allocated to the project is sufficient to meet its needs.
The scope of the project should not be decided by upper management alone. It is absolutely vital that the people who will be doing the work are brought in at an early stage so they can address concerns and ensure that the project plan is reasonably within their capabilities.
Similarly, management should be aware that it should not try to change the scope of the project once it’s started. Moving the goalposts without adequately increasing the budget or support for the team working on it is one of the most common causes for going over budget.
Finally, the project should be broken down into a series of smaller goals that people can work towards – having a long-term goal is good, but short-term goals tend to be more motivating.
Things don’t always go according to plan. In fact, many project teams believe that problems and delays are basically inevitable – and you should account for this in your initial planning.
If your schedule only works if everything goes right the first time, then it’s probably going to fail the first time reality intrudes. Make sure to have contingency plans for each stage of the project that clearly define what to do if it doesn’t work out as planned. Similarly, be sure to have enough extra time to be able to account for delays.
You don’t want to micromanage the members of your team – but you do want to manage them. The right productivity software can tell you where your team’s members are at, how well they’re holding to the schedule you’ve set, and even what resources you should ensure are available for them in the near future.
Many projects have unique needs that ordinary productivity software can’t track. If that’s the case for your company, you may want to consider investing in customized project management software.
This can sound like a big deal, but the truth is that most project management suites are quite easy (and therefore affordable) to develop. Indeed, by giving you the information you need to proactively step in when the circumstances warrant it, this type of software can actually end up saving you money.
For more information on obtaining custom project management software, contact our team at Ethany. Our experts will talk with you about what you actually need your software to do, and from there we’ll make sure you get it.