Once a project has been funded, it's up to the project manager and the project team to work effectively and efficiently to control costs. This means doing the work right the first time.. It also means, and this is tricky, avoiding scope creep and undocumented changes, as well as getting rid of any non-value-added activities. Basically, if the project team is adding components or features that aren't called for in the project, they're wasting time and money.
Cost control focuses on controlling the ability of costs to change and on how the project management team may allow or prevent cost changes from happening. When a change does occur, the project manager must document the change and the reason why it occurred and, if necessary, create a variance report. Cost control is concerned with understanding why the cost variances, both good and bad, have occurred. The "why" behind the variances allows the project manager to make appropriate decisions on future project actions.
Ignoring the project cost variances may cause the project to suffer from budget shortages, additional risks, or scheduling problems. When cost variances happen, they must be examined, recorded, and investigated. Cost control allows the project manager to confront the problem, find a solution, and then act accordingly. Specifically, cost control focuses on:
• Controlling causes of change to ensure that the changes are actually needed
• Controlling and documenting changes to the cost baseline as they happen
• Controlling changes in the project and their influence on cost
EXAM TIP Variance reports are sometimes called exception reports.
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What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.