Budget is always of concern to a PM. You' l l want to watch it closely, making sure that expenditures are close to your estimates. Remember that budget is a project constraint that' s balanced with time and quality—so if the costs go up, something else has to give. If the project is also constrained by time, then it has no choice but to suffer in quality.

On the other hand, it ' s hard to manage costs effectively without getting vendor bids that are locked in with a certain time limit. This, too, can be problematic. If you are a good steward and obtain bids that are valid for ninety days, but your project doesn' t start until sixty have elapsed and you don' t get to ordering gear . . . well, it' s very possible you ' l l go beyond the expiration date of the vendor' s bid. This is precisely how projects get into trouble. That, of course, and contractor hour overruns—that is, contractors who bill you for more hours than you had originally budgeted.

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