Elapsed Time

Here' s the hard part: getting team members to somehow keep track of time spent on a project. Today' s project management software is so good that team members can enter their time for a specific task, and the software will credit the time entered toward the task' s overall time estimate. But getting team members to do this requires dedication on their part and yours. If people aren't keying in their time spent, and keying it accurately, all of your cost- and time-estimating efforts are for naught.

Material costs Poor materials tracking results in inaccurate materials- cost reporting, meaning the project might actually be costing more than you think. Licensing costs often end up in this predicament. In your project planning efforts, you took into account licensing for the big enterprise software you' re going to use to get a system developed, but you may not have considered the server software license or the client access license costs, both of which can represent a significant amount of money. Some companies get so sticky about materials tracking that they track stationery and other incidentals (when you ' re acting as a consultant on a project you' re performing for another company and billing back materials expenses, for example).

Time costs Know how much of the charged time is being spent actually working. Humans who are "cube-hoppers"—those who like to catch up on all the office gossip—are going to hinder the duration characteristics for tasks they' ve been assigned to, especially if they inaccurately report the time actually spent on the project. The duration of a task, for example, was one day, but cube-hopping took up a half day, so the task winds up getting charged for a one and a half days ' worth of time. Human-effort costs Know how accurate your time tracking is. A person who has too much on their plate might be staying very late and spend half his night finishing the day' s task. Time reporting is the last thing on his mind at that juncture, and you can expect inaccurate results. A task that you ' ve budgeted at one hour can take two hours if the person responsible winds up working after hours, not only because she ' s tired and therefore takes longer doing the work but also because her reporting is careless.

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Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

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.

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