This chapter talked about project tracking elements: things such as the budget, schedule, estimates, and communication. I discussed how budgeting is a fundamentally different process than accounting and described the things you ' l l keep track of in a project budget: the component, its budgeted amount, the costs incurred, the P.O. information, the supplier or vendor, any budget variances, and the approving authority. We also looked at the difference between a top-down budget—involving a sum of money from which you' re to derive your project and driven chiefly by assumptions and estimates—and bottom-up budgeting, in which you utilize cost estimates to arrive at your final figure.

We touched on the project ' s schedule and talked about all the elements that you' l l track when thinking about the schedule: the deliverables, tasks, estimates, and schedule format. There are three fundamental areas in which you might develop cost estimates: in terms of materials, time, or human resources. When figuring how these areas affect the schedule, you discovered they directly affect the scope, resource skill levels, task requirements, resource availability, elapsed time, and reconciliation.

Finally, we discussed a very important project management job function— communication—and to whom you communicate certain things while the project is underway. We covered schedule changes, resource loss, personality clashes, budget changes, low morale, organizational changes, and (always a good thing) project phase completion. All of these elements call for a different communication methodology and require that you report things differently to different groups of people. We also mentioned the importance of teambuilding in solving some communication problems.

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