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3 Ways to Keep Your Project Expenses on Budget

Author : Dennis Najjar
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You have a lot on your plate as a project manager, from allocating your talent to meeting deliverable milestones. Keeping project expenses on budget is one facet of project management that frustrates many managers. When a project runs over budget, it can have a detrimental effect on that specific project, the department or the company as a whole. Learning how to keep your project expenses on budget is an essential part of project management.

1. Avoid feature creep

You define the tasks, the milestones and the project goals. At the beginning of the project, you do your best to follow the original plan, but adjusting to challenges along the way requires you to change some project features. Over time, more and more requirements are added to the project milestones or final goals. You can only do so much with the project's original budget, requiring you to expand it. If you do your best to stick with the original project goals and actively avoid feature creep, you help keep your project expenses on budget.

2. Use agile project management techniques

In some cases, your project is structured in such a way that massive change is inevitable. This is particularly true when it comes to software development and other projects dependent on testing and user feedback. When you adopt an agile project management methodology at the beginning, you expect drastic budget changes and plan for that. Keep your review intervals frequent so you stay on top of your budget needs and requirements so it doesn't get out of control.

3. Consider outsourcing niche roles

You need a highly specialized skill set to accomplish a particular project in its allotted time. Training an existing employee takes a significant amount of time and money. Look at outsourcing firms and consultants to get the specialized knowledge you need without spending more project funds than required. When you work with consultants, you only pay for the period you need them and avoid employee overhead and other associated costs.
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