Those are two words you never want to hear.
But no matter what professional services field you're in, it seems almost inevitable that this will occur at some point. So what can you do to prevent budget overruns from happening? Keep reading to learn 5 ways to keep every project within budget.
1. Plan and Set Realistic Goals
Set yourself up for success by choosing realistic goals that can be met without an abundance of stress. Don't set yourself up for failure by agreeing to hectic timelines and minimal or unideal project budgets.
Take experience and data from prior projects and implement this knowledge into current undertakings. These can help you allocate proper funding and decide what's realistic for your team.
By taking information and performance notes from past projects, you should be able to see trends across various parts of the project, different timeframes for tasks and project phases, as well as your team’s performance and hours used.
2. KPIs Matter, So Set and Track Them
The term "KPI" (key performance indicator) is commonly used in most businesses. These are metrics that quantify and measure the success of your business, objectives or projects.
KPIs should be considered critical to every project-related conversation. They should be thoroughly defined and understood. It's crucial that your team reaches a consensus which KPIs you'll be tracking, how exactly they'll be calculated, and what constitutes success. You'll need to log data like time and expenses on a daily basis while also looking at your billing and accounting information.
Since it's essential to check in on your KPIs frequently, you should use software like BQE CORE, which combines all the data you need and makes its analysis straightforward.
3. Change is inevitable - Be Prepared
Changes and revisions are usually inevitable throughout projects. While you don't want to over accommodate every single change (especially if they're unnecessary), you do need to have a system for managing all modifications.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is the importance of having standard processes and procedures set into place. Establish these methods before embarking on your next project.
4. Communicate Frequently and Clearly
Establish a clear, set method for dealing with internal requests, as well as client requests. It's imperative to make sure all communication is documented and tracked, most applicably in a technology platform, and goes through the proper chain of command.
Additionally, understanding the needs of your employees and clients can go a long way in the realm of successfully collaborating on projects. Poor communication is a project budget killer. Don't let that be the contributing factor to going over budget.
5. The Right Project Management Software Makes a Difference
Tracking projects and their budgets is far more efficient and accurate with the right software. Being able to log all data collaboratively on a daily basis such as the project management tasks themselves, as well as time and expenses and billing and accounting information can allow for seamless management.
If you're using a project management software like BQE CORE, not only can you track all of this, but you can also compile all of this information into specified reports and share data that's critical to the success and budget tracking of your current and future projects.
CORE also helps with job costing and budgeting for future projects by providing you historical data of past project performance.
What are your most successful strategies for sticking to project budgets? Let us know in the comments!
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