Walk the tightrope

Today's volatile economic climate has prompted a conservative financial mind-set for project managers in many sectors. The always-important task of controlling the budget has become a primary focus on virtually every project. This article discusses how communication and control may help project managers strike a balance between managing costs and meeting goals. It overviews how increased competition and savvier customers are creating a need for cost management that's defensive or conservative from a project's start. Then it details one of the first steps when taking on any project: understanding costs and identifying risks. The article describes how to provide an accurate assessment of realistic goals at the outset of the project, specifically noting how to set an accurate project cost baseline and how to ensure consistent tracking against the budget throughout the project's execution. It also examines the final component of a defensive project strategy: the allocation of contingency reserves. The article dis
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