Costs are incurred in every project, and it is important for project managers to know which types of costs affect their projects (Portny, 2010). Project costing is a key to making project decisions. Below are the costs, involved in this project:
1) Fixed costs – These are costs that are unchangeable during the lifecycle of the project (Portny, 2010). The fixed cost in this project is the cost of the computer, used to type my proposal and report.
2) Variable costs – These are costs that change in the course of the project’s lifecycle (Portny, 2010). The cost of storage device (flash disk); five biro pens and a ream of foolscaps, are the variable costs in the project.
3) Direct Costs – These are expenses that directly come out of the budget of the project (Portny, 2010). The direct costs of the project are transport costs to the various firms to conduct interviews, the cost of buying a statistical tool (SPSS) to analyze the data, and the cost of printing project proposal and report.
A Time-Phased Budget for the Project
According to Portny (2010), time-phasing of a project is vital in the achievement of efficient cost control. Time-phased budget is used to distribute costs across the project activities and the expected time of spending the budget. It simply consolidates the budget and schedule of the project. Below is the time-phased budget for the project:
Cumulative cost refers to the total cost, involved in a project (Gido & Clements, 2008). From the budget above, the cumulative cost of the project will be $3,000.
Areas in the Budget, Where Cost Cutting Can Be Made if Needed
The main area in the budget that require cost cutting is data analysis and report writing, which is allocated an amount of $2000. This is because I will have to purchase and install new statistical software (SPSS) for analyzing the data collected, and it is quite costly. However, the cost can be cut by buying either second-hand software, or bargaining with a data specialist to analyze the data at a relatively lower cost.
Identification and Assessment of One Major and One Minor Risk Inherent To the Project
Just like any other project, this project is not without risks. Failing to raise the required amount of money to fund the project is the major risk in this project. A minor risk would be the possibility of a computer virus deleting the file, containing the project report and the Power Point slides prior to printing of the report
A Contingency Plan for Each of the Risks
A contingency plan is a backup plan or an alternative strategy, taken in case the primary approach does not function as planned (Gido & Clements, 2008). Developing a contingency plans enables businesses to adapt quickly to the changes and remain operational. A contingency plan for the above risks includes: selling some of my personal belongings to top up the project money, in case I am unable to raise $3000, and saving the document, containing the report and Power Point slides in both a flash disk as well as in my Gmail account to enable me access the work anywhere so long as I am connected online.
Discuss and Explain What Is Included In a Detailed Project Plan
According to Dinsmore and Cabanis-Brewin (2010), a project plan is a formal document that guides the project implementation and control. The following are the information, included in a detailed project plan:
Project Mission Statement – The project manager should clearly define the mission he or she intends to achieve upon completing the project.
The Project Scope Statement – This is a vital project element that is used by project managers to summarize the expected results of the project, and the terms and conditions for performing the project activities. It includes project justification, objectives, assumptions as well as limitations (Dinsmore & Cabanis-Brewin, 2010).
The Project Deliverable – These are the quantifiable goods and services that are required to complete a project; project milestones, which are significant stages of a project, indicating when something is completed. They are usually measurable and observable, and require no effort or duration to accomplish (Dinsmore & Cabanis-Brewin, 2010).
Milestones – Milestones are important in every project to monitor the progress as well as to denote the achievements of the project.
The Project Schedule – This is a list of key elements of the project and their projected date of start and end. It is important in tracking the project milestones and budgeting for the project (Dinsmore & Cabanis-Brewin, 2010).
A Budget – This is a comprehensive estimate of the entire costs, needed to complete the tasks project (Dinsmore & Cabanis-Brewin, 2010).
Project Team, Stakeholder Roles & Responsibilities – In any project, it is important to write down the people who will be involved in the project and their various activities. This is important in knowing whom to contact in case a specific activity is to be carried out.
Two Reasons Why Scheduling Resources Is an Important Task
Scheduling resources is an important task because it helps to keep the resources that are required for completion of key project tasks from being exhausted; it also permits multiple projects tasks to be done at the same time, if they share the similar resources. In addition, it permits project managers to measure the impact of unanticipated occurrences (Dinsmore & Cabanis-Brewin, 2010).
A Description of How Outsourcing Project Work Can Help Alleviate Some of the Common Problems Associated With Multi-Project Resource Scheduling
According to Corbett (2004), outsourcing work helps not only to save time but also money, while still producing quality result. In addition, outsourcing also enables the project to get the needed project equipments and expertise, which translates to customer satisfaction and higher profits.