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Microsoft Project 2007: The Missing Manual by Bonnie Biafore

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Reviewing Cost Information

While planning your circus retreat, someone made it very clear that the maximum price tag is $15,000, and hinted that under $12,000 would be even better. Now that you've added tasks, resources, and any associated costs, it's time to see whether the retreat costs $12,000, $15,000, or a value that just isn't funny. Here's where you really start to see the value of entering costs in Project.

In this section, you'll learn how to review total planned costs for all project tasks. By extension, you get a handy forecast of your overall project costs. You'll also learn how to review planned costs for tasks, resources, and assignments, so you can analyze costs at the level of granularity you need.

Seeing Overall Project Costs

When you first compare your project plan's performance against the budget, start with a quick bottom-line snapshot. A single number for what your project will likely cost as currently planned tells you whether you need to delve further into cost containment, or can sit back and relax. This section shows a few ways to come up with that all-important number.

To get a reliable total project cost forecast, make sure you have the following information in your project plan:

  • Costs, whether hourly rates or per-use costs, for any work resources assigned to tasks

  • Costs for any material resources assigned to tasks

  • Costs for any cost resources assigned to tasks

  • Any additional fixed costs for tasks

Remember the garbage in/garbage out maxim. Your total project cost ...

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