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Microsoft Project 2007: The Missing Manual by Bonnie Biafore

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Comparing Costs to Your Budget

In planning your departmental retreat, suppose you have specific budget targets for certain cost categories, for example, $2,500 for travel expenses, $500 for printing, and $1,000 for conference room rentals. Using the new Project 2007 budget resource feature, you can define your budget for different categories of items. You can then group your resources to compare your budgeted costs to your planned costs. This way, you can easily see your travel budget of $2,500 side by side with your planned costs of $3,700, and immediately see that your next goal is to find a way to trim those travel costs.

Budget resources are great for comparing budgeted costs against the planned costs for cost resources. When it comes to budgeted labor costs, however, it's a different story. For labor and equipment costs (work resources), you can enter only budgeted work amounts, not costs. So instead of a labor budget of $10,000, you have to enter an overall work amount like 200 hours. Knowing what amount of work to enter can be tricky when different work resources all have different cost rates. The box on Entering budget totals by time period provides a workaround to this challenge.

In this section, you'll learn how to set up budget resources to compare to your planned costs and work. This setup is an involved five-step process, summarized as follows:

  1. Create and designate budget resources.

  2. Assign your budget resources to the project summary task.

  3. Enter cost and work amounts for ...

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