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Microsoft Project 2007: The Missing Manual by Bonnie Biafore

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Reducing Project Costs

You've diligently entered costs into your project plan and either looked at the resulting cost totals as described in "Reviewing Cost Information" on Reviewing Cost Information, or compared your planned costs against your budget as described in "Comparing Costs To Your Budget" on Comparing Costs to Your Budget. If your costs are coming out to $110,000 when your maximum is $95,000, you have to figure out how to trim $15,000 from your planned project costs or heads will roll—most likely yours. How does one go about cutting thousands of dollars from a project? Answer: very carefully.

First, look at your cost assumptions to make sure mistakes haven't sent project costs into the stratosphere. Ideally, you correct the misplaced zero you find and everything becomes hunky-dory. The next line of defense is to reschedule tasks to reduce costs. You can also examine resource assignments to look for ways to cut costs.

Note

For more information about viewing costs in your project plan, including running cost reports, see Displaying task and assignment costs and Evaluating Costs with Reports.

This section discusses each of these cost-cutting techniques. However, if these methods aren't enough to solve your budget crisis, it's time to take a hard look at the budget itself and propose a change to the project budget, scope, or schedule.

Checking for Cost Errors

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