Have you ever experienced a project that has run over budget and you’re left wondering why? Setting a realistic budget at the start seems like the obvious solution. However, there are a string of other steps that can help you ensure your project finishes in scope and budget.
Read the Contract
Avoid and address any possible problems that may arise by carefully reading the contract before you sign. Have a clear understanding of the scope and the costs needed for each phase of the project. It’s important to ensure details are outlined in the contract like timeline, cost of materials, unique requirements, number of meetings, etc., to ensure clarity. Asking the right questions like “is it clearly stated what I’ll be receiving” and “what is the likelihood of the project extending” before signing could also save you money and headache.
Consider a Contingency Budget
Always expecting the unexpected will help prepare you for unforeseen costs. To do this, consider setting up a contingency budget. To help compensate for unexpected costs, time estimates, or unpredictable events, a contingency budget will set aside funding to help cover expenses not specifically listed in your cost estimate or that result because of unforeseen issues. Setting up a contingency budget alleviates the stress and surprise of covering unexpected costs.
Have a Scope Outline
Clearly understanding what is and isn’t included as part of your project will certainly help you stay within the scope and budget and avoid asking for additional requests that will cost you extra money and time. A tool to have at your side is a scope outline. A scope outline details all aspects of the project. Having it handy to review at any time can help answer questions like if something is already included in the project or if work is already going beyond the scope and timeline. Your scope outline should clearly and quickly identify a list of deliverables and when they will be completed.
Consider Needs Carefully
From the beginning of project discussions and throughout the duration of the project, be sure to consider your needs carefully, down to the very last detail. Identify what work, from your perspective, should or shouldn’t be part of the project. Failure to clearly and specifically consider your needs may result in increased requests or uncontrolled changes resulting in more money and a longer schedule.
Great questions to ask are “is there anything not included in the scope that you think should be and “if there happens to be scope changes, where would you expect them to be?” Ensure your communication channels are setup appropriately and your team has a process in place to request and approve scope, budget and timeline changes.
At WLC, keeping projects within budget and scope is of utmost importance for both our teams and clients. We’re here to help ensure your project runs smoothly, stays within scope, and doesn’t cost you more or take longer to complete than it should. Our teams are well equipped to handle budget and scope questions. Contact our team to learn more about how we can help with your project.