Chris Croft
Project Management

The 12 Steps to Successful Project Management


Define the Project

List the tasks

Estimate times and costs for each task

Find the critical path

Consider crashing or overlapping critical tasks

Draw Gantt (bar) chart

Calculate resource requirements over time

Assess risks, and prepare action plans

Monitor progress to the Gantt chart

Monitor cumulative cost

Communicate progress and changes

Review: learn and praise

About The Author

10. Monitor cumulative cost

  • You may get figures on spend to date from Accounts. These may or may not be out of date, inaccurate, and/or categorized into sections that are not helpful.
  • If you don’t get figures, or they are not suitable, you will need to keep your own records of your expenditure – perhaps on a spreadsheet.
  • Remember that comparing expenditure to date against planned expenditure to date is MEANINGLESS!! If you are underspent it could be because you really are spending less than planned, or because you are running late. Comparing the spend status with your coloured-in Gantt chart showing progress will give you the full picture.
  • Beware of late + overspent looking OK financially. This is the commonest, worst, hardest to spot, and hardest to recover.
  • Useful measures are Schedule Performance Index (are we keeping up?) and Cost Performance Index (are we spending more than we should, per task?).
  • You should also have estimates of expected completion date and forecast cost at completion. If you are managing project managers you could ask for these each month.