The Project Notebook

Controlling Project Costs and Risks – Fall 2011

Course Code: BUSA-40358
Full Title: Controlling Project Costs and Risks
Primary Instructor: FROHNHOEFER, RAY

Term: FA11    Units: 3.00
Start Date: 09/19/2011   End Date: 11/27/2011

Contact: JeanMarie Bond   jebond@ucsd.edu

Since 2002 I’ve been offering Controlling Project Costs and Risks as part of the UCSD Extention Project Management Certificate Program.  For the past three years it has been online, and the next offering is scheduled for 10 weeks beginning September 19.  Each week offers a new lesson which you complete at your own pace over the course of a week — it’s a true anywhere, anytime learning course with a guided, asynchronous discussion.  I’ve had students that were able to access the course and materials on their SmartPhone, though a regular desktop or laptop computer is recommended.

The PMI Educational Foundation offers a number of scholarships for training and professional development programs.  Please visit their scholarship site at http://www.pmi.org/pmief/scholarship/scholarships-professional-development.asp for additional information.

Project management and control is simplified by good planning right from the start. The course, offered a limited number of times each year,  is totally online and includes 27 hours of instruction.  Topics include:

  • Introduction to the BlackBoard System and Course
  • Selecting and Planning Projects
  • Controlling Project Costs with Estimates and Contracts
  • Measuring Project Financial Progress
  • Controlling Project Scope and Changes
  • The Role of Communications in Controlling Costs and Risks
  • Controlling Project Risks
  • Risk Management Tools
  • Cost and Risk Case Studies
  • Miscellaneous Topics
    • Conducting Project Reviews
    • Relationship Between Schedules, Costs, and Risks
    • Managing Projects with Fixed Constraints
    • Why Do Managed Projects Fail?
    • The Relationship Between Projects and Products

More information and online enrollment is available from the course catalog at: Controlling Project Costs and Risks.

Here’s what learners had to say about the Spring 2011 edition:

“No doubt, Ray is the best instructor for this course!”

“Ray was informed and knowledgeable on the topic at hand and presented informative lectures. Participation was encouraged and the class responded to that expectation very well. One of the most participating classes I have participated in . It really aided in the delivering the intended lessons.”

“I only can say that I haven’t had an instructor whose knowledge on the matter and his ability to teach in an online environment was perfect as with Ray.”

“I thought this was a very well executed class. There were no surprises. I look forward to another class with Ray.”

Hope to see you online at UCSD Extension soon!

Controlling Project Costs and Risks – Spring 2011

My popular UCSD Extension course, Controlling Project Costs and Risks,  is going to be available online through the BlackBoard Academic Suite platform beginning Monday, April 4th. It’s a true anywhere, anytime learning course with a guided, asynchronous discussion.

Project management and control is simplified by good planning right from the start. The course is totally online and includes 27 hours of instruction.  The course is offered a limited number of times each year, and covers the following topics:

  • Introduction to the BlackBoard System and Course
  • Selecting and Planning Projects
  • Controlling Project Costs with Estimates and Contracts
  • Measuring Project Financial Progress
  • Controlling Project Scope and Changes
  • The Role of Communications in Controlling Costs and Risks
  • Controlling Project Risks
  • Risk Management Tools
  • Cost and Risk Case Studies
  • Miscellaneous Topics
    • Conducting Project Reviews
    • Relationship Between Schedules, Costs, and Risks
    • Managing Projects with Fixed Constraints
    • Why Do Managed Projects Fail?
    • The Relationship Between Projects and Products

More information and online enrollment is available from the course catalog at: Controlling Project Costs and Risks.

Here’s what learners are saying about the course:

“I was so impressed with how organized Ray is. I hope he teaches more classes soon!”

“Ray is one of the best instructors that I have come across via ‘online’ learning. He is very well organized, knows the material inside out, and encourages students to learn as much as we can by providing very valuable and informative information. I highly recommend Ray as an instructor.”

“Enthusiastic about the material. Brought quite a bit of supplemental material to the course. It was nice that you could read as much or as little of it to augment the learning that you were doing.”

“Thank you for creating a class that was stimulating to the point and enjoyable.”

“PLEASE ask the other instructors to follow his lead. His course materials are well written, organized and make sense from the start.”

More information and online enrollment is available from the course catalog at: Controlling Project Costs and Risks.

Hope to see you online at UCSD Extension soon!

It’s Official!!

I have two very important announcements from The Project Notebook:

1) I’ve been selected by the Project Management Institute to participate in a group of 25 volunteer leaders from around the globe in the 2010 PMI Leadership Institute Masters Class (LIMC). This is a year long program scheduled to begin October 5-7 2009 in Orlando Florida. The program consists of three physical meetings in addition to virtual participation.

The class experience includes:
· Participant Evaluations: LIMC participants will complete a 360-degree Assessment. Additional psychometric tools and assessments will also be incorporated into the program.
· Coaching: Individual coaching sessions will be provided to each participant.
· Virtual Leadership Forums: Participants are provided with an ongoing and open forum for continued learning and discussion between the face to face meetings.

2) My next offering of Controlling Project Costs and Risks Online through UCSD Extension begins the week of October 5 too! This online course is delivered by the UCSD BlackBoard Learning System.

Project control is simplified by good planning from the start. Explore project selection, evaluation, initiation, and the planning that follows. Discuss project scope and its relationship to costs, as well as the cost estimating process. Learn how simple but effective tools, like MS Excel and MS Project, can help control project costs. You will also study risk management – including the nature of risk factors; methods of assessing and estimating impact of risk; and ways of avoiding or mitigating risks. Other topics include monitoring and reporting, sustaining commitment, resource reallocation, balancing time versus quality, performance measurement and change management.

Controlling Project Costs and Risks is now in its 7th year and offered fully online. The next online class begins on Monday, October 5th for 10 weeks. Enhance your project management career or complete the PM Certificate requirements for UCSD Extension. For more information or to enroll in the class, please visit Controlling Project Costs and Risks at UCSD Extension.

Practical Budgeting for Project Managers – Conclusion

Budget Risk Assessment
Once you have created your draft budget, it should be subjected to the same review process as estimates discussed within the course materials. A line by line review should look for all the risks. Depending on your company and/or client policy, having a 15-25% contingency to manage risks is normal. You may want to consider an additional contingency for unplanned risks.

Most budgeting risk is centered around people. There may be project team members with unknown skill levels, insufficient staffing, outsourced work which cannot be managed as closely, or unique, specialized resources which are difficult to obtain at the right times. Another standard risk for the construction industry is the environment and weather. Each risk will require evaluation and a potential budget adjustment to ensure the best possible budget is formulated.

Longer term, multi-year projects need to consider inflation. Take the case of the interstate highway system which was constructed over a 35 year period. Inflation during the 60s and 70s was high and drove the project significantly over budget. Another example of a construction project impacted by inflation was the “Big Dig” in Boston. A factor for inflation might be added to the budget through the risk management process.

Budget Presentation
There is obviously no one single format for budgets. You should select categories according to the expense types and in alignment with your company’s financial reporting. Here an an example:

Bibliography
PMBOK® Guide, Fourth Edition; PMI 20081
Project Management: Engineering, Technology, and Implementation; Shtub, Bard, & Globerson; Prentice Hall 1994
Quantitative Costs in Project Management; Goodpasture; J. Ross Publishing 20042
Project Management Jumpstart; Heldman; Sybex 20052
Identifying & Managing Project Risk (2nd Edition); Kendrick; AMACOM 2009

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© 2010-2012 Ray W. Frohnhoefer, MBA, PMP, CCP