Searching for Effective Project Manager Tools

Many companies need to provide cost and time estimates to their clients before work on a project begins. The employees who are responsible for providing these estimates are called Project Managers. Project Managers have a variety of tools they can access for smooth performance. Most of these rely on the Earned Value Management (EVM) Model, which helps define the work, provide cost and schedule estimates, and tally up earned value to be compared to the estimated values for the true cost. Essentially, each manager must think about the base of the contract budget, the management reserve, the distributed and undistributed budget, and the various types of account budgets like apportioned effort, level of effort, and other planning packages.

Though the specialized lingo of these tools may seem complicated, it is not when each term is defined. The contract budget is a calculation of the project management base and the management reserve to equal the total price of the contract. Management reserve is not a monetary value but is used for unforeseen problems that may arise during the project. Apportioned Effort and Level of Effort are two basic methods for earning value in a project. The first is used to estimate historical factors while the latter measures time taken from the project’s beginning to the end. Level of Effort statistics are typically used for any management and administrative tasks.

There are various types of modifications each method uses; however, there are reasons for using the standard options provided as good business models. For example, when the standard Level of Effort formula is defined as Budgeted Cost for Work Performed (BCWP) and equals the Budgeted Cost for Work Scheduled (BCWS) it allows Project Managers to foresee any cost variance related to the estimate at completion (EAC). If a Project Manager uses the non-standard formula, there will not be any cost variance or early visibility of errors because the BCWP will always equal the Actual Cost of Work Performed (ACWP). This formula can end up hurting the project if it becomes more expensive than initially estimated; the client may not always be able to pay out extra money. For more details and scenarios about which Level of Effort method is better, visit this link: http://www.humphreys-assoc.com/evms/discussion-level-effort-earned-value-method-ta-a-56.html.