Top 4 surprises that will blow your project budget

No matter how carefully you plan things, surprises always happen.
As project managers we need to ensure we are effectively managing our budgets and spending the money in a responsible manner whilst stilldelivering high quality results. Despite all the strategies and tools at our disposal, there are still a high number of projects that end up over budget, some drastically so, many of which have fallen victim to the nasty surprises our projects often present us with. Here are four of the most common things that project manager’s report as having completely blown their project budget.

1. Reworking
There is not much that can blow a projects budget in quite the same way as a rework can. Whatever the reason for the rework, doing the work all over again will invariably cost the same is it did to do it in the first place. Not only that, but it’s guaranteed to drain staff morale. Maintaining good communication with the client and other stakeholders can help to avoid this situation, and if you think the client has asked for a rework that is completely off scope, don’t be afraid to ask them to cover the cost.

2. Contractors
If you have the budget and need the help, there is no shame at all in outsourcing or getting in contractors to assist with the delivery of the project. The problem comes when you don’t have the resources to effectively manage these additional team members. Because contractors are charging for every minute they stay on site, if they are not kept busy, kept on track or used efficiently you could end up with a bill for way more than you budgeted for this part of the work.

3. Poor scheduling
Sometimes you can drastically improve your projects efficiencies by intelligentscheduling of tasks. For instance, if you were to walk into your kitchen to make tea and a sandwich, would it make more sense to make the sandwich and then switch the kettle on, or do things the other way around? Obviously it makes sense to switch the kettle on first, because then you can…

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