International Institute for Learning, Inc.
PM Core and Intermediate Courses
Practicing Project Cost Management
A Clinic for Honing Cost Estimating, Budgeting and Controlling Skills
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Traditional Classroom
Course No.:
1 Day
7 PDUs / 0.7 CEUs
Virtual Classroom
Course No.:
Two 3-hour sessions
6 PDUs / 0.6 CEUs
  • Basic project management training or an equivalent experience base
  • Familiarity with Earned Value Management (EVM) concepts
Course Level:


About the Program
Practicing project cost management is both a science and an art. It needs a structured approach with a steady hand, especially early in the project. And then at some point, when you are ready to present your baseline budget to project stakeholders, it needs a flexible attitude and a creative mind to gain consensus on and then manage to a target that enables your team to meet project objectives. How to strike that balance is critical to successful project cost performance.

This workshop provides practical skills, concepts and principles you can count on to improve your personal skills and in turn, help you to support your team in reaching higher project cost performance levels. It is designed to have a 70 to 30 interactive ratio, meaning that 70% of the time that you spend in this workshop is dedicated to:

  • Class discussions
  • Individual, paired or class activities
  • Case study exercises

The goal of this course is to provide practical tools, techniques and application advice which will enable participants to more effectively plan, budget and control project costs. To reach this goal, we provide structured learning re-enforcement.

Who Should Attend

  • Project managers
  • Project team members
  • Managers of project managers
  • Functional managers and other project stakeholders impacted by project cost management

What You Will Learn
You’ll learn how to:

  • Determine an appropriate approach to effective cost management on specific projects
  • Critique and optimize a WBS for the purpose of effective project cost management
  • Analyze resource and schedule information for allocation into appropriate cost-estimating categories
  • Select and implement the most appropriate estimating techniques for a specific project’s activities
  • Develop an effective project budget that supports optimal cost performance
  • Establish a cost performance baseline and react appropriately to variances outside tolerance levels

Course Overview
Getting Started

  • Initial impact activity
  • Course orientation
  • Expectations

Foundation Concepts

  • What is project cost management?
  • Relationships to other project management (PM) knowledge areas (KAs)
  • Major project cost management deliverables

Defining Project Scope – Focus on the WBS

  • Defining Scope Management
  • Exploring the role of the WBS in project cost management
  • Analyzing the WBS for optimal project cost performance
  • Case study exercise: Analyzing the WBS

Planning Resources & Time – Schedule as Key Input

  • Critical inputs to cost management
  • Identifying and categorizing resource requirements
  • Identifying and filling resource gaps
  • Ensuring the project schedule has resource and cost integrity

Estimating Project Costs

  • Reviewing basic cost-estimating concepts
  • Developing conceptual (top-down) estimates and assumptions
  • Working with key drivers to produce more detailed (bottom-up) estimates

Budgeting the Project

  • Transitioning from estimating to budgeting
  • Achieving budget quality
  • Ensuring the budgets are risk-adjusted
  • Creating accurate time-phased budgets

Baselining and Controlling Project Cost

  • Developing the project cost baseline
  • Collecting actuals
  • Analyzing variances (EVM)
  • Trending, forecasting and responding to variances

Summary & Next Steps

  • What did we learn, and how can we implement the learning in our work environment?

Throughout this workshop, participants will be given an opportunity to reflect on the experiences that could best serve their needs in real-world projects. At the end of each module, after a summary of the topics covered, time and space are provided to compile “Aha! Moments” that represent reactions and learning that you will want to use when you return to your project environments. At the end of the course, we ask everyone to review their “Aha! Moments” and complete a Personal Action Plan, including both short and longer term objectives.

As the results of the interactivities and the learning opportunities are shared in the classroom, participants will come away enriched by much more than the information inherent in the courseware and the knowledge imparted by an experienced facilitator. Just as, or perhaps even more important than these traditional learning sources, this workshop maximizes the potential for learning from each other.

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