8 February, 2022

Project Cost Management and Self Preservation | Video

Project Cost Management is a popular topic. Not because people enjoy it, though. Mostly because people don’t know how to do it. And it’s not part of many Project Management training courses.

This video is safe for viewing in the workplace.

This is learning, so, sit back and enjoy

My History with Project Cost Management is Unusual.

My father was a Shopkeeper and was always cautious with money. And that rubbed off on me. So, I found speaking and writing about project cost management difficult because I find cost management so… obvious. Not easy: I know there are a lot of sophisticated tools. But I do it almost by instinct.

No one Taught me Project Cost Management.

I kind of figured it out for myself.

And, as a practicing PM, back in the 1990s and the early 2000s, I had pretty poor tools to work with. My firm’s Management Information System (MIS) was poor for project cost control. This was despite the firm being accountancy-based, and organized to deliver projects. 

I know they changed the system shortly after I left. But as a result, I have never worked with a sophisticated Project Management Information System. (PMIS – careful how you say it).

In fact, when I was managing project costs, I resorted to creating my own spreadsheets. And these were multi-million-dollar projects! 

I took a lot of time learning how budgets and cash flows work, and how to build robust spreadsheets. I also spent time with those spreadsheets, to get a deep understanding of the numbers and what they meant. 


This was time well spent. My bosses and my clients took a profound interest in Project costs. And nothing pushes cost management up your priority list better than strict oversight. 

As a project manager, I had two sets of performance measures against which I was primarily judged:

  1. Client satisfaction 
  2. Financial metrics.

Getting good at cost management was a matter of self-preservation!

Carefully curated video recommendations for you:

What Kit does a Project Manager Need?

I asked Project Managers in a couple of forums what material things you need to have, to do your job as a Project Manager. They responded magnificently. I compiled their answers into a Kit list. I added my own. 

Check out the Kit a Project Manager needs

Note that the links are affiliated.

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For more of our videos in themed collections, join our Free Academy of Project Management

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Mike Clayton

About the Author...

Dr Mike Clayton is one of the most successful and in-demand project management trainers in the UK. He is author of 14 best-selling books, including four about project management. He is also a prolific blogger and contributor to ProjectManager.com and Project, the journal of the Association for Project Management. Between 1990 and 2002, Mike was a successful project manager, leading large project teams and delivering complex projects. In 2016, Mike launched OnlinePMCourses.
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