Finding the Holy Grail of Cost/Schedule Integration

Posted by Megan Cacioppo on February 2, 2017

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It’s no secret that as your project schedule ebbs and flows, so too do the corresponding costs, resources and time phasing of the project. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to integrate your cost and schedule systems so updates could be realized in real-time, and decision making could be improved across your project – or even your portfolio of projects?

Well the little (okay, maybe not so little) know fact is that there is! And a few weeks ago, we made it our mission to help project teams end their search for this project management holy grail.

During a live webcast, PPM evangelists Kim Koster and Dan Demangos walked through the key benefits of cost and schedule integration, including enhanced predictability, profitability and overall project success. They also offered tips for how project teams can better architect projects to accommodate for true integration and the processes and tools that are typically required.

Here are some of the key highlights from the presentation:

  • Most project managers would rather have their arm cut off before they would freely agree to implement a cost/schedule integration model!
  • According to a poll taken during the webinar, the majority (58%) of companies in attendance do not have schedules that are coded adequately to support true cost/schedule integration.
  • The top five reasons to integrate cost/schedule include: 1) More reliable project execution; 2) A better chance of completing projects on-time and on-budget; 3) The ability to perform “what if” scenarios; 4) You can truly measure to the plan; and 5) It helps you report reality.
  • The fastest way to integrate cost/schedule is through a resource loaded schedule. 46% of attendees said they intended to integrate cost/schedule through a resource loaded schedule, but when asked what kept them from doing so, 33% said it is “too difficult,” 33% said they can’t because they have “no true schedule or cost tool”, and the remaining 33% said their “Project Manager doesn’t want to do it as there is no value.”
  • But the truth is, there is great value in resource loaded schedules! Some of the key benefits include: increased efficiency, as resources and coding provides the basis for automated cost/schedule integration (schedule drives the cost, and cost is in the right time periods); resources utilization becomes visible on your project or across projects; reports and graphs are available for all levels of your organization; and your “what-if” analyses can include both cost and schedule data.
  • Integrating cost/schedule doesn’t have to be hard. The Deltek PPM suite provides out-of-the-box tools that can end your search for this project management holy grail.

To find out more, I encourage you to check out the full webcast or contact us directly for a more personalized discussion.