Government Project Budgeting and Planning

Posted by Annette Grotz on June 13, 2018

Budgeting and Planning

Government contractors know their project managers have their finger on the pulse of their projects. The financial team, the business development team, the operations team and others, including the government agency’s contracting officer, rely on them for current project status, questions regarding the budget, the impact of the latest changes, and information concerning resource utilization.

Project managers in turn, rely on accurate, real-time data to ensure their reports echo what other teams are seeing. This allows them to be confident about where their projects stand and where they are projected to be. An enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that includes compliance support provides the needed framework. Such an ERP system helps to ensure that the contract type and associated costing rules are maintained throughout the life of the project.



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Well Known Tips for Project Managers Working on Government Projects

Starting with the end state in mind is a great way to begin planning your projects. Ideally before a government contract is even awarded, project managers should work with the business development team to provide information on resource availability and insights on past projects. Winning a contract is important, but being able to successfully deliver the project is of utmost importance.

Project planning is made easier and most effective when the ERP system allows for budgeting and planning to be built in from the start - into the proposal as set up by the business development team. This not only helps to avoid data re-entry, it also ensures project managers know what’s in the pipeline when planning resources.

Budgeting and resource planning, whether in the proposal stage or post award stage, can usually be done from a project or resource perspective. Project managers may want to plan for an employee or vendor employee to work on multiple projects at a time. Therefore, they need visibility into employee rates when building out budgets.

Exporting data into Excel and then importing it back into the ERP system can make quick work of manipulating data helping project managers work through numerous budget versions to select the best. From here, baselines can be established and built into the plan.

Communication is a fundamental skill that helps project managers succeed. While they need a project-based ERP system that enables them to accurately plan and report on projects, effective communication is a cornerstone of good project management.  Success is riding on them, so they need to demonstrate leadership and understanding, while also establishing clear expectations and accountability. 

The set up and structure of the project workflow approvals is one way to build in accountability. A detailed plan and accurate data instill confidence and provide clarity as to what is expected at each stage.

Budgeting and Planning Reports

As the project progresses, planning and budgeting efforts will be evident in the numerous reports shared across teams, as well as, audits the government agency may conduct.

From project status to resource utilization reports, the budget should be automatically updated as costs are recorded. An integrated ERP system ensures all teams are working with the same version of the data and that government contractual stipulations are known.

To stay on top of the budget, project managers need to see the data in a variety of views. Being able to drill in from a dashboard view to a more granular view will help keep assumptions at bay and any encroaching risks in view.

Project managers may at times need to see actuals, budget and variance in one report. In addition, when working with the government contracting agent, they often need to drill into detail at the charging level of the budget. Having all of the data in one system turns the government project budgeting and planning process into one that is consistently efficient from the proposal stage through delivery.

Learn More

Watch this Costpoint Budgeting and Planning webinar to get tips on how project managers working for government contractors use Costpoint to incorporate best practices  that enable them to more efficiently plan and deliver profitable projects.

About the Author

As a Product Marketer, Annette Grotz shares the exciting story behind Deltek Costpoint and what makes it the industry leading ERP solution for Government Contractors.