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Integrated Cost and Schedule Control in Project Management

Integrated Cost and Schedule Control in Project Management

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Integrated Cost and Schedule Control in Project Management

2/5 (1 rating)
491 pages
4 hours
Oct 1, 2010


The Practical, Precise, and Proven Approach to Integrated Cost and Schedule Control!
This trusted project management resource, now in its second edition, includes expanded coverage of how integrated cost and schedule control works within the federal government. With the renewed emphasis on transparency in government, the processes detailed in this book are particularly relevant.
Building on the solid foundation of the first edition, this updated second edition includes new material on:
• Project planning in the federal government
• Integrated baseline reviews
• Federal requirements for an ANSI/EIA-748 compliant earned value management system
• Federal requirements for performance reports
Integrated Cost and Schedule Control in Project Management, Second Edition, continues to offer a practical approach that is accessible to project managers at all levels. The step-by-step presentation, numerous case studies, and instructive examples give practitioners relevant material they can put to use immediately.
Oct 1, 2010

About the author

Ursula Kuehn, PMP, EVP, is president of UQN and Associates, Inc. A certified project management professional since 1995 and a certified earned value professional since 2006, she has been a project management consultant and trainer to government agencies and commercial corporations. She holds an MS in operations research and a master’s certificate in project management from The George Washington University.

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Top quotes

  • If a work package from another project that is similar to the one we’ve identified in the WBS of our current project can be identified, then an analogy can be made to the previous work package’s actual effort information collected via timesheets.

  • Conversely, if the project deliverable level roll-up of the cost estimates is lower than the budget for the deliverable, then either the bud- get is lowered or additional parts of the deliverable are added or current parts are enhanced in quality.

  • Once we have defined the scope of what the customer needs and wants, we need to develop cost estimates for each of the parts of this scope so that the customer’s expectations can be balanced to their budget for the project.

  • This estimation of effort, along with any materials, equipment, etc., trans- lates into a cost estimate for the work package, which can be used to perform a bottoms-up roll-up of estimated costs to balance the scope with any predefined budget.

  • The goal of the planning process is to produce a network schedule, to adjust the network schedule to the time the deliv- erable is needed, and to balance the schedule to the scope to the budget for the triple constraint.

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Integrated Cost and Schedule Control in Project Management - Ursula Kuehn PMP, EVP




Before exploring the various tools and techniques of integrated cost and schedule control, a number of basic concepts must be understood: What is success? What makes work a project? What does project management mean? Who are the people involved in the project? How important is documentation to the project?


To understand how integrated cost and schedule control techniques work, we first have to understand the psychological aspects of success. We all have mortgages, rent, and/or car payments to make, which means that we all have to get up each day and go to work to earn the money to make these payments. One of the best feelings in the world is getting ready to go to work knowing that you’ll be spending your day working on something that will be successful. This is such a good feeling that it puts a spring in your step. You have a tendency to get more done because you want to keep the good feeling going. We all can think back on how it felt to work on a successful project.

The flip side is that one of the worst feelings in the world is waking up and getting ready to go to work knowing you’ll be spending your day on something you know will not work, or will not get done on time, or will cost too much, or no one will really want or use, or with which the customer will be unhappy. This is not a good feeling. Not only is there no spring in your step, but you’re probably taking longer to get ready for work than normal. You have the tendency to get less done because you don’t really care. We all can think back on a project we worked on that had no chance of being successful and how that felt.

A basic understanding of what makes work successful is the most important part of what integrated cost and schedule control is all about. Whether you are the only one working on your project or you have a team helping you, understanding success—even if it is the delusion of success—is what enables the work to get done. We all need a sense of accomplishment.

Success is the goal that is tantamount to everything we do to control the cost and schedule of the project. That means we must define the project and everything we think might happen on the project as clearly and realistically as possible. We must make sure that we describe the work unambiguously and that the work is attainable. We must use all available tools and techniques to control the project to the best of our abilities. This does not mean that we cannot make the work challenging, but it is self-defeating to expect something to be accomplished that simply cannot be accomplished.


Another basic understanding required for integrated cost and schedule control is an internalization of two basic definitions: What is a project? and What is project management? A lot has been written about these two basic concepts, yet misunderstandings abound.

The Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)¹ defines a project as a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service. The PMBOK® Guide readily points out that organizational work generally falls into one of two categories, operational work and project work, and that projects are undertaken at all levels of the organization.

Tom Peters, in his book In Pursuit of Wow,² defines all work as project work in the new economy. He says that work should always add value, and that if it adds value, it is a new, unique endeavor.

Many organizations seem to think that larger projects should no longer be known as projects, but should be called programs instead. This view often stems from the notion that we have to promote project managers to the higher position of program manager. If the work has a beginning and an end and creates something new and unique, it is a project—no matter how big or small. A program, on the other hand, is usually made up of a collection of projects, but goes beyond the completion of the individual deliverables, through the operation and support of the deliverables, to what is often called the end of service life of the deliverables. Understanding that cost and schedule control techniques can be applied consistently to very large, complex projects as well as to small weekend house projects will go far in making the work proceed more easily and efficiently.


Project management is not a title, nor is it a job description. In fact, it is a process that should be learned and understood by every level of the organization. It is amazing how many people call themselves project managers but have very little understanding of the process. Worse yet are the many upper-level managers who believe they are above learning the process. These upper-level managers do not seem to grasp that the better all the members of their organization, including themselves, understand the project management process, the higher their chances for overall success within their organization. Instead many of these upper-level managers impede the opportunity for success by not supporting the project management process.

Everyone can do and does projects. Aside from what we do at work, we all have projects underway at home, in our neighborhoods, and at our clubs or places of worship. Planning and managing these projects enable us to get them done. How many times have you set out to accomplish that Saturday morning project, just to find yourself running back to the hardware store in the afternoon? If you had used good project management processes, that might not have happened.


Anyone who can help or hurt your project should be viewed as a stakeholder. Your customer, the users, your management, your team, vendors and suppliers, or other departments that you will depend on, can all hurt your project if their needs are not considered. For example:

The customer who is never happy with the outcome and constantly wants more

The user who doesn’t use the deliverable of your project

Your manager who doesn’t provide the support your project needs or who micromanages your project because he or she doesn’t trust your abilities

Other internal functional managers who refuse to support your project or to give your project the priority it deserves

Your team members who do not buy in to the project

Support organizations, such as Purchasing or Finance, that refuse to support the requirements of your project

Vendors, contractors, and suppliers who do not meet their agreements and do not deliver.

Each stakeholder has specific needs that must be determined, considered, and possibly included in the scope of the project. Getting the stakeholders involved and enthusiastic about the project is crucial to the success of cost and schedule control.


The project team is a subset of stakeholders who can either do major damage to your project or be your most valuable asset. The project manager’s leadership abilities will determine which way this goes. The project manager needs to understand and appreciate that unless he or she can do all the work of the project, a project team will be involved.

Some of the best project managers realize that the less autonomous decision making they do during the initial and planning stages of the project, the more leadership stature they maintain throughout the project, because no one can accuse them of making that bad planning decision. They encourage involvement of all the team members, which in turn encourages buy-in to the project objectives and ultimately to a focus on the cost and schedule control of the project.

The composition of the project team can change substantially throughout the project. For example, the initial project team may be a group of subject matter experts who have the customer familiarity and technical knowledge to assist in defining the overall deliverable. This composition of the team should change based on whether a different potential team member has the skills or knowledge to take over the definition or decomposition of the deliverable from a certain point in the project. The composition of the project team could go through many iterations until the entire scope—down to the true definition of the work involved to complete the scope—is defined, at which time the resource that can best do the work should be identified and should become a member of the project team.


The project manager is you: you, who has been asked to get something done and to have it done by 2:00 p.m., or by Friday, or by the end of the month; or you, who recognizes a need and believes that you can take care of that need in time to make a difference; or you, who has taken on responsibility for delivering that unique (be it ever so slightly unique) product or service.

It doesn’t matter how big or how small, if the product or service is needed, is something unique, and is required to be delivered by a certain time, it falls into that definition of a project. The words I need it by… is what makes it a project. The first step of taking on the responsibility of being a project manager is to make sure that whoever is asking for it realizes that it is never free. Producing anything takes time and time is money; the management challenge is to make sure the requester can afford it and that the time is efficiently planned to get it

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