- Project Management Terms
- Agile - The Definition of Continuous Change
- Servant Leadership - A Key Leadership Style in Agile
- 6 Steps to making reasonable decisions
- What is the BOSCARD method
- PEST Analysis: How Political, Economic, Social, and Technological Factors Impact Your Business
- 49 Processes in Project Management
- What is Aggregate Planning in Project Management?
- 25 PMP Formulas you must remember to pass the PMP exam
- Example with formulas Earned Value, Cost Variance and Schedule Variance
- Example with formular Cost Performance Index (CPI), Schedule Performance Index (SPI) and Estimate at Completion (EAC)
- Example with formulas Beta Value in PERT, Expected Monetary Value (EMV) and Risk Priority Number
- Example with formular Variance at Completion, Estimate to Complete (ETC) and To Complete Performance Index (TCPI)
- Example with formular Standard Deviation, Communication Channels and Cost plus Percentage of Cost
- Example with formular Cost plus Fixed Fee, Cost plus Award Fee and Cost plus Incentive Fee
- Example with formular Return on Investment (ROI), Payback Period and Cost Benefit Ratio
- Example with formular Present Value (PV), Future Value (FV), Target Price and Point of Total Assumption
- Kanban Board - Agile Project Chart
- Gantt Chart - Roadmap Project Chart
- What is a Timeline View in Project Management?
- PERT Chart - The Most Popular Project Management Diagram
- Work-Breakdown Structure (WBS) Chart
- Flowchart in Project Management
- Cause-Effect Project Charts - Fishbone Diagram
- Burn-up and Burn-down Project Charts
- Bar Chart in Project Management
- What is Pareto Chart
- What is Pie Chart
- What is Control Chart
- What is Matrix Diagram
- What is Critical Path Diagram
- What is Cumulative Flow Project Chart
- What is Enterprise Environmental Factors
- What is Arrow Diagramming Method (ADM)
- What is Cost Baseline
- What is Cost-Benefit Analysis
- What is Cost Engineering?
- What is Cost Management Plan
- What is Cost of Quality?
- What is Cost Overrun?
- What is Cost Performance Index?
- What is Cost Plus Fixed Fee Contract?
- What is Cost Plus Incentive Fee Contract?
- What is Cost Plus Percentage Of Cost Contract
- What is Cost Reimbursable Contract?
What is Cost Overrun?
DEFINITION OF COST OVERRUN?
A cost overrun refers to a situation where the actual cost of a project or activity exceeds the estimated or budgeted cost.
It occurs when the expenses incurred during the execution of a project are higher than originally anticipated.
Cost overruns are common in various fields, including construction, engineering, manufacturing, and software development.
WHAT DOES COST OVERRUN INCLUDE?
Cost overruns include any additional expenses incurred beyond the originally estimated or budgeted cost of a project or activity. These additional expenses can encompass various elements, including:
These are the expenses directly associated with the project's execution, such as labor costs, material costs, equipment costs, and subcontractor costs.
If these costs exceed the estimated amounts, it contributes to the overall cost overrun.
Indirect costs are expenses that are not directly tied to specific project activities but still incurred during the project's execution.
Examples include project management costs, administrative expenses, overhead costs, and utilities.
Change orders refer to modifications or additions to the original project scope or specifications.
If these changes result in increased costs, they are considered part of the cost overrun.
Contingency funds are typically set aside to account for unforeseen events or risks that may impact the project.
If these funds are utilized due to unexpected circumstances, they contribute to the cost overrun.
Delays in project completion can lead to additional costs, such as extended labor expenses, prolonged equipment rentals, and increased administrative overhead.
These time-related costs can be considered part of the cost overrun.
If a project runs over budget, financing costs such as interest payments on loans or extended financing arrangements may be incurred, further contributing to the cost overrun.
It is important to note that the specific components of a cost overrun can vary depending on the nature of the project, industry, and contractual arrangements.
Effective cost management involves identifying, tracking, and analyzing these different cost elements to understand the causes and implications of the overrun.
WHY DOES COST OVERRUN HAPPEN?
Cost overruns can arise due to a variety of factors, such as:
|Poor initial cost estimation||If the initial cost estimate for a project is inaccurate or incomplete, it can lead to cost overruns when the actual expenses are higher than anticipated.|
|Scope changes||Changes in project scope, including additional requirements, modifications, or unforeseen challenges, can result in increased costs.|
|Unforeseen circumstances||Unexpected events, such as natural disasters, market fluctuations, regulatory changes, or supply chain disruptions, can impact project costs.|
|Inefficient project management||Inadequate planning, scheduling, resource allocation, or coordination can contribute to cost overruns.|
|Inflation and market conditions||Changes in economic conditions, inflation rates, or fluctuations in material and labor costs can affect project expenses.|
|Contractual issues||Disputes, delays, or changes in contractual terms and conditions can lead to increased costs.|
Cost overruns can have significant consequences for projects and organizations, including financial strain, delayed completion, compromised quality, and reputational damage.
Managing and mitigating cost overruns typically involves closely monitoring project expenses, revising estimates when necessary, implementing effective project controls, and employing risk management strategies.
HOW TO CONTROL COST OVERRUN?
Controlling cost overruns requires proactive management and a focus on identifying and addressing potential cost drivers throughout the project lifecycle.
Here are some strategies to help control cost overruns:
|Regular monitoring and tracking||
Implement a robust system to monitor project expenses regularly.
Compare actual costs against the budgeted costs and track variances.
It allows for early identification of cost overruns, enabling timely intervention and corrective actions.
|Effective project planning||
Develop a detailed project plan that includes a breakdown of tasks, timelines, and resource allocation.
Ensure that the plan is realistic and aligned with the project's objectives.
Regularly review and update the plan as necessary to maintain control over project costs.
Identify and assess project risks and develop strategies to mitigate or manage them.
Assign responsibility for risk management tasks and closely monitor risk indicators.
Timely identification and proactive management of risks can help avoid costly surprises.
|Change management process||
Implement a robust change management process to evaluate and approve any changes to the project scope or specifications.
Assess the impact of proposed changes on costs and timelines before approving them.
Ensure that change requests go through a structured review and approval process to control scope creep and associated cost overruns.
|Vendor and contractor management||
Establish clear expectations and requirements in contracts with vendors and contractors.
Monitor their performance closely to ensure adherence to budgeted costs and timelines.
Regularly evaluate vendor and contractor deliverables to avoid cost overruns resulting from inefficiencies or subpar work.
|Cost control measures||
Implement cost control measures, such as setting spending thresholds, reviewing and approving expenditures, and closely monitoring the use of project resources.
Establish protocols for managing unexpected cost increases, including additional approvals or escalation processes.
|Continuous communication and collaboration||
Foster open communication and collaboration among project stakeholders.
Encourage regular status updates and information sharing to ensure that everyone involved is aware of project cost performance.
Promptly communicate any emerging risks or potential cost overruns to enable timely decision-making.
|Lessons learned and knowledge sharing||
Capture lessons learned from past projects and cost overruns.
Share this knowledge across the organization to improve future cost estimation, risk management, and project planning.
Use historical data and insights to refine cost estimation techniques and improve cost control strategies.
|Review and analyze cost overruns||
Conduct post-project reviews to analyze the causes and factors contributing to cost overruns.
Identify areas for improvement and develop action plans to prevent similar issues in future projects.
Continuously learn from cost overrun experiences to enhance cost control practices.
Without the ability to control cost overruns, individuals or organizations may experience significant financial strain.
Exceeding the budget can deplete funds allocated for the project, leaving insufficient resources to complete it or meet other financial obligations.
It can result in cash flow issues, debt accumulation, or even financial instability.
|Project delays and disruptions||
Cost overruns often lead to project delays as additional funds, resources, or approvals are sought to address the budgetary shortfall.
Delays can impact project schedules, cause missed deadlines, and result in dissatisfaction among stakeholders.
It may also have a cascading effect on subsequent projects or dependencies, causing a ripple effect throughout the organization.
|Compromised project quality||
When cost overruns are uncontrolled, there may be a temptation to cut corners or sacrifice quality to mitigate the financial impact.
Reduced budgets can result in lower-quality materials, inadequate resources, or rushed workmanship, ultimately leading to subpar project outcomes and customer dissatisfaction.
|Increased project risk||
Lack of cost control increases the overall risk exposure of a project.
Uncontrolled cost overruns can create a domino effect, leading to additional risks and challenges. '
These risks can include strained relationships with suppliers or contractors, regulatory non-compliance due to budget constraints, or increased project uncertainties.