Project resource management
a) Direct costs are the costs that are directly attributed to the cost of an activity. They are directly involved in the performance of such an activity. They include direct material purchases, direct labour cost and other direct costs, which can be attributed to a certain activity/ a process. Here, the direct cost includes, the cost of software, the cost of direct labour, force and other direct labour costs made on this project.
Direct material purchases
Cost of software $670000
Cost of 6 [email protected] 3250 each is $19500
Cost of backup software at $4500 each is $27000
Direct labour (at $ 54 per labour hour)
2 programmers each 40 hours is $4320
1 database manager for 60 hours is $3240
2 project analysts for 250 hours is $27000
1 operations analysts for 20 hours is $1080
1 interface manager for 20 hours is #1080
1 networking analysts for 50 hours is $2700
Total of direct project cost is $(670000+ 19500+ 27000+4320+3240+27000+1080+1080+2700)
General administration costs are the cost whose expenditure cannot be directly attributed to a specific activity. However, for this project, all expenses/ costs are manifested to be direct/ exclusively affiliated to the project hence they have not been featured in this project
b) Time phased budget is plan of action, which shows various components of activities in an organizational project in relation to the various cost components. This can be illustrated as
Cost of software 603000
Maintenance of software 67000
Backup software 27000
Database manager 3240
Project analysis 27000
Operation analysts 1080
c) In determining this budget, the team had to use various sets of data. Firstly, the importance of market cost of software inputs was considered. In all cases, it’s important for an organization to estimate a budget using the actual cost of a product or a service. This will help to have an overview of the appropriate cost of these products or activities. Either, the financial outlay is an equally important variable to consider when approximating a budget. For the team, importance was therefore attached to the financial constraint, which could be used to finance the project. Budgets are limited to a specific cost variable. Therefore, a person should always ensure that he works out his budget within the limits of this financial constraint. (Hanniqan, Browne, 2000)
d) The accuracy of these estimates was influenced by many factors. Broadly, a number of risks can act to influence the accuracy of a budget. Firstly, market risks and uncertainties will act effect to a budget. At the market, are various sets of risks and uncertainties whose influence can highly affect the actual state of a budget estimate. These markets are such as the product, labour, and money markets. Within the product market are the various risks that work to bring disequilibria in the supply and demand of the goods and services. These changes are normally in abrupt/ incidental in their occurrence. With such market instabilities, the equilibrium state of the supply and demand is consequently affected. Previously, the stable interactive forces of the demand and supply help to determine the equilibrium quantities and prices. With the resulting trends of instabilities, such budget approximates (prices) will be destabilized which results into a varying state of the budgeted from the actual price of goods.
The equilibrium state of the money market works to determine the stability in supply and demand for money. However, in case of instability within the economy, this equilibrium is affected resulting into a changing scale of the money supply and demand. Such a case will determine various states of a countries currency purchasing power (inflation and deflation).
For this budget therefore, its accuracy could be highly affected by the changing states of the money market (the effects of money supply and demand on its purchasing power)
An important factor within the project cost is labour. Labour supply and demand is a factor of consideration in approximating the budget. The price of labour can be affected by the changing states of the market supply and demand for labour. Such changes will affect the pay (wages) for labour within an organization. For this budget, the forces within the market could otherwise influence the labour cost. (Badiru, 1993)
The priority concept could be of a high influence on the accuracy of the budget. Depending on teams understanding on the priority concept of various cost elements, accuracy would have been compromised in a case where the cost variable was entered in a biased manner. Some cost factors could have been assumed more important than others, which would not be the case.
Different political risk variables affect the cost factors of budgets. This is where, various political shocks may act to affect the state in which various cost results of the market system would be. These are examples of the various government and political regulations that affect the costing system of various commodities and services. Different political risks also affect the purchasing power of the countries currency. The purchasing power of such a currency is an important factor in determining the accuracy of a budget. Since budget is a plan of expenditure for a certain amount of money, the allocation is however vulnerable to changes depending on the changing prices of the requirements of the budget. The approximate level of risk premiums and allowances allocated by the budget. For accuracy in budget, a risk premium is allowed that helps to capture any external shocks that would therefore affect the actual state of the budget. However, this depends on the interest of the budgeter with varying premiums levels for such different budgets. For each premium, the final accuracy is different in regard to how such premiums would be able to capture these external shocks.
E) Before engagement into a budget exercise, the micro and macro factors should be considered. This is in the relevance of the issues that the project would have an influence at both within and outside environment. To this team, this concept application was not an exception. Within its micro approach, the team observed the influence of the project budget in relation to the external environment. It considered the various components that were to be related between the project and the entire national outlook as a whole. Since this is a hospital project, the broader community within the state will use it. The intensity of the project is depended on the scale of the service to be given as output by it. The scale of the project is been done in the recognition of the users to be served by the same. The material cost, the quality and intensity have also been subject to consideration in setting the budget.
To the micro-level importance has therefore been importance in determining this project. The micro-level consideration has been through an analysis of the factors (in terms of facilities and resources) working within the hospital that depended of profit. Due to the variety of the resource factors, a specific size of a software project could only have been hoisted by the hospital facilities. With this aspect in mind, the project budgeting and evaluation has therefore been done with the hospital’s resource variable adequately in mind. The intensity of the facility affiliated to the project is in congruent to the holding capacity of the resources. This has been the team’s view of optimal resource allocations for most optimal benefits. With this concept therefore, the team budgeted the project with an understanding of the relative benefits that would come as service output of the project in relation to the resources. Lack of optimal costing would lead to lower service output of the project in relation to the cost input. (Martin, 2002)
Lack of optimal costing would lead to lower service benefits given out by the project. Either, resources include the holding capacity of the hospital facilities. Importance has also attached to the purchase of project inputs that would adequately lead to a maximum output, efficiency, quality and fast data processing by the software project.
f) Within the project were a number of constraints that were highly affecting its efficiency. Basically, the constraints fall both within macro and micro level of the project. Firstly, the hospitals resources constraint was all an important constraint of consideration. The team understood that any un-optimal allocation of the project that would not concur with the project resource capacity was costly. This was the firstly consideration within the teams budget schedule for the project. In its understanding therefore, it felt that any un-optimal project expenditure was highly risk for its future benefits. Considering this however, the allocations were done in accordance to the prevailing resource situation of the hospital.
Either, financial constraint fetched an important factor in consideration to the cost expenditure for the project. On recognizing the limited supply of the finance for the budget, the allocation were done on priority manner, with the most important cost factor been employed. Sourcing of material and other projects costs were budgeted in correspondence to the most economical purchasing costs for these variables. Costing is done on the cheapest scale possible through the most quality manner.
With the impact of both the market and political risks factors as constraints in consideration, the team could not compromise on their priority. To the team, these risks played an important role in determining the accuracy of the budget plan. It therefore employed various risk premiums and allowances as a variable to capture the external shocks that could be on influence to the structure of the budget. Within their budget scheme therefore, a miscellaneous cost variable could not have been left out whose importance was to cater for any changes in the exact cost perimeter of project cost.
Hanninqan, C & Browne, M (2000) Project Management : Going the Distance. International Journal of Instructional Media, Vol.27
Badiru,A(1993) Qualitative Models For Project Planning, Scheduling and Control.Westport,CT: Quorum Books.
Martin (2002) Managing Projects in Health and Social Care. London: Routledge.