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Project Management

5 Ways to Prevent Projects from Going Off Rail

April 13, 2021 By René de Jong

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Nobody wants their project to go off rail. Budget overrun can quickly turn into a nightmarish scenario for your team and your client alike.

But going over budget happens a lot, especially if you’re in the IT sector where statistically 1 in 6 projects will incur a cost overrun of 200%. Yikes!

Luckily, there are some easy solutions you can implement now to safeguard your organization from budget overrun. Check out our practical tactics that can keep your budget nightmares at bay forever!

5 easy ways to keep your projects within budget

1) Adopt a project management solution

No holds bar, this is the #1 thing you can do to protect your budgets. In this survey, 66% of organizations using a project management software solution completed projects within the original budget, versus 47% of businesses operating without one.

Sure, you can keep all your project facets living in different spreadsheets and platforms, but why would you want to?

A robust project management solution is going to give you the visibility and control you need to keep everything in check. And that includes your budget.

2) Use financial dashboards

Financial dashboards are not a panacea for keeping projects within budget, but they definitely come in as one of the top tools. Financial dashboards report key pieces of data-- in this case, budgets vs actuals-- in an easy-to-understand format. It’s all about interacting with the numbers. Dashboards feature visual representations of the cold-hard numbers, usually in graph format, and they encourage storytelling, a good sign that people can understand and act on the information they’re seeing.

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3) Automated alerts

Just like your Google Calendar will alert you when a meeting is about to start, automated alerts can keep you one step ahead when it comes to your project’s budget. While consistent budget monitoring via dashboards is fine and dandy, automated budget alerts act like a security alarm for your projects.

If a project is in danger of going off rail, an adept project management solution will be able to provide the automated alerts you need to stop the flood before it happens.

This goes hand in hand with predictive analysis, which your solution will need to leverage in order to offer this game-changing feature.

4) Get collaborative

Make sure you get your hands on an excellent collaboration tool to keep everybody in your organization on the same page. When team members can collaborate effectively and easily, there’s less wiggle room in the unknown. You’re way more likely to keep the project flowing at the pace it needs to be to stay in budget. If your team is communicating across multiple emails, apps, spreadsheets, etc., action items will inevitably slip through the cracks or fail to get the necessary priority.

5) Track time like a boss

A surefire way to go over budget is to lose track of time. With multiple contractors working on various projects, you’ll need a strong time tracking solution that can then integrate with your project management solution. This way, all the time spent working on the project by various individuals and agencies can be accounted for as it relates to budget. To track time like a boss, you first need an easy-to-use time tracking tool. The second step is to make sure your time tracking software integrates with whatever you’re using to manage your budget. If you put this safeguard into place, you’ll never go over budget because of time again.

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