Cost up your project to make sure it can be properly resourced
Projects depend on sufficient time, staffing, expertise and facilities. Budgeting entails identifying the necessary stages and resources to complete a project.
The typical resources to be considered for project completion are:
- Adequate staffing
- Suitable office space
- Suitable equipment
- Access to information (e.g. archives and interviews)
- Access to and support from subject matter experts
- Specialist support (e.g. data analysis, programming)
- Writing time
- Travel and subsistence
Not all of these things are necessary for all projects, and some elements will always be available with no need for special budgeting. But, invariably a budget should be prepared for any project so that completion of each stage can be assured. This might be a rough budget to give yourself confidence that you have enough resources to see the project through, or it could be a more detailed budget where you carefully assess activities and resources needed each stage in order to complete the work on time.
A simple way of starting this can be to carry out a task analysis of the project to help define the rows within an EXCEL spreadsheet, and then insert each of the likely types of resources as a column header. Then each resource can be considered against each task step. The outcome will be a listing of the resources necessary to complete the project. This listing can then be used to negotiate with the person commissioning the work.
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