Do you have a budget for your project? This may seem a strange question however anecdotal evidence (and it is strong) from people who come along to our project management training courses have to deliver their project ‘at nil cost’. When they query with senior management what the budget for the project is they are told quite clearly that there is no budget, deliver it at NIL COST.
I however query whether this is the case as their time costs money; there is no such thing as free time in the project management world.
Do you count staff time as a cost?
From conversations I have had people do not take account of the time spent on projects. This is an uncomfortable area for some people as it shows:
• senior managers expectations are sometimes impractical as to what can be achieved without a budget
• time costs seem to be excluded in any business case calculations showing estimates and those of their senior managers are sometimes erroneous
• the need for project managers to assert that the project needs a budget or that the business case is flawed
However project managers are not alone in not thinking about the cost of their time is free. I came a cross an article by Fraser Hay. Fraser is a marketing wiz and runs The Results Academy.com , and in a blog he said:
“….they (the group) were spending £434,000 of their time a month trying to win new business, close deals and sell their professional solutions…however, it become quite apparent that they were not putting a value on their time, or keeping a track on how much time they were spending or investing in various marketing activities each month..including the time spent each month travelling to and from their one to ones, appointments etc.”
We all need to look at how we spend our time. We all need to account for our time. If we do not then we have real problems delivering effectively. Let’s start changing the mindset of those managers and companies who see delivery of key projects at NIL cost! It simply cannot be done!