This is probably a no-brainer, but if you don’t have the funds, you won’t be able to execute your projects the way you want them to. Effective budget management is vital to ensuring you meet your project goals and deliver the end product within schedule. And even if you’ve secured the funding for your project, you want to make sure that the money won’t run out halfway through the development phase.
One of the most challenging aspects of project management is managing the budget. You have to stay on top of so many moving parts, and it’s easy to lose sight of the small details. Going over budget can also have disastrous consequences, not only for the project but for the organization as a whole.
In a perfect world, we can just have a mobile-app outsourcing company to take care of our problems. But if you have to keep the development project in-house, you will have to learn how to manage the project budget properly.
1. Planning is everything
The project plan is the starting point of any project. The document details every component of the project, from the starting phase to the closing. Ideally, it should be reviewed and approved by all the relevant stakeholders to minimize points of contention later.
When crafting the budget, you need to make sure it’s in line with the goals and timelines of the plan. Budgets often are a limiting factor, but if done correctly, it can also serve as a tool to improve the chances for success. Consult with the team first before writing the budget proposal to cover all the bases.
2. Minimize scope creep
So you have an approved project plan and budget, and start working. The first few weeks go swimmingly, and you just achieved your first milestone. Then you meet with the client, and things begin to change. Maybe they’re not satisfied with the artwork, and they want to go in a different direction. Or they want to add new features that weren’t in the original plan. All these changes can affect your initial budget.
While a few changes are to be expected in any project, scope creep occurs when the original project plan isn’t detailed or specific enough. You want to be as specific as possible when outlining the development process and the associated costs. You can even prepare for scope creep by adding breathing room to your budget.
3. Use budgeting software
If you’re still relying on a paper ledger to keep track of expenses, then you’re doing it wrong. A budgeting software makes it easier for you to manage your budget and allows you to track all the costs without having to go through thick stacks of receipts and paperwork.
You need to be proactive if you want to stay on budget. Start by creating a comprehensive project plan that has been approved by key stakeholders. Budget flexibility also helps in managing scope creep. Finally, digital solutions make it easier for managers to keep track of their budgets.