I have spent the last few days searching for an answer on how to use MS Project (2010 in my case) to estimate a project's cost via milestones that are split along a long program (2.5 years).

The client wants to pay us via monthly milestones on a fixed price contract, i.e., we deliver X at some month, be it a report or a piece of equipment, and they pay us project costs for that time period. These milestones are staggered, such as some may be 1 month apart, while others may be 3 months.

To date, I have the project laid out, loaded with resources, and can generate an estimated cost of the project as a whole or grouped tasks. What I would like to do is calculate the cost by "simply" dropping a milestones, i.e., at month 3, 5, and 12, and have MS Project spit out the costs of those time periods, i.e., all work performed in between those dates. In my example above, months 0-3, 3-5, and 5-12 respectively.

I have tried adding a lookup column with a milestone listed and then using GROUP BY and the Cost column, but it is difficult to use due to some tasks that span several milestones. Due the the high number of milestones and tasks, breaking each long task to individual milestones is unwieldy in both time to do it (especially when the schedule shifts) and makes it very difficult to read (some long tasks will need to be split amongst 10 or more milestones).

Any help is appreciated.


Of course, you post a question and then you immediately find the answer. I tried some new word combinations and found this that solved my problem:

If you have costs by task and resource in your project, here's how to see them by month.

Switch to the Task usage view (Utilisaton des Tâches")

Right-Click on the timescale, select Timescale

As Middle Tier, choose Quarters or Years

AS BOTTOM TIER SELECT MONTHS (that is essential)

On the Formt ribbon check (cocher) Project summary task


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