11

TL;DR Don't think "time tracking." Think "cycle time" instead. Kanban Should Measure Cycle Time Generally, Kanban is not about measuring "activities" at a granular level; it is about measuring cycle time for a pull through the entire system. There is legitimate debate about whether this time should include lead time (e.g. time spent in the ice box) or ...


9

This would be possible in a project that has an overhead cost that is calculated by a fixed rate over the entire length of the project. One example I can think of is a building construction project. The job trailer, on-site temporary utilities, and on-site security fencing is a dollar-per-day rental cost. If you crash the schedule, then the total cost of ...


9

Stop work immediately and get the work under a contract. Get a detailed Statement of Work that clearly identifies what is getting delivered, what activities will take place, what finished looks like, how you will invoice, how they will pay, etc. Your issue is not methods or communications or convincing them. You have no contract or are not enforcing your ...


8

Stop billing them for the activities they complain about and roll the costs into what they are willing to pay for (deliverables). You're not cheating them--you're not burdening your clients with the details. Your clients want the sausage, not the details of how it's made. Also, if your client doesn't want to pay for the requirements gathering activity, ...


7

The S curve is cumulative. At the end of the project, when resources begin to drop, you expect to see the slope of the curve at the top to decrease as compared to the middle of the project when resources are high. But you will never see the curve go down because it is cumulative.


6

If it were me, I'd answer the following questions: What is the parent company's vision, mission, and guiding principles? What is the parent company's top ten priorities for this year, next, and in five years? What is the IT department's vision, mission, and guiding principles? What are its critical success factors? What does the IT department's current SWOT ...


6

The issue with using formula is that it will provide an extremely precise, deterministic value that lives in a range of probabilistic values. Although extremely precise, no single formula will give you a high degree of accuracy, i.e., all formula have varying degrees of accuracy and thus are useful. But that means you need to use several of them so that ...


6

TL;DR Your job as a Product Owner (PO) or Project Manager (PM) is not to have all the answers. Your job is to have a vision, and to communicate options to stakeholders and business decision-makers. Analysis and Solutions What if somebody is asking a salary increase? if I keep him, I have higher costs. Hence probably my budget will blow up. I can try to ...


5

You have to build the rate up from the ground. You are going to have both a cost rate and a sell rate. Start with cost. You need to bundle your resources into labor categories. To determine your cost rate, you need to determine all the direct salary and benefit costs of a particular labor category, including the average hourly rate plus benefits. As ...


5

You can't possibly answer this question without knowing (very) specific context. Things you should take into consideration: Salaries of your people. And I don't mean gross salaries only but also including all the salary-related taxes, e.g. in Poland where I live employer's real cost is about 1,2x of what employee's gross salary is (and about 1,7x of what ...


5

TL;DR you aren't selling the right thing Is there a way I can prove, on paper at least, that we need to have more resources? It doesn't look like your goal is to prove anything. Even if it was, it would be rather pointless: in most cases a person who you have proven a point to won't like you after that. You aren't going to get more resource by proving ...


4

In no particular order: Make sure you understand clearly what your intention is, and convey that at the start of the discussion as an opener. It helps if your intention is tied minimally to your own emotions, and has the company's interests in focus. Even if your environment has an open door policy (come in and talk any time), send out a meeting request ...


4

Should a project Manager include his own cost when costing a project? The cost of project management is in the project of course, but as far as I can tell the project costs are rarely decided by project managers; the customer decides how much he is willing to pay for a certain project. Then executives calculate a bit and end up with a budget for the project....


4

“Contribution Margin” and “Earned Value” examples Mark covered the concepts well. Here are some examples that might help: Here is a Contribution Margin example where a company is selling a product for $2.00 each with its variable cost being $0.80 each. During one month the company sells 50,000 units. So the revenue is $100,000, the variable cost is $40,000 ...


4

All in all, I really would like to understand what Budget Cost actually means compared to EAC and the Opportunity Cost for example and who is responsible for calculating it? Budget Cost is essentially the estimate of total project costs at the start of the project. Since this is an estimate it can (likely will) be somewhat different than the Cost of the ...


4

The U.S. GAO has developed a 440 page guide for cost estimation of Capital Programs Here is the GAO (Government Accountability Office) Cost Estimating and Assessment Guide - Best Practices for Developing and Managing Capital Program Costs. What they call 'Capital Programs' include infrastructure projects. According to the GAO: We developed the Cost Guide ...


4

With this kind of situation, the only quote I would provide is an hourly cost, my weekly availability, and maybe my total duration I'd be willing to commit. In other words, time and materials. If unacceptable, walk away.


3

You can achieve this using JIRA (which will manage your issues/bugs/backlog) and Greenhopper (which will handle the Kanban side of it). Devs (or PMs) can log work on the issues that they're working on but, as others have mentioned, it might not be quite right in a Kanban context. We use it in Scrum, where it's helpful for calculating burndown and velocity, ...


3

My advice is to use whatever time tracking system you currently have rather than add unnecessary bells/whistles to Kanban because: It will cost you less in terms of time, effort, training and dollars. It will avoid giving people one less thing to complain about when you implement Kanban, so acceptance of this change will be easier. It will avoid trying to ...


3

Disclaimer: I'm the author of Breeze. I had a similar problem where I internally use Kanban for software development but still needed somehow to bill clients based on estimates and actual work done. So, being a developer, I made a simple tool called Breeze. It's basically a Kanban board with time tracking and reports. Initially I called it Trello and ...


3

What you are describing here is a complete violation of the procedures to do EV. The baseline of yoru schedule and costs cannot change in this manner. There are specific reasons for and methods to change the baseline but it can never be changed in the manner this PM describes. You can strike multiple baselines and do EV monitoring against each baseline. ...


3

I think in most cases this is already decided by contract or corporate policies, so PM is just following it. From my experience in most cases PM cost is part of project cost, mostly indirect cost...


3

All labor and materiel resources required to successfully deliver a project are part of the contract budget base. This would include project management processes, which typically is between 5% to maybe as high as 20% of the total budget base, depending on industry and other factors. PM processes include the PM role, as well as project PM control roles. So,...


3

Your professor's wrong. Would you do that for any other cost? For the cost of labor? What happens if the project continues? Do you tell your customer, 'oh sorry, we thought the project would fail so we're going to need another $52,000 for rent'?? There is always uncertainty in estimates, more uncertainty with some things than others. For rent, ...


3

I'm a bit confused. These terms come from two quite different disciplines. Contribution Margin is used in management accounting and is the marginal profit per unit of sale. I've never encountered contribution margin in my (admittedly short) career in project management. Earned Value is a concept that is limited to earned value management, which is very ...


3

I'd advise against adding some type of margin to your targets. It seems a lot of folks like to do this, but it is unreliable and just adds unnecessary costs to your budget. First, there is no such thing as an accurate or correct target. Your estimate should ALWAYS be a range. For example, for task A, your workers estimate that this work will take between ...


3

Due to your post in PMSE, I assume you are taking about network diagrams (vs. SW-engineering activity diagrams)? For network diagrams, it's like in normal language usage: A follows B, so A is the successor of B, or B is the predecessor of A: B -> A See http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dependency_%28project_management%29


3

Is the "upper management" your management or theirs? If yours, you need to have a discussion with them that makes absolutely clear that treating all "non-programming activities" as non-essential costs them money. If theirs, with whom do you have a contract? The client or their management? Either way, you need to make clear that these non-programming tasks ...


3

If you need to track costs, track it at the Scrum Team level rather than at the individual level. A simple way to do this is to take a blended cost per person and multiply it by the number of people in the team and the duration of sprints. For example: Average cost of staff is £600 per day and Scrum Team 1 has 7 people in it and do a two week sprint. ...


3

TL;DR Contract disputes are a way to manage financial risk to the company, not schedule risk. As a purely practical matter, you can't really transfer schedule risk away through contractual means, no matter what the contract may say. In the short term, your immediate options will be based on a business analysis of your company's needs and alternatives. Also,...


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