Forecast Scheduling - Cost Modeling with Project Online - course

For those who want to create Cost Models of their projects, or those who are experienced users of Microsoft Project 2019 or Project Online Desktop Client. The course is suited for: project schedulers, project team members, project managers, project controllers, project control officers, and project engineers.

Our courses can be a Live-online classes, Self-paced classes or In-person classes:

  • Live, online class: You will attend 4 live session of 3 hours each (12 PDUs). These sessions will be recorded, so you can easily catch up on a missed session.
  • Self-paced class: you will review the recordings of a live, online class, have a live Q&A session with an instructor and submit exercise solutions to the instructor (12 PDUs)
  • In-Person class: live sessions delivered by an instructor in-person, mostly onsite at larger clients (14 PDUs)

About This Course

We define a ‘Forecast Schedule’ as a ‘valid, dynamic, robust model of the project to forecast it continuously’.

A 'Forecast Schedule - Cost Model' is a fully resource- and cost-loaded schedule that predicts the aggregated expenses of the project over time as well as the total cost for the project continuously. Cost models support project portfolio management.

The overall goal of the course is to learn how to create Cost Models of their project (that incorporate and include the Time Model and Workload Model). Cost Models are cost-loaded schedules that support financial management and portfolio management.  The content of the course is restricted to scheduling a single project in Microsoft Project.

Each Participant Needs to Get

  • A Kindle eBook version of the NEW textbook 'Forecast Scheduling with Project Online 2018' available here as of Mar 31st, 2020
    The Kindle eBook costs USD $59 (of which Amazon keeps 70%) NOTE: Unlike for all our previous courses, as ProjectPro, we decided to NOT ship paper books to course participants any longer (because of COVID-19 and the environment). You can still buy the paper book from our website if you prefer it. If you have the green 2018 book already, you don’t need to buy any book.
  • The free Kindle Reader software for your smartphone, laptop, or desktop computer: available here 
  • A computer loaded with Project 2019 or Project Online Desktop Client. If you have the 2016, 2013 or 2010 version you can attend the course without problems. If you have Project 2007 or earlier, we recommend you download the free evaluation copy of Project 2019.

Each Participant Will Receive

  • NEW a free one-year license for our 'Forecast Scheduling App' that performs about 86 checks for Cost Models in an automated fashion and helps you improve your schedule.
  • An electronic certificate with 12 PDUs (live-online and self-paced classes) or 14 PDUs (in-person class) upon completion of the course
  • An opportunity to earn the 'Forecast Scheduler – Cost Modeling' certificate of competency and earn an additional 20 PDUs (see Certification for more information)

Learning Objectives 

In this course, you will build onto your Workload Model to convert it into a Cost Model. After this course, you will:

  • Be able to create a valid, dynamic and robust workload model of your project to forecast it continuously
  • Be an expert in optimizing cost-constrained project schedules: the NEW concept of a ‘Cost-Critical Path’.
  • Be able to create custom reports with regards to cost forecasts (as well as time and workload projections)
  • Know how to efficiently update the schedule during project execution to continuously forecast the total project cost (as well as finish date and workloads)

Course Topics 

From Workload Model to Cost Model

  • Add the 6 C’s: Capital (budget), Charge Accounts, Cost & Material Resources, Charge Rates, Charge Rate Escalation, and Cost Accrual
  • First you create a budget (the target) and then you create a dynamic model that forecasts the total cost of the project to compare against the budget

Budgeting Costs

  • Creating Budget resources for categories of expenses (a.k.a. ‘budget line items’): e.g. capital, internal labor, external labor, material, service
  • Assigning Budget resources to the Project Summary task
  • Creating a budget view by category of expense

Modeling Costs for Forecasting the Total Cost

  • Task-related costs
  • Resource-related costs
  • Assignment-related costs

Task-related costs: Fixed Cost Contracts

  • How to model fixed cost contracts (task-related field Fixed Cost)
  • Enter Fixed Cost on deliverables or activities

Resource-related costs

  • Types of resources in the real world: human, material, facility, equipment and service resources. Service resources can be: royalties, goodwill, travel, etc.
  • Types of resources in Project Online: Work, Material and Cost.
  • How to match real-world resources with the types in Project Online:
    • Human resources: Work
    • Material, facility and equipment resources: Material
    • Service resources: Cost

Legal issues with entering actual salaries of employees:

  • Using average, blended rates instead
  • Averaging is ok when forecasting!
  • Creating categories of resources (roles) with similar cost rates: Generic resources
  • How many categories to create?

Human resources:

  • Generic versus actual resources: when you use each?
  • Part-time, full-time and group (team) resources
  • Types of cost: fixed costs and variable costs (i.e. period cost, per‑unit cost, per‑use cost)
  • How to model each type in Project Online
  • How to model resource rates that vary over time (Cost Rate Table)
  • What if a resource has a different rate for each client? Cost Rate Table 

Assignment-related costs:

  • How to enter consumption rates for bulk resources (Material) used on tasks (i.e. ‘pour concrete’ or ‘pull cables’)

Optimizing: How to Decrease the Cost of your Project

  • The formula: Cost on a task = fixed cost (task) + fixed cost (resource) + material cost (resource) + labor cost (resource) + service cost (resource)
  • Process for optimizing the Cost (as well as Time and Workloads!)
  • Eight ways to bring down the cost

Creating One-page Cost Reports … Always!

  • How to defend a visible cost-buffer to your project sponsor or client
  • Use the Reports ribbon to create a Budget versus Actual cost report
  • Develop custom cost Views with Budget versus Actual and Expenses over Time (Cash Flow) and Budget versus Actual over Time.
  • How to re-use cost reports and views elsewhere using the Organizer

Earned Value

  • Review: What is Earned Value?
  • How to set up an Earned Value system in Project Online
  • Issues with Earned Value in Project Online and workarounds for most issues
  • Add-ins for solid Earned Value reporting (without issues)
  • Create custom cost reports: Earned Value