Updated: Oct 4
Avoiding project overrun is the key to ensuring a successful project, within the scheduled timeline and projected budget. The overall quality of deliverables can take a big hit if the project is finished over budget.
It’s the easiest thing in the world to say you plan to keep a tight budget, but project overrun can pop up in so many different ways that keeping costs low can feel like you’re constantly putting out fires.
The solution to this is to eliminate project overrun altogether, but how can you do that?
This is what we’re going to show you.
Ready to learn more? In this blog, we’ll cover:
WHAT IS PROJECT OVERRUN?
Project overrun occurs when a project’s actual cost exceeds the original budget. The result tends to be a deficit in the financial needs of the project, and can halt the entire project. Project overrun is a common occurrence in the SaaS industry and project management teams aim to address it with extensive planning and research.
WHAT CAUSES PROJECT OVERRUN?
Project overrun can happen for many reasons. It largely stems from poor planning before the project is even up and running. For more information on what causes project overrun you can read our helpful guide. If you’re in a hurry, we’ve highlighted some of the most common factors in lesser detail here:
HOW TO PREVENT PROJECT OVERRUN
Project overrun, along with any other expenses that can push a project beyond its agreed-upon end date and budget is something that a project manager must constantly be aware of. There are several ways a SaaS business can prevent project overrun. We take a look at these below.
Thorough project planning
The ultimate way to prevent project overrun is to plan against it before the project even begins. If your estimates are more accurate and meticulous planning has gone into it, you’ll be much more likely to stay within your budget.
Any project risks can be addressed with a thorough risk management plan, and you must take into consideration all potential scenarios. Utilize historical data, interviews and anything else that could be useful to paint this detailed picture. Once the plan has been laid out, ensure it is signed off by all of the project stakeholders so everyone is agreed on expectations.
Stick to planned scope
Scope creep is a major threat that will undoubtedly cause a project to overrun. Change requests can be frequent as well as annoying and will pile up on the desks of project managers. These can come from all directions, like stakeholders, clients, and even team members, anyone who has a say in this project and visualizes how they want it to end up. Many of these requests can be appropriate and could even benefit the project, but too many big changes can have a huge impact on the project, making overrun inevitable. It’s crucial to consider the bigger picture before you increase the project scope.
Use a project management tool
One of the more obvious points, a powerful tool will make a project manager’s work much easier, enhance productivity and increase efficiency. It also aids SaaS businesses in minimizing project overrun with the help of a scheduling tool like a Gantt chart or Kanban board to help keep the project on track.
Projects can be broken down into their component tasks and can be assigned to specific teams. Precursive has an added advantage of automation with the ability to receive real-time notifications as and when key stages in a project are reached. The ability to establish down or upstream task dependencies within Precursive helps to prevent any bottlenecks during a project. If one task is a prerequisite to another, this can be marked up at the outset of the work and modified at a later date. Task owners will then be notified automatically when the groundwork for their part of the project has been completed and they can make a start.
The real-time dashboard from Precursive is the perfect tool for tracking a project’s progress as it happens. Before a small issue evolves into a big problem that can risk project overrun, they can be resolved. The dashboard doesn’t just measure the progress of the project, but also the team’s workload and timelines for both planned and actual completion.
This is not only a big plus for your team, but for your customers as well, as you can keep them in the know throughout the entire project by sharing your onboarding plan straight from Precursive. There are no longer delays due to sending a spreadsheet back-and-forth every time the plan changes.
If you find that a project is spending more than originally planned, you’re going to want to respond by reallocating resources. You can even prepare for this eventuality by conducting thorough resource evaluations beforehand and assigning them where they will be most effective, especially for the most valuable resource you have in your arsenal: your team.
By assigning the most skilled team members, you have a greater chance of carrying out a more efficient and productive project. These resources might be more costly, but with sufficient planning of funds, you will likely save money at the other end when there are fewer issues to overcome.
PRECURSIVE CAN HELP WITH OUR PROJECT OVERRUN CALCULATOR
If you’ve experienced project overrun, or simply looking to avoid it in future projects, Precursive’s impressive project overrun calculator can show you how delayed implementations can affect the financial performance of your SaaS business.
The calculator can help you work out the impact on revenue and costs, giving you a better idea of the importance of delivering projects that are on time and within budget. Take a look today to begin planning your future projects and ensuring success.
You should now be much more versed with the steps you can take to reduce project overrun and therefore you should be able to tackle this if and when it becomes an issue within your SaaS business. A big part of reducing project overrun is a world class project management tool like Precursive to automate many of the processes and keep all stakeholders in the know.
To learn more about how Precursive PSA can help you manage projects effectively to avoid any chance of overrun, book a demo today!