Cost management is simply the process of planning the company’s budget and controlling it as well as spending the money according to the budget. It calls for anticipating expenses to control production costs and offer products that are affordable to consumers. 

Startup companies apply the process at every stage of their business operation. For example, cost management implies making accurate projections during planning. It also includes closely tracking spending during the implementation period. Additionally, cost management entails making sure the actual cost of the project matches the budgeted cost. This helps startups predict expenditures and prepare the right budgets in the future.

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The future of every startup relies on the success of its projects. Cost management is a way to ensure that by empowering organizations to maximize resources. The application of modern cost management models enables managers to increase productivity, workforce competitiveness, and revenues.

Cost management encompasses several processes and tools, such as life cycle costing and value engineering, to estimate the costs and returns of a project. Life cycle costing looks at the stages each project or asset goes through and the expenses involved. Meanwhile, value engineering is concerned with searching for ways to derive the most value from equipment and resources used for initiatives.

Cost management software are available for project managers to ensure the success of their initiatives. Oracle, Hubstaff, and Microsoft are among the software vendors that offer their own cost management technologies. While such platforms facilitate the cost management process, they’re not a prerequisite.

How is cost management achieved?

Steps Involved in Cost Management

Cost management is made possible by the following activities:  

  • Resource planning: This lies at the heart of every cost management initiative. It refers to managing the human and nonhuman resources needed to make a project a reality, such as workforce skills, natural materials, and utilities.
  • Cost estimation: The goal of cost estimation is to prevent budget overruns and provide an accurate calculation of all assigned costs to each project element. Estimates are needed to be validated by company leaders, clients, and suppliers.
  • Cost budgeting: This mainly involves setting an approved budget for each task as determined by the resource plan and estimation. It aims to identify a cost baseline to keep costs on track.
  • Cost control: This refers to the practice of adjusting costs based on the predetermined budget. Its overall end-goal is to increase profitability.

Now that you have a better idea of how cost management works, does it involve any other processes?

Other Functions Related to Cost Management

Cost management also involves some pre- and postmortem activities for each project launch. These activities are:

  • Progress reporting: Keeping stakeholders in the loop is part and parcel of cost management. Progress reports allow leaders to determine whether costs and timelines are on the right track, or need some adjustments.
  • Earned value analysis (EVA): This is a project management procedure where managers evaluate project performance by comparing whether or not the anticipated output (planned value) and current output (earned value) match. Similar to other cost management processes, it seeks to understand if the team is under- or over-budget and hitting or missing targets. EVA also enables forecasting future project-related costs.