How to compare costs to your baseline?
I just wanted to tell you how you could create an easy view for cost tracking. This view is one of my favorites so this one we also have included in the template we give you in our e-course.
Microsoft Project Introduction Course
With this custom view, that we call Cost vs Baseline you can learn from your actual costs against baseline. The symbols will tell you how your costs are doing compared to the (current) baseline.
Meaning of the smileys
- Green smiley = value has not changed
- Amber smiley = value has increased, but not more than 10%
- Red smiley = value has increased by more than 10%
- Green minus symbol = value has decreased, but not more than 10%
- Amber minus symbol = value has decreases by more than 10%
Hovering over the symbol will show you the result of the calculation: cost / baseline cost. Notice that this is also done for summary tasks.
A value higher than 1 means that the current cost of activities is more than previously estimated for the project: we have lost money!
A value between 0 and 1 means that the current cost of activities is less than previously estimated for the project: we have earned some extra buffer!
Although a value between 0 and 1 is of course good news for the project, we consider this to be an estimate that is not so good, as these funds could have been freed up for other tasks or projects earlier.
At some of our customers, these symbols are used for process improvements. Their goal is to have more green over the years, meaning they become better in estimating! Cool right?
Where do you want to improve in your schedules? Share it in the comments below.