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How to manage a project with tight budget

A project with tight budget can run easily into three major interrelated constraints: time, cost, and scope The good news is that all this can be easily tackled.

However no matter how tough the situations get, as a contractor or a manager you have to overcome them and ensure you complete a project with tight budget.

Even before you enter the planning phase, address areas where your project could face changes at any point in the process. Since many project managers out there attribute their going over-budget to changes that occur along the way, hash out some potential scenarios first.

You can still deliver a successful project without compromising many resources. Consider the following advice:

Re-visit your project-planning phase
Identify aspects of your project that could be re-assigned to your staff members rather than contracted out. Communicate your budget constraints to your contractors and vendors, and find out if you can gain flexibility there. If you have a positive and/or longstanding relationship with the vendor, they may offer more lenience.

Re-evaluate the workflow
Resolving inefficiencies in the basic workflow structure can help alleviate both time and cost. Making sure that lines of communication remain open, that a system of checks and balances is in place, and that you are tracking the progress for future reference are just a few ways you can quickly optimise the workflow.

Go deep

When you identify a problem that is contributing to your budget getting out of hand, you may feel inclined to assign blame to your staff. Instead, meet with your staff and try to identify the deeper procedural failings that led to the problem.

Source more labour

While it may not be a popular decision, you and your salaried staff can work unpaid overtime to keep your project on track. Otherwise, consider hiring interns and volunteers who need the work experience and will do it for free.

Consider investing in budget management software. Options here will vary depending on which project management style you’ve employed. The common traditional project management system works well with simple scheduling platforms, but can also benefit from programs like Microsoft Project or Smartsheet.

Regardless of the project management system you follow, be sure to schedule regular checkpoints. The best way to fix a problem in your project is to identify it quickly before you begin to haemorrhage money.

Be creative
A multitude of small projects have found the extra funding they need through crowdfunding, which not only addresses the cost issue, but also acts as free marketing and community engagement.

Of course, crowdfunding is not appropriate for all projects, so use your best judgement there. Crowdfunding is often most appropriate for small personal projects or prototype development.

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