Benefits of a Time-Phased Budget vs Cost-Loaded Schedule

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Overview

This white paper defines the challenge all projects face: how do you accurately predict and report on the success of the project and still have time to actually manage it? The answer is by creating a Performance Measurement Baseline to plan, track, and report project progress against. In addition to being sound project management, a Performance Measurement Baseline is part of the ANSI Standard for Earned Value Management Systems (ANSI EIA 748-A). This standard requires projects to “provide for the integration of the program work breakdown structure and the program organizational structure in a manner that permits cost and schedule performance measurement by either or both structures as needed” (ANSI EIA 748, 2.1 Section E).
This paper examines the two most widely used methods to fulfill the ANSI requirement: Cost-Loading a Schedule and using a Control Account Time-Phased Budget. It outlines their core components and then provides a side by side comparison.

“Both the Cost-Loaded Schedule and Time-Phased Budget methods of establishing and tracking against the PMB are acceptable for meeting the ANSI Standard.  Both are based on tying budget and schedule data together.  Both provide reporting to analyze if your project will be completed successfully. However, by integrating the budget and schedule information into a control account, the Time-Phased Budget method reduces effort and overcomes many of the difficulties inherent in the Cost-Loaded Schedule.”

Introduction

In addition to being sound project management, a Performance Measurement Baseline is part of the ANSI Standard for Earned Value Management Systems (ANSI EIA 748-A). This standard requires projects to “provide for the integration of the program work breakdown structure and the program organizational structure in a manner that permits cost and schedule performance measurement by either or both structures as needed” (ANSI EIA 748, 2.1 Section E). This paper examines the two most widely used methods to fulfill the ANSI requirement: Cost-Loading a Schedule and using a Control Account Time-Phased Budget. It outlines their core components and then provides a side by side comparison.