4castplus Blog

4castplus Blog

Michael Wilson

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29 29, 2013

Respect for the Expeditors

Hands up if you don't know what an Expeditor is

Oh don't worry - you're not alone if you're not too sure what an expeditor is or does. The expeditor is just that quintessential guy-behind-the-guy that plays a pivotal role in successful project execution. That's all.
The management of critical path items in large construction projects usually involves the coordination of multiple events coming together at exactly the right time. In order for work to be completed smoothly, you need the crews, equipment, materials, drawings, instructions, etc. to all be there at-the-ready, with all preconditions and preparations met, at precisely the right time. For most organizations, the responsibility for the logistics in making sure this all happens without a snag, is perceived as the job of the Project Manager. While true, the project manager is the face of project coordination, there’s a lot going on behind the scenes that enable the project manager to achieve the success they’re looking for.

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05 5, 2013

How do you Figure out a Realistic Cost to Complete?

Project Owners spend an extraordinary amount of time trying to get an accurate reading on all the costs to complete for a project.  On big projects, it’s hard enough determining what’s been spent to date, nevermind remaining. Gathering the right information to calculate forecasted spend can be tricky to do and requires good tools & processes to piece together a realistic estimate of projected costs.

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24 24, 2013

Statistics show 88% of Spreadsheets have errors. Do yours?

The best thing about Excel is that it’s so flexible. The worst thing about Excel is that it’s so flexible. With enough effort and programming, people can bend and twist Excel into doing almost anything. The challenge with that, as many people know, is that lurking inside every spreadsheet are errors that elude the creator. Some errors can be minor, but many errors are much greater in magnitude and can lead to executives making critical decisions based on bad math.

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25 25, 2013

What is SaaS and What's in it for You?

Ever wondered what SaaS really means?

SaaS means “Software as a Service” and is both a licensing model, as well as a software product delivery model. SaaS is not that new, but it is becoming more popular as cloud-based applications are flourishing. It might seem new to some, since it's a departure from the more traditional “On-Premise” software applications.

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29 29, 2013

The WIP Report - It's CFO Candy

Why the WIP Report is so Important

In addition to effectively managing the costs and schedule of your project, it’s critical to stay on top of your Work in Progress or WIP.  WIP is critical to monitor. You, your CFO and your investors need to know just how profitable your project is, how much of the project has been funded by your customer, and how much has been financed by you.  Combining WIP information with project profitability and performance metrics, will give you a complete picture of the financial health of your project or your program.

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29 29, 2012
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27 27, 2012

Time-Phased Budgeting is Critical for Project Controls

The challenge with any construction project budget that doesn’t utilize the advantages of time-phasing, is that the project manager won’t know exactly when money is anticipated to be spent on the project. And neither will the CFO.

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05 5, 2012

Why EVM Matters

Earned Value Management?

When asked about where their project stands against initial budget and schedule, most project managers will have a pretty good idea. They’d be able to tell you something like, “We’re running quite close to budget”, or “We’re almost half done”. However, without the tools and tracking to provide sufficient substance to those statements, gut-feel assertions like that are often dangerous guesses that can lead to cost overruns and delays. Earned Value Management provides the tools and techniques to tell a project manager where he or she really stands in their project. It can not only report on how much over/under budget or ahead/behind schedule a project is; it can also inform a PM as to how a project is trending, so as to better predict schedule and cost remaining to complete their project.  This provides the project manager a solid grounding on current status along with a good estimate of projected final results & timing.

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