4castplus Blog

4castplus Blog

15 15, 2018

Vendor Accruals... Are You Keeping Track?

You thought you had your project all wrapped up when, SURPRISE, vendor invoices just keep coming in.  Whoops, things didn’t go as well as you thought. The costs on your project keep soaring, and you have to keep updating your project reports to your superiors.



Why Vendor Invoices Keep Coming In

This happens because vendors rarely invoice you at the time they completed the work, or delivered the materials.  The problem is, if you wait until vendors invoice you to show the cost on your project, then you’re in for a lot of surprises.

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04 4, 2017

Using Rules of Credit for Percent Complete in 4castplus

How do you figure out percent complete on a project? How is it you go about objectively assigning a reasonable and accurate measurement of how far along you are on an item of work? How many times have you asked, “Hey, where did that number come from?”

Most any manager, VP or director who has to oversee the work of his or her team of project managers has a big worry about this very thing. They know the temptation that exists for a project manager to leverage a little creative license with the numbers to make the project look a little rosier than it is in reality. Customers on the receiving side of a progress draw are equally aware of the tendency to big-up the progress numbers in order to fatten the invoice.

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26 26, 2017

Top 5 Challenges to Effective Cost Controls - and their Solutions

More and more companies are demanding greater visibility into construction project performance. Simply put, companies want to know that funds are being well spent and that their projects are going to run to plan.  As a result, increased demands are being made on project controllers to deliver timely and accurate cost and revenue forecasts to help shape business decisions.  But hey, you know all about this, don’t you?  

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31 31, 2016

Using CPI Forecast to Predict the Performance of Your Project

4castplus Construction Cost Tracking Software - Using CPI Forecast to Predict the Performance of your Project

Before I get started on the details, I’ll give you a quick definition: A CPI Forecast allows project controls professionals to predict the performance of their project using a subjective CPI value rather than the calculated CPI that’s determined based on past performance.

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01 1, 2016

What’s the Difference: Estimate-to-Complete and Forecast-to-Complete

Predicting the future is what we’re all about. But when do you use ETC versus FTC – and what’s the difference?

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04 4, 2015

EVM Explained: Planned Value

Many EV professionals would argue that Planned Value is one of the most important metrics in earned value analysis.  It provides the critical benchmark from which numerous other metrics are being compared.  

To give you an idea of what PV is, consider the example where you have a $1 million project that is scheduled to take 10 months to complete. An important aspect of project controls is to be able to plan out how that $1m will be spent over the 10 months. It obviously won’t be spent in one single lump. Neither will it be spent in an even, perfectly distributed rate over the 10 months.

The project spend will follow an uneven pattern – loosely following the schedule of activities and purchases that occur over the project’s duration. Planning the budget over the project’s timeline is called Time-Phased Budgeting. Planned Value is the value of scheduled project spend at a point in time of a project's duration.
Planned value is also referred to as Budgeted Cost of Work Scheduled (BCWS).

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08 8, 2015
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19 19, 2014

EVM Explained: Variance

“If you keep going at this speed, you’re going to be late!”

That’s my simplistic real-life analogy of earned value management. It’s a simple bit of math that we all do in our heads anytime we’re trying to get somewhere or finish something.  If you gave yourself an hour to get there and after a half-hour you’re still less than half-way, you’re going to be late.  It’s that simple. As simple as it is, it requires us to know quite a bit of information about the current situation in order to calculate late vs. on-time.  Just like EVM, you need to know 3 key elements to make the calculation:

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23 23, 2014

I Have Mastered the Art of Talking to Myself Without Moving My Lips

Hey, don’t laugh, it’s a key skill. The only creepy thing about it is I can look at someone right in the eye and be muttering to myself at the same time. And even though I have at least another 40 years before I’m at that station in life where muttering is just something you do,  I’m getting an early start because I’ve discovered that it has high value.  I’m not the first to discover this, as it turns out. Experiments have been done to prove that regularly talking to yourself is a positive thing: http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/04/25/talking-to-yourself-may-actually-be-a-good-idea/.

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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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