team, puzzle, star, bubbles, conversation, chessThis article is part of a series on the PMBOK areas of knowledge. You can read the previous articles here:

The last area of knowledge of the PMBOK (Project Management Book of Knowledge) covers the best practices to manage the relationship with stakeholders.

Specifically, this area of knowledge focuses on identifying people, groups or organizations that may affect or may be affected by the project and analyze their expectations and its impact on the plan.

Manage project stakeholders in a collaborative environment

It is essential to keep in mind that clients too are stakeholders, as their satisfaction is crucial to the success of a project. This means that projects could re-start from 0 if the client’ expectations are not taken into account early enough.
This problem was so frequent in software development that led to the development of agile methodologies, which seek a fluid communication with customers.


Advice for Stakeholders Management


1. Identify the parties or public interested in the project

In this phase of project management, it is important to focus on identifying the stakeholder from the very beginning, since this will allow us to obtain an overview of the stakeholders map and the problems that some actors may pose at a later moment.

2. Make sure that all interested parties agree and know their roles or responsibilities

Before starting the development of a project, it is essential that all the actors involved know the rules and assume the commitment and responsibility expected of their functions. From the beginning, we will identify team leaders, work teams, and their roles.
Good pre-planning facilitates a smooth development and helps to avoid conflicts in the future. If everyone agrees with the requirements and objectives, he or she will work to keep pace with the events and avoid delays; delays that only will be translated into extra costs and unwanted results.
On the other hand, rules must also ensure fluid communication with customers, so that they have sufficient information to evaluate the project development and express their point of view. If necessary, the circumstances under which a client’s opinions may involve changes in the project can be agreed upon.

3. Get consensus on the application of changes to the project

Changes in a project are inevitable since contingencies always arise that require the modification of some criteria or change in scope. The more complex a plan is, the more susceptible it is of being changed during its development. Therefore, it is important that all participants agree on how to handle the changes.

4. Favor communication

Establishing communication guidelines at the beginning of the project will improve the flow of the same. The team will be able to determine, since the beginning, the frequency of the communication and its content, that should preferably be concise and focused on the progress or issues that affect the project.

5. Give permanent visibility to the project teams

Transparency is a fundamental virtue in all project communication. It does not make sense for a project manager to have secrets.

It is important to define and communicate the vision of the project early on, as teams become more involved and the risk of losing focus on the project is mitigated. This way you make sure that any decision is coherent with the vision and objectives of the project. This point is very important because it helps reduce risks, errors or loss of focus.

6. Involve interested parties in the entire process

Although we assigned functions and teams from the very beginning, interested parties (stakeholders) should be always involved, so that they can participate in the problem solving or the revision of the requirements.

7. Reach an agreement with what has been done

In order to avoid entering a circle of changes and stagnation that could jeopardize the development of the project, it is important to reach agreements on the work done.
In an organization that manages strategic projects and internal transformation, Stakeholders Management goes beyond the project closure, since its delivery enables capacities that could benefit other levels of the organization. Otherwise, the value delivered is not internalized and won’t become a competitive advantage sustainable over time. This approach has been called Benefits Realization Management (BRM) or Benefit Management.

8. Empathize with the other interested parties

All project participants are stakeholders, but the stakeholder map also includes parties that do not actively participate in the development of the project. You should take them into account and empathize with them as the capacity for empathy is a crucial skill for the success or failure of a project.
The analysis of a project should not be limited to the interests and influence of stakeholders but should include how to identify their objectives, circumstances and the way they perceive the project.
Empathic analysis helps us to discover hidden variables that show us the way to solve problems or overcome obstacles that we may encounter.

Receive the latest blogs directly into your inbox


financial calculations, budget planning, costs definition, dollars, clock, gameProject cost management is one of the most important sections of the Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK) and seeks, from a theoretical and practical point of view, to determine and control the costs involved in the project execution. This is an important area of knowledge since no project can be considered without having set aside sufficient resources for its execution.

For this, time is an influential factor, since the cost estimation will in principle require a project working with timelines; that is, short-term goals are proposed for each phase.

Take reign of all the financial aspects of your projects with ITM Platform. Try it now for free.

It should be considered that if the total period for the delivery of a project is taken as an independent variable, there will be different risks associated with costs as a dependent variable. Namely: if you decide to carry out the project in the shortest possible time, you will be incurring the maximum cost, which requires impeccable coordination between all processes and a very high risk exposure in the appearance of deficiencies in coordination. If, on the other hand, the decision is made to extend the duration, the exposure to environmental risk increases: external circumstances are more likely to affect the initial budget.

How to estimate the costs of a project

The actions that revolve around this go beyond a mere quantitative estimate by a manager or project management team, since internal and external aspects that directly influence the achievement of the project must be carefully estimated.

Obviously, costs cannot be estimated without an exhaustive and accurate collection of requirements. The first reference of the project manager, therefore, is the Work Breakdown Structure (WBS).

  • Define the cost of each requirement. In many cases, these requirements will have a known cost and a trusted supplier; in other cases they will be more difficult to determine and should be roughly estimated;
  • Define the amount of work needed to complete all requirements and the cost per hour of each type of worker involved. This calculation serves as the baseline for the human cost of the project.
  • From the total of the two sums, the project manager must make the necessary adjustments related to the project inconsistencies and its plan, taking into account the duration of the project and how it affects the organization of the tasks. Estimation of costs. This implies the calculation of various circumstances and factors available and foreseeable during its lifetime, such as risks and price increases (in case of products involved), rents, materials, equipment, facilities, etc. For this, a "Reference Line" is created based on the time that they estimate the tools and economic resources that would be provided to each activity. This connects the aspects as mentioned above.

 The more narrow the scope, the more reliable the budget will be for the project. Of course, the project manager should not impose his estimates, but rely on a team of experts and experts in this field, who should evaluate the tasks that create the plan, and perform these assessments.

Try ITM Platform for free

From Utopia to Facts

The area of knowledge of the project costs is not exclusively financial, but requires techniques, specialized analysis and knowledge that allow to be aware of all the factors that can modify a project. These include execution schedules, the assessment of possible risks, coordination of meetings with stakeholders, which may need to address suggestions that affect the scope or mode of delivery, respect for the internal policies of a company, Attention to market conditions, experience in similar past projects, etc. Among the more strictly financial aspects are exchange control and fiscal aspects, which can be especially complex in international projects, inflation, and the corporate structure of financial control.

Also, turning information into knowledge requires tools that facilitate an approximation to the facts.

  • Units of measure: Depending on the object to be monitored, it will be estimated whether it can be measured with units of time (man hours, days, weeks, months), metric units (meters, centimeters, millimeters, tons, liters), and even in units of payment (monthly, fortnightly, single payment, etc.).
  • Accuracy: It varies according to the scope of the project, rounding figures around each aspect or phase that gives certainty of the costs that will be required for each one.
  • Cost limits: It is essential to determine this amount so that, in each cost review, there is a precondition
  • Cost limits: It is essential to determine this amount so that, in each cost review, there is in advance a conditioning of what is going to be required in each case. With this tool it is intended to keep the investment within the premeditated parameters and, if not, to take the corresponding corrective actions.
  • Measurement of the effort granted: These are performance indicators that are analyzed in the costs.
  • Management of information about cost management: Stakeholders should be fully and regularly informed of the management that is being carried out, either periodically (daily, weekly, fortnightly, monthly) and by providing reports Or any other ordinary means of communication.

Determination of the budget

Taking as a starting point the costs related to each activity, each of the estimates is added individually or jointly, to stabilize the reference line or cost, for the sole purpose of determining the budget of a project, Which will influence the funds allocated to it.

Costs control

It is necessary to monitor the consumption of costs in any situation of the project and to update them, if necessary, according to the cost baseline adjustment that was created. Any increase that is deemed relevant in project costs should be reviewed under an integrated perspective of the changes. However, its effectiveness lies in the management of the baseline, which maintains the cost performance and estimates the deviations occurred.

The aforementioned constructs the way towards an effective estimation of the costs of the project from the beginning. Successful budgeting is not as important as accurately picking up activity notifications. From the exhaustive control of deviations, it is possible to allocate the necessary resources to compensate for the unplanned under-coverage.

Receive the latest blogs directly into your inbox


Calculator, Money, calculation, manMan-hours, also called person-hours, are the unit of measure that is used in project management to measure the efforts needed to complete a task.

1 man hour = work completed in an hour of uninterrupted effort by an average worker.

Calculating man hours is the basis for being able to measure the cost per project of each type of expert and his contribution to the result.

Start calculating the costs of all your resources by professional categories with ITM Platform


The total man hours per task is obtained by multiplying the number of people assigned to a task by the total time it takes to complete it.

Let's say, for example, that 15 workers at a metal plant and devote 10 workdays to complete an order of 800 product units.

Estimating 6 working hours per day, the total man hours is obtained from multiplying the following:

15 x 10 x 6 = 900 hours

Therefore, productivity is equal to 800/900 = 0.89 units per hour. As we know with the cost of man-hours, it is easy to calculate how the labor force contributes to the unit cost and the profitability of the product line.

In addition, this ratio can be taken as a starting point for measuring productivity improvements, introducing new processes and cutting costs.

However, in a more complex project it would also be necessary to consider that the cost of man-hours is variable, depending on the professional category to which it corresponds.

Not all team members cost the same

A requirement to be able to calculate the total labor cost of the project is to consider different hourly rates for each professional category. In an IT project, for example, it will not cost the same for one hour of a junior programmer as a senior one.

Therefore, when calculating the cost of the project from man hours, you must take into account that the multiplication of the cost must be factorized by each category:

Total cost = (CH1 x HH1) + … + (CHn x HHn)

Where CH1 is equal to the hourly cost of the professional category 1 and HH1 is the total of man hours estimated by the professional category 1.

Cost per project calculation with ITM Platform

ITM Platform allows you to calculate the costs of tasks and projects with man hours. For this you only have to define the values ​​of 3 variables:

  • The professional profiles of your organization

  • The fees associated with each professional profile

  • Standard costs, which will be calculated when a generic worker is assigned.

ITM Platform Standard costs: Global and Specific for Professional Categories

See in this tutorial how to define professional profiles, rates and standard costs in order to calculate the cost of all your tasks and projects.

Try ITM Platform for free

Receive the latest blogs directly into your inbox


balance, blue backgroundSometimes we can't start all the projects we would like to. This often happens with internal projects: how many CIOs will undertake all projects that are demanded by the heads of each department? And how many find solid reasons to explain which projects are initiated, in what order and why?

Whenever you have a hard time deciding which projects you should run, you can base your decision on the evaluation of different scenarios. Here's an example.


Try ITM Platform for free and start to prioritize your projects strategically.

An example of using scenarios

Imagine that there are three internal projects that are difficult to compare: the implementation of a new document management system (DMS), the development of a new product and the internal training of the entire sales force. And also, as we said, we do not have enough capacity to finance them all.

Estimation of cost and importance

The first step in setting the scenarios is to assess their cost and importance:

Number Project Importance Cost estimate
1 DMS 17,73% $15,777.00
2 New product 47,05% $90,091.00
3 Training 35,22% $64,144.00

Suppose that the maximum budget that can be allocated to these projects is $150,000, less than the total of 170,000.

How to value a project

With ITM Platform, the value of a project depends on how much it helps to achieve a business objective. This criterion allows you to group very different projects by programs and to develop scenarios more complex than the one of this example.

Test yourself on how to generate scenarios linked to your goals with ITM Platform.

Strategic alignment ITM Platform

1. Count Scenarios

The next thing is to know what all the alternatives are. In this case, there are 8 scenarios or possible situations considering that we can choose (blue) or discard (red) each of the projects.

123 123 123 123
123 123 123 123


2. Quantify the scenarios

What is the investment required for each of the scenarios?

0.00 $64,144.00 $ $90,091.00 $ $154,235.00
$15,777.00 $79,921.00 $ $105,868.00 $ $170,012.00

As we know that the investment limit is $150,000, we can rule out the two combinations that exceed it.

0.00 $64,144.00 $90,091.00 $154,235.00
$15,777.00 $79,921.00 $105,868.00 $170,012.00


3. Assess the scenarios

What is the value obtained from each of them?

0% 35% 47% 82%
18% 53% 65% 100%

If we did not have limitations, of course, we would choose to launch all the projects. But in applying the financial constraints, we choose the scenario that brings the most value without exceeding budget.

Since two scenarios have been ruled out, it is necessary to choose the combination with the highest value among the remaining ones: 65% of projects 1 and 2.

Is it simple? When you try it on IT Platform you will no longer have doubts when selecting projects.

Receive the latest blogs directly into your inbox