Quick Links

Understanding the Cost Model in Microsoft Project


Project Management Institute (PMI)® Professional Development Units (PDUs):
This Webinar is eligible for 1 PMI® PDU in the Technical category of the Talent Triangle.


Event Description:

Microsoft Project offers a robust and powerful model for managing project costs. In this one-hour webinar, Dale Howard will take you on a “deep dive” of all aspects of the cost model, including each of the following:
• Creating Work, Material, and Cost resources to prepare for modeling project costs
• Understanding how the Standard Rate, Overtime Rate, and Cost Per Use fields contribute to task costs
• Understanding the resource cost accrual method
• Understanding the behavior of the Fixed Cost and Fixed Cost Accrual fields
• Understanding the formula used by MS Project to calculate task costs (HINT: there is much more to the formula than you might realize)
• Using Cost Rate Tables to track multiple resource cost rates

NOTE: This webinar does not include content on Earned Value Analysis (EVA), a topic that could consume an entire hour all by itself.


Presenter Info:

Dale Howard is the Director of Education for PROJILITY. He has used Microsoft Project since version 4.0 for Windows 95 and he has used the Microsoft PPM tool since the first version of released as Project Central in the year 2000. He is the co-author of 21 books on Microsoft Project, Project Server, and Project Online. He is currently one of only 28 Microsoft Project MVPs in the entire world and one of only 6 in the United States.


Have you watched this webinar recording? Tell MPUG viewers what you think!

Submit your review
Create your own review
Average rating:  
 1 reviews
bySimon Tidd onMPUG

An excellent overview of the Cost Model in MS Project.


Share This Post
  1. Hi Dale, This was a great webinar. Thank you. I’m sorry I didn’t get to see it live. I had a couple of questions. I’ve posted them below but can move them somewhere else, if that is more appropriate?

    1. I didn’t see the benefit of Fixed Cost entries. Expense Resources seemed a far better option for tracking non-labour related costs, with better related features, and can do everything a Fixed Cost can. Did I get that wrong?

    2. You mentioned in your slides but did not demo the use of Budget Cost resources. Will you cover this in another session? Is there any real point to them or can you just use the Cost Fields and Baselines, compared to Actual Cost fields, to achieve the same?

    Thanks in advance,

  2. Si — Thanks for your kind comments about the webinar. To answer your questions:

    1. The Fixed Cost column was the first method developed in Microsoft Project for tracking non-labor additional costs to a task. In my thinking, there is no real benefit to using the Fixed Cost column because of the limitations I mentioned in the webinar. Instead, you are correct that Expense Cost resources work better.

    2. I did not mention how to assign Budget Cost resources since they do not add to the overall cost of the project. Their only publish is to allow the user to specify overall budgetary amounts for the entire project. As such, I do not consider them part of the cost model since they do not contribute to the cost of the project. To assign a Budget Cost resource, to your project, display the Task Usage view and then apply the Cost table. Select the Project Summary Task (Task 0) and then display the Assign Resources dialog. Select the Budget Cost resources you want to assign and then click the Assign button. Close the dialog. Temporarily insert the Budget Cost column in the Cost table and enter the budgetary amount for each Budget Cost resource in the Budget Cost column.

    Hope this helps.

  3. Nice seminar, I understanding the resource cost accrual method a little more.

  4. Daniel — Thanks for your kind comments. — eDale


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Please complete this equation so we know you’re not a robot. *

Thanks for submitting your comment!
You must be logged in to comment.