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Project budgets are important. Without a good budget, you risk running out of money, spending too much on the wrong aspects of a project, or not spending enough, leading to an inferior final product.
Project budgets are a list of all the expected expenses for a project. They are a form of resource planning, in that they help you understand how your money should be spent. They help guide the initial planning of the project and help identify what you’re going to do, how you’re going to do it, and what tools you’re going to need to get the job done.
Budgets are an important part of the project management planning process that shouldn’t be skipped or fast-tracked.
What is a project budget template?
A project budget template is used for easily and consistently creating budgets for a set of projects. They outline expected costs for the various stages of the project, including staffing, project tools, and other related project costs.
Using a template helps ensure that you’re not missing important pieces of information that could lead to a less-than-accurate budget. Templates also make it easy to present the final budget in a visual way that’s easy to read and understand at a glance.
The importance of project budget in project management
From a project management point of view, budgets are key to how you run a successful project f. A poor project budget can scuttle a project before it’s complete.
A good budget takes into consideration all details of the project plan, including things like whether you’re planning a project during vacation season, which can add to the timeline and cost of projects.
Budgets help project managers decide who to work with, what tools to use, and how the project will be run. They help you choose the right vendors for your budget, identify whether you’re staying within your budget, and much more.
What is included in Coda's project budget template?
Your budget should contain as much information related to project costs as possible. This includes all costs either directly or indirectly connected to the project. While it may seem like some indirect costs may not have much of an impact on the project outcome, they should still be considered in the budget.
Your project budget should live within the .
The following sections are part of Coda’s project budget template.
Summary of project costs
Include all project costs here (also called line items). This is a high-level view of what you expect things to cost and where most of the budget will be spent. Ideally, this section should outline everything listed below to give stakeholders a sense of the finer points of the budget.
These are actual costs directly related to the project. Direct costs include expenditures like your project team costs, tools, supplies, labor costs, or material costs. These are the costs associated with the work itself.
Indirect costs aren’t connected directly to the project itself. They’re things like utilities, building maintenance, security, and administrative costs. They’re business costs rather than project costs, but they are important and should be included.
Capital costs aren’t likely relevant for projects like building software, but they can exist in some projects, especially when you’re starting a new business. These are one-time expenses that typically come with things like purchasing land, buying company vehicles, or construction costs.
Operating costs are the expenses related to running your business. They’re not often factors in a project, but can be grouped into indirect costs, since the business is spending the money on them.
Project delivery costs
Project delivery costs record how much money it takes to successfully deliver the project. This is typically where most of your time will be spent when budgeting.
Project management costs
Project management costs are similar to project delivery costs, but are more centered on how much it costs to manage everything. This is the time and energy that goes into making sure things runs smoothly, stay within budget, and happen on schedule.
👉 Get started with this project budget template.
Copy this template to use this free project budget template for your projects.
How to use this project budget template in Coda
Step 1: Fill out basic project details
On the page, you’ll see some fields at the top of the page to fill out. These are high-level meta data about your project. You can also rename this page so that the name matches the name of your project. The Last edited date automatically updates based on when someone has made an edit to this template.
Step 2: Add or edit categories for your tasks
If your project has high-level categories or phases, you should edit them in the table. These categories show up in the table. The Description column gives people a sense of what each of your task categories or phases means. When your categories are set up, click on the Add button in each category that you want to start adding tasks to in the main table.
Step 3: Fill out project budget columns
The table is the main place to fill out details for each line item (enter a dollar value in the blue Budget column). Each task you add here can have a Labor, Materials, and Other Fixed Costs. These are the “actuals” for the task and are typically entered after you’ve established the budget for the task and have done the research on the costs associated with a task.
If you want to add additional columns for things like Capital costs or Project delivery costs mentioned above, this template is totally customizable. Be sure to edit the formula in the Actuals column. This column takes all the data you entered in Labor, Materials, and Other Fixed Costs and calculates the actual costs.
Step 4: View budget vs. actuals summary
On the page, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of your project budget, summary, and variance. The two charts below the summary show you a visual of your budget vs. actuals by project category and project task.
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