When it comes to budgeting and estimating, one of the most important metrics to track is BCWP (Budgeted Cost of Work Performed). Whether you are a project manager or a client, BCWP is an essential component in successful cost management. This guide will cover BCWP, how it can be used to track project costs, and how to calculate it.
What is BCWP?
BCWP stands for Budgeted Cost of Work Performed and is an accounting metric that measures the budgeted cost associated with a project’s scope of work. It considers the time, labor, materials, and other related expenses planned to complete a particular task or objective within a project. This metric also includes costs associated with any changes to the original work scope.
BCWP tracks project costs and compares them with the budgeted amount. Comparing these two figures makes it possible to determine whether a project is within its budget or overspending. This metric also helps monitor expenses and identify opportunities for cost savings throughout a project.
What Are the Reasons for Tracking BCWP?
There are several reasons why it’s important to track BCWP.
Provides a measure of project performance
BCWP is an important measure of a project’s performance, as it reflects the amount of work completed in terms of cost and time. It can show how efficiently a project progresses so that any delays or issues can be spotted quickly and addressed. As actual costs are compared to the budgeted costs, the project manager can better understand how well the project meets its goals.
Ensures that all stakeholders are on the same page
By tracking BCWP, project managers can ensure that all stakeholders understand where the project stands. This helps avoid any miscommunication or discrepancies between stakeholders and ensures everyone is on the same page. Unlike other project management tools, BCWP is easy to understand and use.
Tracking BCWP helps ensure that project costs remain controlled and that budgeted resources are used as efficiently as possible. By comparing actual and budgeted costs, project managers can identify areas where costs run over budget and make changes to increase efficiency. When the cost variance is known, corrective action can be taken to ensure that the project remains on track and within the budget. Like the work scheduled, BCWP can also forecast and compare future costs. When project completion is near and costs are known, the project manager will better know how to allocate resources for the next project.
Identifies potential problems early
When BCWP is tracked regularly, it can help project managers identify potential issues with the budget or timeline before they become major problems. This way, project managers can adjust as needed to stay within their budget and timeline constraints. For example, if the work performed will take longer or cost more than originally estimated, a project manager can make changes early on to keep the project on track. This helps maintain the project’s overall success. Additionally, a company can make better decisions about future projects and investments by understanding the cost of work performed.
When project managers and team members are held accountable for their work performance, it helps to ensure the project is completed correctly and on time. BCWP helps to hold team members accountable, as any discrepancies between the budgeted cost of work performed and the actual cost can be easily identified. This way, project managers and other stakeholders can pinpoint exactly where problems occur and take corrective measures before it’s too late.
Ensures cost control
Finally, by tracking BCWP regularly, project managers can ensure better project cost control and accuracy. With this information, they can make more informed decisions regarding the budget and timeline of their projects—ultimately leading to better results. Additionally, it helps prevent overspending and waste on projects as potential issues can be identified and addressed quickly. Ultimately, BCWP helps companies ensure their projects stay on track and within budget. Even when work costs are higher than expected, project managers can quickly recognize and address the issue. In doing so, they can ensure that their projects stay within budget and that their companies get the most out of their investments.
How to Calculate BCWP?
To calculate BCWP, you will need to gather all the data about the project. This includes the estimated costs for each task, the number of hours worked on each task and any expenses associated with the project. Once you have this information, you can use a budget calculator or spreadsheet to calculate the total budgeted cost of work performed. The formula for calculating BCWP is as follows:
BCWP = (Hours Worked x Average Hourly Rate) + Expenses
By inputting the data into the calculator or spreadsheet, you can easily determine your project’s budgeted cost of work performance. This will help you stay on top of the project’s budget and timeline and identify potential issues.
Tips for Using BCWP in Practice
Now that you know what BCWP is and how to calculate it, here are some tips for using it in practice:
Track BCWP regularly
Before any project begins, make sure to track the BCWP regularly. This will help you measure progress and identify any problems that may be occurring. Suppose the budgeted cost of a project is $20,000, and the actual cost is $35,000. If you’re tracking BCWP regularly, you’ll be able to identify this problem early and make the necessary adjustments. While tracking BCWP is an important part of project management, it’s also important to remember that it doesn’t provide a full picture.
Compare BCWP to ACWP
Comparing BCWP to ACWP (Actual Cost of Work Performed) is important in measuring project performance. By doing this, you can see how close the actual results have been to the budgeted ones. If the project quality plan has been followed correctly and the project has been completed on time, then a close comparison between BCWP and ACWP would indicate that the project was successful.
Use BCWP for forecasting
BCWP can also be used for forecasting future costs and progress. For example, if a project is currently ahead of schedule and has a lower BCWP than expected, you can forecast it to finish within its allocated budget. Similarly, if it’s behind schedule and has a higher BCWP than expected, then you can anticipate that it will run over budget. This type of forecasting allows you to plan and make necessary adjustments before problems arise. The earned value management technique is a great example of how BCWP can be used for forecasting.
Understand the limitations of BCWP
It’s important to remember that BCWP is only one tool in the project management process and doesn’t provide an exact picture of performance or cost. It can be used as a starting point for planning, but other factors, such as quality control, must also be considered when predicting outcomes. Furthermore, BCWP measures progress in terms of the budgeted costs instead of actual ones, which may not always be accurate depending on how a company tracks its costs. Just as the cost performance index (CPI) is used to measure the project’s cost performance, BCWP should be evaluated this way.
By understanding the role BCWP plays in project management and using these tips, you’ll be able to use it more effectively throughout your projects. Additionally, tracking expenses with software like QuickBooks can help you gain better visibility and accuracy into your project costs.
What Are the Five Main EVM Variables, and How Are They Used?
EVM, or Earned Value Management, is a project management technique that uses five main variables to measure performance.
Planned Value (PV)
When compared to the actual work performed and completed, PV measures the project’s progress against its plan. If a budget was set for the project, PV would measure how much of that project budget has been used up. Or how much of the planned work has been completed.
Actual Cost (AC)
The total cost that has been incurred to complete the work in the project. This includes money on materials, personnel, and other resources used to complete the work. Suppose you’re building a house, and you’re tracking the cost of each component separately. The AC would be the total amount spent on all project components.
Earned Value (EV)
This is determined by measuring how much of what was planned to be done in the project has been completed. For example, if it was expected to complete 10% of the project in two weeks and 8% was completed, then the EV of the project would be 8%.
Budgeted Cost of Work Performed (BCWP)
Also known as Earned Value, this variable is used to measure how much work has been completed against the allocated budget. So if the budget for a project was $10,000 and 50% of the work was completed, then the BCWP would be $5,000.
Budgeted Cost of Work Scheduled (BCWS)
The planned cost for all the work scheduled to be done within a certain period. This variable helps in determining the progress of the project against the plan. It is calculated by taking into account the budget allocated for the work and all other costs, such as labor and materials, that are required to complete it.
Final Words on BCWP (Budgeted Cost of Work Performed)
BCWP is an important tool in project management. It can measure progress, forecast costs, and compare results against the project’s total budget. Although it has limitations, BCWP can provide valuable insights into a project’s performance. With these tips, you’ll be able to use BCWP more effectively for successful projects.
So whether you’re a project manager or a business owner, understanding BCWP is essential to successful projects. With the right knowledge and tools, you’ll be able to use BCWP to ensure your projects stay on track and within budget.
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