There are numerous functional capabilities comprising a complete system for estimating and project controls. Some of these core capabilities are a matter of table stakes, however certain features have many different levels of functionality depending on the software you choose to implement. Understanding the differences between systems and identifying functionality critical to your business needs may ultimately be the difference between successful and unsuccessful projects. Outlined below are eight key benefits a complete construction project cost management system provides to construction and other capital projects.
1. Top-Down vs. Bottom-Up Estimating
Does the system you’re evaluating support both conceptual and detailed estimating practices? Early-stage estimates are typically more conceptual, using information based on project history and benchmarks. Starting in the project definition phase, many of the key project details are still being determined, however you need a way to produce conceptual top-down estimates. As the project progresses through design iterations, and more detail is made available, it’s critical that your top-down estimate can easily transition into a detailed or bottom-up estimate. Using this approach provides additional detail to support assumptions regarding costs, workforce productivity and schedule duration, and can be compared against the original conceptual estimate.
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