Cost management plan
|Cost management plan|
A cost management plan is a comprehensive strategy that documents how an organization will monitor and control its spending. It typically includes objectives, a budget, strategies and processes, technology, and reporting protocols. It identifies cost reduction opportunities, outlines how financial decisions will be made, and details how costs will be tracked and reported. The plan also helps organizations to develop and implement performance measures to measure the success of their cost containment efforts.
Example of cost management plan
- Establishing and monitoring a budget: A cost management plan should include a budget that outlines the expected costs and revenue associated with a project or organization. This budget should be tracked and monitored regularly to ensure that the organization is staying within their financial goals.
- Developing cost reduction strategies: A cost management plan should include strategies to reduce costs and identify cost savings opportunities. These strategies should include items such as evaluating and adjusting pricing structures, reducing overhead costs, and streamlining processes.
- Implementing cost tracking systems: A cost management plan should include systems to track and report costs. These systems can include using software applications, such as budgeting and accounting software, or manual methods, such as spreadsheets.
- Developing performance measures: A cost management plan should include performance measures to monitor the success of cost containment efforts. These measures can include indicators such as cost-per-unit, cost-per-outcome, and cost-per-customer.
- Establishing reporting protocols: A cost management plan should include protocols for reporting costs and tracking progress. These protocols can include regular meetings to review costs, creating cost reports, and providing feedback to management.
When to use cost management plan
A cost management plan can be used in a variety of situations, including:
- When designing a new project or program. It can help identify potential cost overruns and provide a framework for staying within a budget.
- When launching a new product or service. A cost management plan can help ensure that the product or service is launched on time and within budget.
- When evaluating a project or program. By tracking and reporting costs, a cost management plan can help identify areas in need of improvement.
- When planning for long-term initiatives. A cost management plan can help ensure that long-term initiatives are properly funded and managed.
- When determining the cost-effectiveness of various activities. A cost management plan can help determine the cost-effectiveness of different activities and investments.
- When analyzing financial trends. A cost management plan can help organizations identify financial trends and adjust their strategies accordingly.
Types of cost management plan
A cost management plan typically includes the following types of elements:
- Objectives – This outlines the desired objectives of the plan, such as reducing costs, increasing efficiency, and improving profitability.
- Budget – This sets out the budget for the plan and how it will be allocated.
- Strategies and Processes – This outlines the methods and procedures for achieving cost savings, such as sourcing from lower cost suppliers, consolidating purchases, and renegotiating contracts.
- Technology – This outlines the technology used to track and control costs, such as enterprise resource planning systems and business intelligence tools.
- Reporting Protocols – This outlines the protocols for reporting cost data, such as frequency, format, and audience.
- Cost Reduction Opportunities – This identifies areas where costs can be reduced or avoided, such as reducing waste, streamlining processes, or negotiating better terms with vendors.
- Performance Measures – This outlines the metrics used to measure the success of the cost containment efforts. This typically includes metrics such as cost savings, cost avoidance, and return on investment.
Limitations of cost management plan
A cost management plan can be an effective way to manage spending, but there are several limitations to be aware of. These include:
- Inability to anticipate unforeseen costs: While a cost management plan can outline expected costs, it can be difficult to anticipate unforeseen costs that may arise.
- Lack of flexibility: A cost management plan can be difficult to adjust to changing circumstances and market conditions.
- Limited to traditional costs:A cost management plan may only address traditional costs incurred by an organization, such as personnel and materials, instead of more modern costs such as digital marketing or software.
- Difficulty in measuring success: A cost management plan can be difficult to measure the success of, as costs can be difficult to quantify.
- Poor communication: A cost management plan can be hindered by poor communication among stakeholders, leading to misalignment of interests.
An effective cost management plan should include a variety of approaches to help identify and reduce costs. These include:
- Activity-based costing: This approach focuses on the activities that generate costs in order to identify areas for improvement. It can help organizations to evaluate and eliminate activities that do not contribute to profitability.
- Cost benefit analysis: This method helps organizations to evaluate the costs and benefits of a particular decision or strategy. It can be used to determine which strategies are most cost effective and to identify potential cost savings.
- Lean management: This approach is based on the concept of eliminating waste and maximizing efficiency. It can help organizations to streamline processes and identify cost savings opportunities.
- Benchmarking: This technique helps organizations to compare their performance and costs to those of other organizations in the same industry or field. It can be used to identify areas where costs can be reduced and to set targets for cost reduction.
In summary, an effective cost management plan should include a variety of approaches to help identify and reduce costs. These include activity-based costing, cost benefit analysis, lean management, and benchmarking. By utilizing these approaches, organizations can gain a better understanding of their expenses and identify areas where costs can be reduced.
- Hansen, D. R., Mowen, M. M., & Heitger, D. L. (2021). Cost management. Cengage Learning.