GEOG 871
Geospatial Technology Project Management

Assignment 5 - Project Budget


Assignment 5 - Project Budget


Timing: This assignment spans Week 6
Submittal: Assignment 5 - the spreadsheet is due at the end of Lesson 6
Total Points: 50 points - see rubric for details

It's time to apply the practices covered in this lesson to prepare a project budget (Assignment 5) for the Metropolis geodatabase project--taking into account the cost of labor time and all direct monetary costs that are attributable to the project work (e.g., travel expenses, equipment purchased specifically for the project, etc.). This project budget table is due at the end of Week 6 along with Assignment 4 (WBS and Gantt chart). This project budget ONLY covers costs of the contractor hired by the City to perform the services defined in the City's RFP

You are the project manager for the contractor selected to carry out the City of Metropolis Geodatabase Development Project. You are now tasked with creating a detailed budget that covers all the costs your company will incur (not any other costs that the City Team may incur).  Note: In actual practice, the budget would be prepared as part of your company's proposal in response to the City's RFP (and perhaps amended as part of contract negotiations).  For the purposes of this Assignment, assume that your company’s proposed budget was accepted but now you are refining that and providing a more detailed breakdown by task and project team member.

Your Submittal for Assignment 5

For Assignment 5, you, as the Contractor’s Project Manager, will set up a budget table and enter data to generate cost estimates (labor costs and direct monetary expenses) for the project. Cost estimates will be presented by task and subtask. The best and most thorough way to do this is to start with your WBS task hierarchy (from Assignment 4) and go down each task and make an estimate of labor hours and direct costs (e.g., travel expenses, equipment costs, etc.) associated with that task. The best tool to use is a spreadsheet like Excel.  To give you an idea of an acceptable format for project cost estimation, take a look at the sample project spreadsheet. This is an Excel spreadsheet tool to calculate costs based on figures entered by task You may use this example as a template for this Assignment or come up with your own format.  You will need to set "billable rates" for your project team members (identified in Assignment 3) and make estimates for direct expenses (purchase of equipment or software, travel expenses, etc.) that are likely to be needed for this project. Take some time to apply some formatting to make the budget presentation attractive and easy to read (apply appropriate fonts types, spacing, borders, etc.).

Assignment #5 along with Assignment #4 (WBS and Gantt Chart from last week’s lesson) are due at the end of Lesson 6 (this lesson).

NOTES: While it is important to use your WBS task hierarchy (Assignment #4), as a basis for this the project budget, it is OK to generalize the task hierarchy  For example, if your WBS hierarchy was at a 3-level or 4-level task detail, you can summarize up to the 2nd-level tasks. Include subtotals for each high-level task. It is expected that you will review instructor comments on Assignment #3 (contractor team), and make some adjustments in your team and rates reflecting instructor comments.  Also, make sure the functional role (e.g., "field data collector") of each team member is explained somewhere (e.g., in a footnote).  The total project cost should not exceed $200,000. Do your best to estimate hours for team members for particular parts of the project. Keep in mind the discussion about billable time vs task duration or "calendar time". As you apply hours for specific tasks, make sure this is your estimate of time actually working on the task--not calendar time. For instance, you might have a task for "pilot project planning". Such a task might occur over a period of 2 weeks, with time for City team review and comment, but the actual labor (work) time for one or more contractor team members might only be 22 hours.

As in all assignments, your document should include a title, identification of the Assignment number and name, your name, and date. In header rows above the table or spreadsheet, you should also identify the project name, your contractor name, and some brief notes explaining this budget submittal).

Submitting the Assignment

View specific directions for Submitting Assignment 4, Assignment 5 .


Assignment 5 is worth 50 points. The grading approach is explained in the table below.

Your submittal will be graded based on:

  1. completeness of budget preparation (Does the estimation take into account the major labor and direct expenses required?)
  2. presentation format (level of detail and presentation format)
  3. accuracy of budget estimation. NOTE: There is not a single dollar amount that is correct for the Metropolis project budget. Grading for "accuracy" is based on evidence that you have done some research of industry costs for this type of project.

The instructor may deduct points if the Assignment is turned in late, unless a late submittal has been approved by the Instructor prior to the Assignment submittal date.

Assignment 5 Grading Rubric
Grading Category Basis for Scoring Total Possible Points

Point Award Explanation

A. Completeness and Organization of Budget
  • Labor and direct costs are shown by task—at an appropriate task level from the WBS (Assignment 4).
  • Team members cover all necessary areas of work on project (see Instructor comments on Assignment #3)
  • Appropriate use of labor and direct cost categories (hourly rates for project team and all direct cost types appropriate for the project).
  • Budget table includes proper title and other assignment and project information (see above).
  • Effective use of subtotals and grand totals.
  • EXCEPTIONAL: 19 to 20 points for a fully complete table, with clear title, inclusion of all necessary labor and direct cost categories, and presented at appropriate level of WBS detail.
  • INADEQUATE: 1 to 3 points if there are major deficiencies—no or insufficient title, significant amount of missing cost categories, and major problems in assignment of costs to tasks.
  • MINIMALLY ADEQUATE to VERY GOOD: 4 to 18 points if there are deficiencies that fall between the "Exceptional" and "Inadequate" categories above.
B. Accuracy of Costs
  • Hourly rates for project team members are realistic and represent your company’s “billable” rate to the client (City of Metropolis).
  • Direct cost amounts are realistic.
  • Accuracy of subtotals, grand total, and total project cost calculations.
  • EXCEPTIONAL: 17 to 18 points for properly applied labor rates, appropriate categories and costs for direct cost items, and no errors in calculations.
  • INADEQUATE: 1 to 3 points if there are major and frequent problems in presentation of labor rates, direct cost categories, or significant inaccuracies in cost calculations.
  • MINIMALLY ADEQUATE to VERY GOOD: 4 to 16 points if there are deficiencies that fall between the "Exceptional" and "Inadequate" categories above.
C. Budget Table Formatting
  • Rows and columns clearly labeled.
  • Effective use of font type, size, style.
  • Effective use of column width and row height.
  • Table border and shading selection appropriate and supports readability.
  • EXCEPTIONAL: 11 to 12 points for an extremely well-formatted table applying effective choice of columns, text fonts and headings, borders, etc. that results in a very visually appealing and easy to read table.
  • INADEQUATE: 1 to 2 points for major format problems in use of fonts, column/row sizing, borders, etc. that detract in a major way from visual appeal and readability.
  • MINIMALLY ADEQUATE to VERY GOOD: 3 to 10 points for deficiencies in formatting between the “Exceptional” and “Inadequate” categories described above.