Implementing cost management software: The risks and how to avoid them

Project controls software is a tool that is used to measure and control cost and productivity throughout a project life cycle. It allows you to track the actual performance of the project and to compare the actual performance to the project estimate. If the actual performance shows significant deviations from the estimate in terms of budget and hours, corrective measures can be taken in time. Therefore, a cost management software can help you improve the efficiency of your projects.

Given its complexity, implementation of a project controls software is not without risks. These tips may help you avoid the pitfalls, leading to the successful implementation of a project controls software for your projects.

1- Use a dedicated project controls software

Implementing high-quality cost management start with selecting the right tool. Which cost management tool is the best choice depends on the specific needs of your company.

Microsoft excel is often employed for cost management purposes, mainly because of its flexibility and wide availability. The downside of the program is that, especially when using advanced cost management processes and techniques, errors are easily made because it is difficult to keep track of all the changes in the spreadsheet.

Cost control software Cleopatra Enterprise offers project controls tools for the complete project cycle, allowing you to integrate cost estimating, scheduling, cost control and benchmarking. Cleopatra Enterprise also allows you to fluently change your cost estimating document into a cost management document, updating your estimating knowledgebase with actual data. Make sure to use a cost management tool that fits your organization by defining your needs and requirements first.

2- Become an expert, not an average user

Working with a cost management tool is not about clicking buttons, it is rather about understanding the meaning of the performed tasks. Therefore, it is important to familiarize yourself with the software and underlying the methodology before you start working with it. Learn from experts in the business by attending cost management courses and training programs. It requires an initial investment but will pay off after a while.

Expanding your cost management knowledge will lead to a more efficient use of time and resources in the cost engineering department. Besides that, it will increase your confidence on the obtained result.

3- Integrate with scheduling software

Apart from having a clear overview of the performance of your project in relation to the estimate, attention should be paid to the time component as well. You need to assign a time frame to each activity and update this according to the base plan. For large projects, this process becomes increasingly time-consuming. Therefore, do not stick to one solution, but combine the use of software packages to be able to make use of the advantages of both of them.

For example, Cleopatra Enterprise can be used in combination with Oracle Primavera P6, allowing for direct scheduling in Primavera of the activities contained in the Estimate. This reduces the time spent on data handling and decreases the chance of making mistakes.


Implementing a project controls software can significantly improve the efficiency of your projects, in terms of both costs and time. This implementation is a complex process requiring a structured approach. Make sure that you understand the specific needs of your company, have an in depth understanding of the software and decide if you want to combine it with other software packages for scheduling such as Primavera. Then, stay in control of your software and your cost!


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References: Using Cleopatra Enterprise in practice – 4 success stories

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