5th Edition PMBOK Guide–Chapter 7: Outputs of Control Costs process

1.  Introduction

When all of the tools & techniques of process 7.4 Control Costs are applied, then the outputs are then used for several purposes:

a) to communicate information about the performance of the project to the project team and relevant stakeholders,

b)  to recommend changes to the project if the performance of the project is not going according to plan, and

c) to make changes to the project management plan and project documents if necessary.


2.  Outputs of Control Costs

The following chart contains the lists of outputs from the process 7.4 Control Costs.


1. Work Performance Information The calculated values of CV, SV, CPI, SPI, TCPI, and VAC
2. Cost Forecasts The calculation of estimate at completion either based on a bottom-up recalculation or through one of the formulas.
3. Change Request Based on the work performance information and cost forecasts, changes may be indicated in one of the following categories

Corrective action

Preventive action

Changes to the cost baseline itself

4. Project Management Plan Updates The same elements of the cost management plan that were inputs may be modified as a result of this process.

Cost base

Cost management plan


5. Project Documents Updates            Cost estimates

Basis of estimates


6. OPAs Updates            Causes of variances

Corrective actions to  be taken

Financial Databases

Lessons learned

According to the three purposes mentioned in the introductory paragraph, the outputs of Work Performance Information and Cost Forecasts serve the first purpose of communication to the project team and relevant stakeholders of just how the project is currently doing.

What if the project is not going according to plan?  Then the output of Change Requests serves the second purpose of recommending changes to

a)  the project, to bring it in line with the project management plan, or

b)  possibly even to the project management plan itself.

Note that the recommendation for changes are not acted upon in this process.  They are merely the output of the process, which then becomes the input of the process 4.5 Perform Integrated Change Control in the Integration Knowledge Area.

If changes are recommended, either to the project or to the plan itself, then the outputs of Project Management Plan Updates, Project Document Updates, or updates to the Organization Process Assets or OPAs fulfill the third purpose, which is to make changes to the project plan and associated project documents.

The first purpose, that of communication, fits the monitoring part, and the second purpose, that of recommending changes and documenting those changes, fits the controlling part of this monitoring & controlling process.

This concludes my posts on chapter 7, Cost Management.  Next week I will start on chapter 8, Quality Management, with a review of all the processes for that knowledge area.

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