We are changing our lifecycle model to approve funding by lifecycle stage (initiation, plan/analyze/design,build/test/deploy/transition. Is anyone else doing something similar and how are you handling budgets, actuals and metrics? We want to be able to track estimate accuracy based on stage as well as overall project. Thoughts?
We approve our funding in two stages generally: Planning Stage, then Executing to Closing. Here's how we do it:
We use queries behind the scenes to slice and dice our cost data stored in cost plans so that we can extract the metrics that we need: budgeted cost, approved cost, remaining cost, etc.
For accuracy reporting we decided not to hold the project managers to the original cost estimates done during the Initiating stage, since this is really prior to real scoping and requirements gathering. We do hold them to the costs that were approved at the time the project entered the Executing Stage. I added a custom attribute yes/no field to the cost plans that allows us to flag which cost plan represented the cost plan at this particular stage gate. Yes, it's POSSIBLE for people to go back and change the cost plans after the fact but our users don't really know about this flag field and don't edit it themselves. We haven't had a problem. So once a project has completed we can go back and compare their final cost plan to the cost plan flagged as their "Executing" plan.
I hope this helps!