A profession is an occupation premised under specialized educational training or a regulated institutionalized body. Project cost management is guided by specialized educational training and professional bodies, such as the International Cost Engineering Council. Other bodies include the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and the European Committee of Construction Economists. As a profession, project cost management is different from Quantity Surveying and Project Management, even though they have some overlapping roles.
The project cost manager’s job creates provisions for numerous functions. The job description requires an individual to offer financial management services such as providing the life cycle budget and accurate and reliable cost information. Furthermore, other functions are performing feasibility analysis and ensuring the project is delivered within its intended time and budget. The project manager, therefore, has a crucial role in ensuring a project’s success.
As part of the profession’s educational training, project cost management focuses on organizing a project’s cost. Thus, the profession involves planning, budgeting, control, and financing to complete a project within an approved budget. Additionally, the project manager must be a team player and work well with other professionals such as Engineers and Architects. For effective cost management, essential skills such as planning, budgeting, and control are necessary.
The project cost manager is required to participate in the construction process actively. As a role, he or she must oversee all cost components, be a good resource planner, monitor the cost budget accurately, manage risks and overruns, track the schedule and create cash flows for budgeting purposes. Moreover, among other essential functions, active participation in the construction process helps avoid and manage risks occurring onsite, thus keeping the budget on track.