04. Budgets

Setting a budget involves a thorough understanding of the project, so each activity can be analysed and budgeted separately.




Best practice


Key points:
  1. Understand what the designer perceives as an author’s correction, so you can identify when corrections start to cost money. This will avoid future conflict.
  2. Understand your internal approval process because this is usually where author’s corrections are generated.
  3. Budget blow-outs usually occur at author's corrections stage.



Guidelines


A designer will submit an estimate of costs as part of their submission. It should interpret your brief but they can only estimate to produce the job as it is reflected in the brief. As an 'insider' it is the project manager's role to try to identify any potential ‘extras’ early and add a contingency to cover these additional costs.

Issues that may cause additional cost:
  • a difficult key decision-maker that may cause conflict, or may be away during the project and then ask for extensive changes when they return
  • extensive author’s corrections because of a long-winded internal approval process
  • additional graphs/tables/photographs may be added (those things that take additional time and therefore budget) during the project
  • a larger quantity of reports needed than first estimated
  • more pages within the report, therefore more weight, causing additional postage cost.

There is no magic formula for a contingency – but as budgets become tighter and tighter, it is more realistic to include a margin for error.

Typical author’s corrections


It can be hard to identify what is, and what isn't an author’s correction. Especially if you've not managed an annual report previously.

Downloadtypical author’s corrections fact sheet. This fact sheet is to be used as a reference – it's doesn't cover every eventuality, but it does describe some common occurrences.