Copyright to Kim Tremblay, © 2012.
This article is a repeat of an article of the same name first published on December 13, 2011
Reprinted with permission. Published here May 2012

Editor's Note | Introduction | Mistake 1 - Not Getting the Information You Need Up Front
Mistake 2 - Estimating at the Wrong Level | Mistake 3 - Hanging on to Old Technology and Systems
Mistake 4 - Not Using Current Rates and Costs |
Mistake 5 - Failing to Get Supplier/Contractor Quotes | Mistake 6 - Not Dealing with Project Risk
Mistake 7 - Failing to Review Before, During and After | Conclusion

Kim Tremblay is CFO and partner in 4castplus Project Cost Management Solutions. 4castplus is a web-based construction cost management software solution that delivers full project cost management, estimating, forecasting and real-time tracking to keep complex projects on budget and on schedule. Kim has 20 years of finance, management and business administration experience in the software development sector and a strong background in financial leadership. Kim's passion lies in helping companies to be competitive, profitable and successful. She may be reached at or at

Editor's Note:

We think that the following paper provides valuable advice for those involved in construction estimating - especially if they work for a contractor bidding on fixed price contracts, where the pressure is really on. Bid too low and you get the contract but lose your shirt. Bid too high and you lose the work. It seems like a no-win situation, but nevertheless that is what the construction industry is all about. The trick is to review the contract work carefully and find ways to do the work smarter, that is, to reduce costs without compromising scope or quality.

And before anyone jumps in with "Well they make their money out of change orders, don't they?", in fact this is rarely the case. The costs of changes are high because they are disruptive, often require rework, certainly require replanning, and if issued too frequent also demoralize the work force so that subsequence productivity plummets.


Home | Issacons | PM Glossary | Papers & Books | Max's Musings
Guest Articles | Contact Info | Search My Site | Site Map | Top of Page