What is Cost Benefit Analysis in Projects? A Complete Guide

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Jun 26, 2021

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Cost-Benefit Analysis in Project Management is a part of the project management process; various essential decisions must be made on a regular basis. Cost control is a priority for business analysts, maximizing the ROI for business organizations. A Cost-Benefit Analysis is precisely what requires assisting you in doing so.

Cost-Benefit Analysis in Project Management

Cost-Benefit Analysis in Project Management is the key to the planning phase process of a business. You will be unable to successfully plan out the necessary resources unless you have a proper strategy.

The methods include evaluating, distributing, and evaluating performance expenses. Cost management enables an organization to estimate costs to minimize the risk of budget overruns. Cost estimates are made at the development stage and should be authorized before work starts.

After completing the project, the budgeted and actual expenditure are analyzed, giving prospective cost management and future budget standards. The requirement for project managers is increasing at speed more remarkably than the demand for other jobs. The PMP online training program can assist you with securing lucrative positions in information technology, industry, finance, and healthcare, among other relevant fields.

The Purpose of Cost-Benefit Analysis in Project Management

If you're restoring an office complex, you'll have to hire an engineer, purchase materials, and negotiate wages with workers. To accomplish this, you must precisely calculate all costs and verify that sufficient funds are available to cover them.

While appointing new members is the best strategy, it is vital to calculate the additional costs. This is why conducting a Cost-Benefit analysis is critical.

What Is Cost-Benefit Analysis? Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) is a simplistic methodology for developing non-critical business decisions. The study results are stated as the payback period, which would be the time needed to repay the expenses.

Project Cost Benefit Analysis compares the benefits and limitations of diverse project paths, covering activities, workloads, business needs, and investments. It provides alternatives and recommends the best course of action for achieving your objectives while minimizing expenditure.

CBA is used for two primary purposes:

  1. To ascertain whether the business plan for the project is reasonable, justified, and realistic by calculating whether the advantages are worth the expenses.
  2. To provide a benchmark for venture assessments by evaluating which initiatives' benefits significantly overcome their costs.

Cost-Benefit Analysis in Project Management can calculate new ventures, evaluate any organizational change, and determine the viability of various purchases. Before computing the ROI, NPV, and an effective CBA includes the project's budget and practical advantages. It is vital to highlight that the calculated cost will be less than 50% of the profits, and the payback must not exceed one year. This enables project managers to analyze expenses efficiently and to make the best choice.

The Cost-Benefit evaluation is an essential tool for making timely and straightforward financial judgments during various management tasks. However, this method loses its effectiveness when used to generate more valuable decisions.

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Steps Involved In Cost Benefits Analysis

The CBA procedure has changed tremendously. Consider the following procedure to know how to have a Cost-Benefit analysis:

1. Create an overview of the project. Describe the project, why it is necessary, and when it should be accomplished.

2. Make a list of potential replacements. If the Cost-Benefit analysis indicates that the project is not feasible in its current form, then what are your early suggestions for other types? Take these generic specifications into account or refer them in subsequent steps.

3. Establish a ranking system. Utilize it to assess the expenses and advantages in subsequent processes. This will facilitate communication between team members and will help standardize your methodology for future Cost-Benefit evaluations.

4. Add up the expenses. Cost management is critical in project management. Use the data provided to collect all of your resources, labor, and continuous expenditures. Additionally, evaluate non-monetary costs associated with the job and any existing project individuals.

5. Make a list of advantages. Consider the hidden and visible values of all the costs listed above. Take note of the costs that yield the highest ROI and utilize this information to better upcoming projects. Start brainstorming strategies for continuing or changing your path of action.

6. Create a chart summarizing the relevant factors. Organize your costs section such that it appears on the left of the chart. Subsequently, include all expected cost sections for that commodity. Have an advantages section. Make a list of all potential gains.

Then, at the head of each subsequent column, include a single valid alternative. Complete the spaces behind each projected cost and benefits figure for that plan option.

Alternatively, replace the manual chart with a Gantt chart to access additional useful features like document sharing and visual analytics.

7. Create a schedule. Decide the amount you'll have to spend throughout the project and the time you plan to get advantages. Additionally, you will be able to calculate the time required to accomplish the operation perfectly.

8. Analyze alternative options. Compare and analyze all suitable alternatives for each financial and non-financial cost. Utilize the Pareto principle's 80/20 rule to prioritize initiatives that will have a sizeable substantial effect.

9. Conduct a sensitivity analysis of your data. Consider the predicted growth or reduction in all stated expenses and advantages over time to identify the most viable solutions.

10. Suggest a course of action. Justify your analysis's relevance to your suggestions.

Benefits of Cost-Benefit Analysis

  • It clarifies the many complex decisions that arise during the course of a project.
  • Uncertain situations become more understandable after the analysis is completed. Costs and advantages are listed to assist the auditor in identifying and later evaluating each expenditure and benefit.
  • It assists in determining whether the advantages outweigh the costs and whether pursuing it is financially solid and stable.
  • Despite their dissimilarity, it is simple to evaluate projects of all types.
  • It eliminates any emotional component and assists in overcoming fallacies.
  • It considers several significant advantages and costs and transforms them into money to make things easier.
  • Appropriate for all undertakings, large or small
  • Comparing data stated in the same units assists in making a sensible conclusion.

Limitations of Cost-Benefit Analysis

  • There are substantial advantages that are difficult to define and intangible elements that are difficult to calculate. Due to the absence of an actual estimated value, the probability of errors is high.
  • The program manager relies on records from previous initiatives, yet the circumstances in the present cases are constantly changing.
  • The assessments are qualitative and should not be taken as factual. Because some benefits are non-monetary, estimating, measuring, and identifying them in terms of money becomes problematic. This can result in incorrect evaluations.
  • Occasionally, a Cost-Benefit analysis becomes a needs assessment, resulting in unreasonable objectives and mistakes.
  • Cost-Benefit analysis analyses the values over a period of time and can result in a significant underestimation of the current value. This results in inaccuracies in assessment.
  • The apparent simplicity in calculating and quantifying costs and benefits might be detrimental, as the realistic result is contingent on several unknown variables at the beginning.


Project management is a strategy associated with corporate administration that utilizes cutting-edge technologies and procedures to efficiently begin, organize, implement, and conduct a risk assessment. This focuses exclusively on project control and planning all of the latest features. PMP certification training accelerates managers' careers across industries and enables firms to hire the individuals they need to work more efficiently and effectively. 

The PMP Certification is developed by project professionals and is validated by the top project experts. The PMP course credential indicates the expertise, training, skill, and competence necessary to manage and direct projects. This PMP training will emphasize the new dimensions of People, Processes, and Work Environment, covering the whole range of value delivery methodologies.


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