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Thread: Estimating project costs

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    Estimating project costs

    I am a planner who works in a government agency. I will be preparing a grant proposal for a single mode regional transportation plan or something to that effect. I have no experience working in the consulting field so have a difficult time getting a handle on what an appropriate cost should be for consulting services. Are there any resources that could help me to determine how much a complex project should cost?

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    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by andrewjd View post
    I am a planner who works in a government agency. I will be preparing a grant proposal for a single mode regional transportation plan or something to that effect. I have no experience working in the consulting field so have a difficult time getting a handle on what an appropriate cost should be for consulting services. Are there any resources that could help me to determine how much a complex project should cost?
    Contact neighborhing agencies and do the following:
    a) ask if the did a similar study
    b) if they did, request the RFP and proposals submitted. Each proposal should have a cost associated with it.
    c) Take an average of the cost proposals and add a contgiency fee to it.
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

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    Cyburbian JimPlans's avatar
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    I agree with CPSURaf. Getting the pricing information for a comaprable project (even in another jurisdiction) can be the best way to figure out how much your project would cost. But, if you can't get that information, another way is to guesstimate how long it would take your staff to perform the work, and multiply that by a guesstimate of the cost per hour for a private firm. When writing the RFP, you should already be breaking down the work into tasks that you would like performed, so this shouldn't be difficult. I also assume that your organisation has already considered the opportunity cost of doing this work in-house and has an idea of how many internal staff hours would be needed to complete it. What would be a good cost guesstimate? Hard to say. I would use $150 per hour at my old firm (averaging the many lower-cost junior staff hours spent on a project with the fewer higher-cost senior staff hours). YMMV.

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