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10.1 General Information
Before reading this 'Legacy Business Records Project, Costing Guide', please read the:
The Overview covers why legacy records need to be brought back under sound information management control. It also has basic information about the Guides.
The Planning Guide covers all the steps that could be done in order to clean up the records.
This Costing Guide helps you calculate what you may need to buy or rent and what that will cost.
In addition to the Guides, there are three templates: one for the workplan andtwo for calculating the costs. You can cross reference all the pieces. They all follow a workflow diagram and use the same numbering system.
This Costing Guide has three parts:
Each of these has a set of worksheets. Each worksheet shows the plan activities and / or the project phases. For more information on the activities, please read the Planning Guide.
To keep things simple, when we describe the process, we write as if you are the Records Manager until the Project Manager is appointed. This happens when the project has been approved to start. After that, we write as if you are the Project Manager.
There is a sequence to putting together your project plan and budget proposal.
Knowing who will do what helps in several ways. Here are just a few of the advantages. You can:
The easiest way to see the roles and to make sure all activities are covered is to use a RACI chart.
Each section below shows the RACI chart for that phase. The whole RACI chart is on an Excel file.
Most of the roles will be in your institution. However, you will also need LAC's advice and assistance. Even if your institution will not need much support, yours may not be the only project LAC is working on. You will need to talk to LAC to see if they can meet your requirements.
The positions that would most likely be involved in a Legacy Business Records Project are shown along the top of the chart. These same titles are used on all worksheets in:
You can change these positions to suit your situation. Any changes must be made on all the worksheets in those two workbooks.
Please see Appendix A for information on how to delete and insert columns for the positions.
To complete the RACI chart, you look at each task. Here is some of the thinking behind the RACI chart in the Costing Guide.
In the Project Initiation stage, there are five major players and two support roles. LAC also has a role.
The roles are:
There are a lot more players in the planning phase. Most of them have a consistent responsibility throughout the planning.
The roles are shown in the RACI chart below.
The roles in Planning are:
This phase is the heart of the project.
Again there are a number of players with consistent roles.
Note: with the exception of 'Project Staff' and staff from LAC, all other columns represent individuals. Because later you will need to calculate salary costs, you may want to add more columns at this stage. For example, if you have a large team and will need Team Leaders, you may want to look at their effort at this stage because you will want to look at their costs later on.
This 'phase' actually runs in parallel with Planning and Executing the work. It starts from the time the project is approved and continues until the work is finished.
This phase could also be called, 'Managing the Project'.
There is no flowchart for the Controlling Phase.
Project closing activities may be done in two stages:
The 'effort' is the 'hands on' time to get that activity done. It is not the lapsed time. For example, it could take you a total of an hour to complete an activity. That hour could be spent in several smaller amounts of time. You may have to wait in between while others do their part. It could take you two days to complete that hour of work. The two days are lapsed time which is important for the plan timeline. For costing, you only count the time actually spent doing the work.
To balance 'getting it accurate' with how long it will take you to estimate the costs, work in units of portions of an hour. In most cases it will not be necessary to go below a half-hour. If a task will take just under an hour, round it up and use an hour. Similarly, if the task will take just over an hour but less than an hour and a half, round it down to an hour.
There are two types of effort 'costs', fixed and variable.
Almost all the effort in the Initiation, Planning, Closing and Controlling phases is 'fixed'. It does not depend on how many records there are, where they are stored, their condition, or any of the other variables discussed below.
For example, you will need a full-time Project Manager once your project reaches a certain size. You still need only one Project Manager even if the project scope doubles.
Most project management activities take almost the same amount of effort on big and small projects. For example, it takes almost the same to report on a small or a large project.
Almost all the effort in the Execution phase is variable. Even in this phase, only the Project Staff effort is likely to vary significantly.
You need to estimate an average cost per record. How much effort each task will take may vary with a number of factors.
You multiply the unit cost by your total number of records to get the overall cost.
There are two kinds of roles: passive and active.
Those who are 'informed' have a passive role. You need to know who has a passive role for the communication strategy and plan. You also need it in order to manage the project stakeholders. It is not important for costing unless there are very large information meetings. The amount of time spent hearing or reading information on a Legacy Business Records Project is very unlikely to affect the project costs.
You only need to cost the active roles. Active roles are 'responsible', 'approves' and 'consulted'.
The steps you would go through to estimate the effort are:
The spread sheets are set up so that the total is shown at the bottom of each column as well as on the Summary Effort (FTE) worksheet.
As you enter the person- the spreadsheet automatically converts the person-hours to person-days and then into person-years. 'Person-Years' are more commonly called 'Full Time Equivalents' (FTEs).
The calculation of person-hours to person-days is based on a regular working day of 7.5 hours.
The conversion of person-days to FTE's is based on 220 days. This is a well-accepted, common way of calculating person-years.
This was calculated as follows:
|sick and sundry leave||15|
|Person Days in an FTE||220|
The reason for using 220 days instead of 365 is:
For example, if there is a statutory holiday during the project, staff will not be expected to work that day. But you will have to pay for it.
All the deductions are for the various kinds of leave with pay. Some are actual costs (for example, weekends and statutory holidays). Some are estimates of entitlements (for example, vacation and sick leave). The longer the project, the more essential it is that you count in the costs of all the days.
Here is an example of the sheet that is used to convert person-hours of effort to FTEs.
There are a couple of things to note on the sheet:
You calculate the salary costs from your effort estimates. There are two ways of calculating salary costs: total costs and incremental costs.
To get Total Salary Costs, you convert all the effort to salary dollars. You include the effort of everyone with an active role on the project.
The total salary costs would include people where the work is a 'normal' part of their jobs. Their salaries would also be in another budget.
You may need the total costs if you are going to request additional resources from Treasury Board. The 'absorbed cost' shows the institution's contribution to getting the work done.
These hidden or absorbed costs can be significant.
If you do your costing this way, you have to decide which costs are parts of the project budget. Any salaries that are already in another budget would not be included in the project budget.
Incremental Project Costs would cost the effort for only those people whose salaries are not already in an approved budget.
These costs could come from two sources: staff already working in the institution whose positions will be backfilled and externally resourced staff.
If the jobs will be done by staff already in the institution, you only count their salary if:
Note: if the position is being backfilled, you can either use the project member's salary or the incremental cost only. For example, the Project Manager is an AS-04. The Project Manager's substantive ('normal') position is being backfilled by an AS-02. The AS-02's position is not being backfilled. You would normally use the difference between the AS-04 and AS-02 salaries. You may be able to make a case for using the AS-04 salary.
You can usually use the actual salary for internally resourced staff. If for any reason you do not know a team member's salary, use the top of the range for their classification and level.
Specialists in Human Resources can assist you with actual and general pay levels. You can also find the rates of pay on the Treasury Board website athttp://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/pubs_pol/hrpubs/RatesofPay/Ra97_e.asp.
The staff could be seconded from another budget area or another institution to work on the project.
If you are staffing some of the positions from outside the institution, you will normally count the costs. The only exception would be if the person's 'home' institution agrees to continue paying the FTE and salary.
The staff could be hired as casual or term employees just for the project. There may be times when your institution will need the staff to continue working after the project has ended. For example, if the ongoing IM Operations is short-staffed, the person could be hired indeterminately but begin by working on the project. After the project ends, the person would work in the on-going IM Operations.
For some of these staff you will know the salaries. For those whose salaries you do not know, you use the average salary for the classification and level of the position.
Note: if you are hiring staff under contract, the costs go under non-salary costs and not under salary costs.
You can consult with the GAD Director and the Regional Manager, FRC if they would like to have their costs included. If they do, they would go through the same costing process.
This information may be crucial for LAC. While LAC may be able to support a couple of Legacy Business Records Projects, their resources are limited. LAC also has fewer options of having the work done under contract. The knowledge and experience requirements are not commonly found under contract.
Since your worksheets have converted the effort into FTEs, you use annual salaries.
For each position, enter the salary into the spreadsheet under the appropriate column. The table below shows some examples. You would enter in the correct salaries for your own situation.
You may need to deal with the group 'Project Staff' differently. As noted above, you could have employees in this group who are at different levels. For example, you may have CR-04's and CR-05's on that team. You can either use an average for the whole team or you can add in columns and do each level separately. If you have not already shown them in two separate columns, remember to divide the effort estimates so that you do not double count.
Using the same example as before, here is the complete chart showing the conversion of effort to salary dollars.
There are a couple of things to note on the chart. The example shows:
You will likely have a number of non-salary costs for the project. Again these will vary with your situation.
When you rent or buy items depends on what you will be doing and thus what you will need. You will thus want to time-phase your budget.
Obviously where you can save costs by borrowing items, you will do this. For all others you have to decide whether you will rent or buy.
In costing, you will also have to think about which costs are fixed or variable. There are fewer fixed costs but there are some.
Your choices on timing, rent/buy and fixed/variable and how you reflect them in the template, are discussed below.
When you incur the non-salary costs depends on what you need for what you will be doing.
You will not need all the items at the start of the project. You will want to think through the costs by phase.
Doing your costing this way will help you time-phase your budget. This will give you better management control and information. It will also help if the decision-makers want to take it a step at a time. They can see what costs they are committing to as well as the overall cost.
Because this is a project, you may not want, need and / or be able to purchase all the equipment and supplies.
You are only likely to buy those that you:
Other items will be rented. This could include items that:
Some decisions on rent or buy are obvious: you are not likely to buy photocopiers nor are you going to rent boxes. Some are less obvious: do you want to buy pallet lifters or can you even rent them?
For each item, you make the decision based on your circumstances and the availability.
Just as with salary costs, there are fixed and variable non-salary costs. There are very few fixed costs one example is if you decide to have the evaluation done under a contract. No matter how big the project, you will still only do one evaluation. The cost for the evaluation may be higher but there will still only be one evaluation and you will still only do it once.
The variable non-salary costs are mainly influenced by volume and dispersion. For example volume affects costs: the more records you need to handle or the more people you have on the project, the proportionately higher the non-salary costs. The same applies to dispersion: the more locations there are, the higher your transportation costs. Your equipment costs will also be higher.
The costs break down into three groups. There are costs associated with:
The costs for team members are divided into furniture, supplies, equipment, work space, and contract costs.
This would include normal workstation costs such as desks, chairs, computers, and telephones.
Your Facilities and Procurement advisors may be able to find you 'spare' furniture or the best prices.
These are just the normal office supplies. You may be able to get them from the general institutional supplies areas.
You will need some technology for both managing and executing the project. You can use Excel for project planning and costing. You may want more sophisticated software such as MS Project to control the project. That may be useful if your project is very big or if it will last a long time. It is also helpful if you will do several small projects. This could happen if you first do a pilot and then the rest in order of priority. If you use software like MS Project, you can link all the projects together to get one overall cost and control. Using such software will give you considerably more project management information.
You will need to capture inventory information. If your institution does not have an automated system, you may want to consider buying one. Having a system will help you with on-going records management. It could also help to prevent the problem of backlogs from recurring.
If your institution has a system, you will need access from the workspace(s).
You may also choose to scan some of the records before disposition. If you do, you may need scanners.
Your IT specialists will be able to help you cost the IT systems, computers, software, licenses and hook-ups needed.
In addition to IT equipment, you will also need telephones and telephone lines.
You will need three kinds of space: work space for the project team's workstations, general space (for example, for training or meeting), and storage space. The worksheet divides these spaces into those needed per team member, those per location and those related to records volumes. Dividing it up this way makes it easier to scale your project up or down.
This section looks at space per team member.
Facilities Management should be well involved with your project. They will be able to help you identify what space you are entitled to per team member. They may even be able to help with layout. They certainly can help with the costing. Once you discuss what you need, they will help you get the space.
With cutbacks and restraint you may not have enough people to both carry on with on-going operations as well as do the project. You will probably have to have some of the work done under contract. Such contract costs are non-salary expenses.
Note: Step 16 of the Planning Guide has suggestions for obtaining the human resources you need.
Your Human Resources and Procurement specialists can help you get the people you need. They will also help you estimate the costs.
The worksheet divides contract costs into two kinds:
The costs per location are divided into space, office equipment and records equipment.
This section looks at general working space.
Since this is a project, you may not need a lot of general purpose space. You could need some for activities such as training and meetings. Again Facilities Management should be able to help you identify what general purpose space you may need.
You may need general office equipment such as photocopiers and faxes.
This could become a significant cost, especially if you are working in several locations. The more locations you are working in, the more equipment you will need.
Your Procurement specialist may be able to find you the best possible prices.
You could also speak to your Archivist who may know if another department has equipment they no longer need or that you could borrow. A good source for some equipment may be Crown Assets.
If you are only going to be doing a small project and will not need the equipment after the project, you may want to look at the cost-benefit of renting rather than buying.
You may also need equipment such as wooden pallets, shelving, and 'jiggers' (pallet movers).
Some of these items will be useful after the project. You may want to consider the on-going Information Management needs when you look at buying or renting these items. Remember to only include the costs that are related to the project in your budget estimates.
These costs are in proportion to the number of records you will be handling. The more records you have the more of these items you will need.
You may need new boxes if some of the boxes are not in good condition. You would use them for records that you return to storage or that you transfer to another institution.
Archival materials need special boxes.
Your Archivist and the Regional Manager, FRC may be able to help you order the boxes. You may also want to check delivery lead-time and scheduling if you are ordering a large quantity.
This section looks at storage space.
There is no quick calculation of how much space you will need.
You will need space for holding the records just before, when and just after you work on them. The amount you need and could release could be quite high if you consolidate the work.
It is not just what you need that is important; it is also what space is available. Each location is different. In some you may only be able to store the boxes to six feet, in others you may be able to go to much higher.
Facilities Management will work with you on your storage space. They will help you with factors such as stacking, health and safety concerns, and that this is not 'normal' records storage. You will not just be storing the records; you will need to access and sort them.
You will release storage space. Some may be released during the project and more when the project is finished. You may want to work with Facilities Management to work out a plan and timing for releasing the space. You may be able to release space early and save money. If you can, the savings can go into the Business Case.
If you are removing records from rented space, let the company know if you will not be sending the records back. If you do not let them know, you may be charged for that space even if you are not using it.
You will be moving a lot of records. You may want to speak to the Regional Manager, FRC and your procurement specialist to get the best price for transportation.
Note: you may have to move some or all of the records twice. They may be moved to the work site. At least some will be moved for disposition.
The template for estimating non-salary costs has three worksheets:
Each of these is discussed below.
This is your main calculation worksheet.
On this worksheet you enter how many of each item you need in the column of the phase in which you will need it. If you will be renting the item, you put the monthly cost under 'Rent' and the number of months you will be renting under '# Months'. The worksheet will calculate the total cost for you.
If you will be renting the same kind of item in different amounts, in different phases and for different lengths of time, you need a line for each one. You must insert a line for each case. Remember that if you insert a line on this worksheet, you must insert a line into the other worksheets in the same place. To insert a new line, copy the line you need to duplicate, insert the line either above of below the original line.
Your first step is to add the row. To do this, highlight the 'workstation' row, copy, then right click and click on Insert Copied Cells.
Before you go any further, do exactly the same thing on the next two worksheets, Costs by Phase and Total Non-salary Costs.
Your calculation worksheet will look like:
You are now ready to enter the information on the workstations you want to rent.
Your entry would look like:
You also decide that you need one desk even after the project has finished. In this case, it is better to buy the desk. The desk costs $500. You are going to give it to the Project Manager so you need it in the Planning phase.
You cannot have rent and buy items on the same line in the template. If you do, your totals will be significantly too high. You must use separate lines. You add a row in exactly the same way as above. Do not forget to add the row on the three worksheets.
Your entry would look like:
There are two areas on the worksheet where what you add is a bit different: Contract Costs and the section on Costs per 1,000 records.
There are two kinds of contract costs: contracting for a variable number of people for different lengths of time; and contracting to have a specific piece of work done.
If you are contracting for workers where the contract is on a time and materials basis, enter the information exactly as if you were renting. That is, put in the number of people under the units in the correct phase, then put in the cost per person per period under 'Rent $' and the length of the period under '# Months'. Add more lines as described above if you need to. For example: you need six people for eight weeks and two people for twelve weeks, and the cost per person for the week is $750. Your worksheet would look like:
If you are contracting to have a piece of work done on a fixed-price contract, enter the contract amount as if you were 'buying'. Simply enter a '1' under the units for the correct phase and the contract cost under 'Buy $'. For example, you want to have an evaluation done at the end of the project. The evaluation will cost $35,000. Your worksheet will look like:
The worksheet shows this section as the costs for every 1,000 ft. of records. You can choose whatever number you wish. If you want to do your costs per 10,000 ft or 100 ft of records, just change the title and do your calculations accordingly.
If you have correctly inserted the additional lines, all the calculations will have copied across automatically to the next worksheet, Costs by Phase. Using the same example as above, it should look like:
It is useful to have the costs by phase. This gives you much more flexibility and control.
For example, the decision-makers could initially give approval for the initiation and planning phases only. This will enable you to show them the costs for just those phases. As well, as you read in section on variable and fixed costs, most of the costs in all phases except Execution are fixed. If you alter the amount you will do in Execution, you can still see what the other phases will cost.
The major advantage is that this allows you to time-phase your budget. This is significant for you to have as Project Manager. You will have much better control over your budget when you know what you are expecting to spend when.
This worksheet simply brings the previous two together so that you can see everything on one page or screen.
If you insert the salary costs from your Effort and Salary Costing worksheet, you can see the costs for the entire project.
At the start of the planning and costing process, you recognized that:
Records help us all operate today. They help us understand our national history and preserve our collective memory. But they can only do this if they are under effective control.
LAC and GoC institutions will work together to bring this about.
There are three Excel Files:
Each of these is composed of a number of worksheets.
This workbook has the following worksheets:
This workbook has the following worksheet:
It also has two calculation worksheets:
This workbook has the following worksheets:
On some of the worksheets you may need to add or delete rows or columns.
Since these are Excel worksheets, you need to make the changes consistently throughout a workbook. For example, if you add a row on a worksheet, make sure you do the same thing on all the worksheets in that workbook. If you do not, your formulas will be incorrect.
You could also want to change the titles of the columns or the rows. To change a column title, simply enter the new information into the relevant cell. You may need to do this, for example, to change position titles on the Roles and Responsibilities worksheet.
If you do not need a column, just delete the title and ignore the column. This could happen if, for example, you do not need a particular position.
You can do the same thing for any rows you do not need.
If you do not have enough columns or rows, they can be added.
To add a column:
To add a row: