Setting the Budgeted Cost of Work Scheduled for Product Management

Getting your budgeted cost of work scheduled for product management is a bit of a task sometimes. This is one of those areas of business science where there are a lot of variables during a product lifecycle, and during a product launch. Emergencies can happen, things can go more smoothly or utterly fail, any number of things.

So, when trying to have your budgeted cost of work scheduled for this, it’s a bit scary. Do you overestimate, to cover your bases? If you do that all the time, projects can possibly come in way under budget often, and while that money is then recouped, it was money tied up for no reason – an annoyance in business.

Well, there’s no sure fire strategy for this, nor a set of guidelines, because as I said, there are so many variables that the only real way to implement predictable (or more so at least) budget models in place is to learn from experience with a product that has gone through a series of cycles.

Providing specific percentages and ratios here isn’t really possible. So, let’s just take a look at the labor costs incurred with product management on a cycle.

First, let’s factor in the marketing department, as part of a product’s lifecycle is maintaining, increasing or establishing public awareness and generating a need. This is a costly operation if you want good marketing strategies, so it’s not wrong to over budget for this labor cost, as a good, large team of experts goes a long way here.

Along with this, you also need administration to maintain the product’s page on the website, as well as possibly maintaining an ecommerce setup if you sell products online as well.

Coupled with these, there is also the core product management team to factor in themselves, including hours that will be needed to work through the cycle per the goals set for it.

However, along with these are extra, important budget elements to bring in. There may be a case of implementing new revisions of some form due to customer feedback and R&D yielding fruit. Along with these, extra funds to cover emergency rebranding, recalls or emergency replacement of distributed models of product should always be factored in, to cover for the unexpected hurdles that can come from any human-centric field.

Finally, this will also need to bring in customer service and support’s work budgets as well, as customer complaints and feedback brought in over this line, as well as for the website and possible online store, are important metrics that are a big part of product management as well.

So, you can clearly see the kinds of budgeting things to factor in, adding one more thing for brick and mortar sales, where product management people have to travel and inspect their shelf placement in outlets. That is a costly necessity for a number of reasons.

Getting your budgeted cost of work scheduled isn’t an impossible feat. It’s merely a challenging one. Once you know the key sources of variables and factors, like above, then you can intuitively figure out the numbers you need by harvesting the kinds of metrics or constructing the flow metrics that meet these categories and your goals.


Mark is the Lead Author & Editor of Spectechular Blog. Mark established the Spectechular blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Product Management.