4/2 - Estimating Staff salary costs



ESTIMATING STAFF SALARY COSTS you need to establish the inputs required by human resources for managing and implementing the project. The task focuses on estimating the time and costs of all staff needed for managing and implementing the project.This should include all staff directly employed by the applicant as well as staff from any project partners that co-deliver the project (if appropriate).

The tool consists of a series of detailed spreadsheets that help you to think through the relevant human resource inputs needed for your project.




Who is this tool for ?When should the tool be used?
Staff who is designing the project and those with experience of implementing similar projects.Assessing the human resource input of a project is usually the first task of budgeting / costing a project.


Click on the stations to navigate throught the Costing line!

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Key challenges of this step

  • Estimating a realistic and proportionate input of human resources and relevant costs of a project is challenging because room for potential staff changes will have to be made.
  • If an organisation has no or little experience in implementing similar projects, it is more difficult to achieve realistic estimates.

Main risks

  • The risk of over-estimating is that the project might loose its competitive advantage against other, less expensive projects seeking funding or approval for implementation.
  • The risk of under-estimating carries the risk of not securing sufficient funding to implement the project as planned.

Helpful tips

  • Take sufficient time to think through each activity of the project in terms of the likely time needed and by who the various project activities might be delivered (including external service providers).
  • Take note of the different levels of seniority of staff. This relates to the type of role and tasks they might be performing in the project. Their different salary levels have a direct effect on the costs of your project.
  • If you are working in partnership with other organisations, you need to take account for their staff involved in the different stages of the project. This will include estimating the number of meetings you will have with the partners for project management purposes for example.
  • Don't forget to allocate time and costs involved for procuring activities (equipment and material, external service providers, etc.) and for managing these. While the costs of employing the external service providers is usually presented at a different budget heading, the procurement and management activities of them are captured under project management activities, and therefore in the budget heading 'project salary costs'.