Project Management 4b. Estimating the Revenue from a Project

Offsetting the expenses of a project are the revenues it generates.  Revenue refers to the money brought into the organization as a result of publishing the course or communication product.

In some instances, organizations design and develop courses and technical communication products with the intention of selling them.  For example, organizations charge tuition to participate in classroom courses (both face-to-face and virtual classroom) and sell tutorials.  Other organizations sell user’s guides, references, and subscriptions to online content.  The money from these sales is called revenue.

For some groups, revenue can also refer to charging other organizations for the service of producing the materials.

  • For internal groups working on a cost-recovery basis—that is, generating enough funds to cover the costs of producing the materials—then the revenue should match the expenses.
  • For internal groups working on a profit and external groups (all of whom work on profit), the charges should not only generate enough funds to cover the costs of producing the course or communication product, but also something extra—called profit—which is used to fund growth of the company and provide a return to those people who invested funds in the organization.

Note that this section only focuses on direct revenue received for a project.  Much has been written about Return-on-Investment (ROI)—or the benefit received by an organization for investing in a course or communication product.  Organizations often realize ROI only when learners or users master a particular skill.  A discussion of how to calculate ROI is beyond the scope of this budgeting  discussion.  The only revenue of interest to this discussion is the revenue that covers the expense of producing the course or technical communication product.

Continue with the next post, Project Management 4c. Estimating the Total Budget of a Project.

© Copyright 1996-2012. Saul Carliner. All rights reserved.  If sharing or excerpting, should be properly cited.


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Exploring, reporting, teaching, and advising on learning and communication for the workplace and consumers.
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