Cost Planning is monitoring, managing and maintaining a project’s cost… relative to a budget.
The correct application is more than just ‘forecasting’, as this really offers no management, control or monitoring in its technique or approach.
Much like forecasting the weather – you may think you know what weather might be coming – but this doesn’t actually control the weather.
And it is more than just offering an ‘estimate’ or a ‘budget’, as cost planning also concerns itself with items other than the ‘capital cost’ – such as method, contracts, documentation, time, quality, recurrent (or running) costs, program, staging, unknowns and more.
As with many things there is no single ‘correct’ answer to any particular building project (The ‘question’ that needed to be answered in the 1st place, may, after investigation & pricing, may have changed).
And so the Cost Planner needs to be intuitive, considerate, flexible and sensitive to the client’s needs & brief, the project team and project’s particular circumstances, budget, opportunities and constraints.
(Note – a project’s cost usually refers to capital cost, but it may, on occasion, also refer to recurrent costs.)
Importantly, A budget is therefore needed … this too must be planned.