Imagine that you"ve newly taken top top a new project, and your world are struggling to save up v the raised workload.

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You are therefore considering even if it is to hire a new team member. Clearly, the benefits of rental a new person need to considerably outweigh the associated costs.

This is wherein Cost-Benefit evaluation is useful.


CBA is a quick and also simple method that you have the right to use for non-critical financial decisions. Where decisions space mission-critical, or large sums of money space involved, other approaches – such as usage of Net present Values and also Internal rates of Return – are often an ext appropriate.

About the Tool

Jules Dupuit, a French engineer and economist, presented the principles behind CBA in the 1840s. It ended up being popular in the 1950s together a simple method of weighing up project costs and benefits, to determine whether to walk ahead through a project.

As its surname suggests, Cost-Benefit analysis involves including up the benefits of a course of action, and also then compare these v the costs associated with it.

The results of the analysis are regularly expressed together a payback period – this is the time it bring away for benefits to repay costs. Many world who usage it look because that payback in less than a specific period – because that example, 3 years.

You deserve to use the an approach in a wide range of situations. Because that example, once you are:

Deciding whether to hire new team members.Evaluating a new project or change initiative.Determining the feasibility that a capital purchase.

However, be affected by each other in mind the it is best for making fast and simple financial decisions. An ext robust viewpoints are generally used for an ext complex, business-critical or high expense decisions.

How to use the Tool

Follow these steps to carry out a Cost-Benefit Analysis.

Step One: Brainstorm Costs and Benefits

First, take time to brainstorm every one of the costs linked with the project, and make a list of these. Then, execute the very same for all of the benefits of the project. Deserve to you think of any unexpected costs? and are over there benefits that you may not initially have anticipated?

When girlfriend come up through the costs and benefits, think around the life time of the project. What space the costs and benefits most likely to be over time?

Step Two: assign a financial Value to the Costs

Costs incorporate the expenses of physical resources needed, and also the expense of the human being effort associated in every phases that a project. Costs are often fairly easy to estimate (compared with revenues).

It"s essential that girlfriend think around as many related prices as friend can. Because that example, what will any kind of training cost? will there it is in a diminish in efficiency while human being are discovering a new system or technology, and also how much will this cost?

Remember to think about costs that will continue to it is in incurred once the task is finished. For example, think about whether you will certainly need extr staff, if your team will need ongoing training, or if you"ll have increased overheads.

Step Three: entrust a financial Value to the Benefits

This action is much less straightforward than action two! Firstly, it"s frequently very daunting to predict revenues accurately, particularly for brand-new products. Secondly, together with the financial benefits that you anticipate, there are frequently intangible, or soft, benefits the are vital outcomes of the project.

For instance, what is the impact on the environment, employee satisfaction, or health and also safety? What is the monetary value of the impact?

As one example, is preserving an old monument worth $500,000, or is it precious $5,000,000 due to the fact that of its historical importance? Or, what is the worth of stress-free take trip to job-related in the morning? Here, it"s vital to consult with other stakeholders and decide how you"ll worth these intangible items.

Step Four: compare Costs and Benefits

Finally, compare the worth of your costs to the value of your benefits, and also use this analysis to decide her course that action.

To execute this, calculation your complete costs and also your full benefits, and also compare the 2 values to determine whether your benefits outweigh her costs. At this phase it"s crucial to consider the payback time, to find out how long it will certainly take because that you to with the rest even suggest – the allude in time in ~ which the benefits have just repaid the costs.

For basic examples, where the very same benefits are got each period, you deserve to calculate the payback duration by dividing the projected complete cost the the task by the projected total revenues:

Total expense / total revenue (or benefits) = size of time (payback period).


Custom graphic Works has been operating for just over a year, and sales are exceeding targets. Currently, two designers are functioning full-time, and also the owner is considering enhancing capacity to fulfill demand. (This would involve leasing an ext space and also hiring two new designers.)

He decides to finish a Cost-Benefit analysis to check out his choices.


Currently, the owner the the company has much more work 보다 he can cope with, and also he is outsourcing to other design firms in ~ a price of $50 one hour. The firm outsources an median of 100 hours of occupational each month.He estimates that revenue will rise by 50 percent with enhanced capacity.Per-person manufacturing will boost by 10 percent with much more working space.The evaluation horizon is one year: that is, that expects services to accrue within the year.


CategoryDetailsCost in first Year
Lease.750 square feet obtainable next door at $18 per square foot$13,500
Leasehold improvements.Knock out walls and reconfigure office space$15,000
Hire two more designers.

Salary, consisting of benefits

Recruitment costs

Orientation and training




Two extr workstations.

Furniture and also hardware

Software licenses



Construction downtime.Two main at approximately $7,500 revenue every week$15,000


BenefitBenefit Within12 Months
50 percent revenue increase.

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Paying in-house developers $15 an hour, versus $50 one hour outsourcing (100 hours per month, ~ above average: savings equates to $3,500 a month.)$42,000
10 percent improved productivity per designer ($7,500 + $3,750 = $11,250 revenue every week with a 10 percent boost = $1,125/week.)$58,500
Improved client service and retention as a result of 100 percent in-house design.$10,000

He calculates the payback time as shown below: