Part 3: Project Cost Functions


Developing a Standards Based Project Management Information System


By Jeremy C. Bellah, PhD

Director, Center of MIS Studies
University of Oklahoma

Norman, Oklahoma, USA


This is one of a series of articles that describes the development of a project management information system (PMIS). Using the design science research methodology, I created an artifact, and that artifact is the research contribution. In the first article, I described the overall development process. In subsequent articles, I describe in depth specific functions in the system. In the following pages, I describe the design of the project cost functions in the PMIS. I conclude with future direction and pending questions. My hope is to spark interest and engage project management practitioners in the project.

To develop the PMIS, I used a low-code development tool called Mendix. This allowed me to develop the functionality much more quickly than I would have been able to otherwise. Additionally, it allows me to show program logic visually in these articles. Key portions of program logic will be displayed where appropriate.

Processes and Data

The PMIS is designed to mirror the standards in “A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge,” more commonly known as the PMBOK® Guide (Project Management Institute, 2017); therefore, the functionality is described according to the content in that standard. The first article in my series explains the overall design of the system (Bellah, 2021). In that article, I explained how some of the documents (usually inputs and outputs of project management processes) are integrated into the system using database tables and custom interfaces. The following documents used in processes in the Project Cost Management knowledge area are integrated in the PMIS:

  • Cost estimates
  • Basis of estimates
  • Cost baseline
  • Work performance information

A database supports all of the integrated documents in the PMIS. Figure 1 shows an Entity Relationship Diagram (ERD) of the tables required to implement the functionality for the documents listed above. To save space, most attributes are not included in the ERD.

Figure 1: Entity Relationship Diagram


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Editor’s note: This series of articles describes the development of a new standards-based project management information system by Dr. Jeremy Bellah at the University of Oklahoma.  Dr. Bellah is a Lecturer of MIS and the Director of the Center for MIS Studies at the University. He teaches courses related to programming, web development, data analysis, and project management.  As this is an ongoing development project, the author would welcome comments, feedback or suggestions. Please email your thoughts or ideas to jbellah@ou.edu

How to cite this paper: Bellah, J. C. (2021). Developing a Standards Based Project Management Information System – Part 3: Project Cost Functions, PM World Journal, Vol. X, Issue VI, June. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/pmwj106-Jun2021-Bellah-Developing-Standards-Based-PMIS-series-article3.pdf

 About the Author

Jeremy Bellah, PhD

Oklahoma, USA


 Jeremy Bellah serves in a teaching position at the University of Oklahoma’s Price College of Business. He teaches classes related to programming, web development, data analysis, and project management. Through an experiential learning teaching style, he coaches and mentors students to develop into successful working professionals. He also serves as the Director of the Center for MIS Studies, an industry-academic partnership within the MIS Division. In this role, he interacts with industry partners of the Division to facilitate input on curriculum, collaborative research projects, and engagement with students.

Prior to earning a Ph.D. and pursuing academic positions, Jeremy developed information systems professionally. Most of the systems were custom applications built for small- and medium-sized businesses. This experience gives Jeremy the ability to relate to industry professionals and to teach from a perspective of practical expertise, rather than academic training. Dr. Bellah can be contacted at jbellah@ou.edu.

To view other works by Dr. Bellah, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/jeremy-bellah-phd/