Updating the Planned Forecast (beta)

Note: This feature is in beta.

Introduction

As projects progress, project managers must adjust forecasts based on remaining effort and update the project plan accordingly.

This usually requires making changes to multiple tasks and users over multiple time periods, resulting in lots of manual and tedious work.

Update Forecast allows you to update the work forecast in your Projects and / or individual tasks, per resource, and based on remaining effort.

Update Forecast lets you:

  • Easily plan and update future assignments per user based on remaining effort
  • Update the budget based on actual work to date and plan accordingly for future periods
  • Lock the work of past periods, thus not affecting the future plan, while still preserving the historic data required for reports and audits. Accidentally updating past periods and skewing data for reports and planning is avoided.

How it Works

The Update Forecast button appears in the Work Plan under the Resourcing tab, and in the Resource Planning panel.

The Update Forecast action lets you select the date you want to plan from, overrides past periods (from the task's start date → selected date) with actual approved hours, while updating future planned assigned hours based on one of 3 available methods: 

  1. Retain total work estimation, spread remaining effort in future periods - This option preserves the work hours and updates future work based on remaining effort and reported time. This option is common for work that continues based on contracted hours not scheduled to change in the future.
  2. Retain future planned work assignments. The total work estimate may change. - This option keeps planned future work in place, regardless of the total work. This option is common for planned/paid support hours where the number of hours is locked, regardless of the hours done in previous periods. With this option, total work may change.
  3. Update remaining effort by resource - This option lets you update the remaining effort per individual resource.
    Note: If the Leaf task progress reporting policy is Shared, you can update the remaining effort of the task, but not for individual resources. 
  4. Keep manually set effort values - Preserves the values that were manually set per period.
    Note: For option #1 above (Retain total work estimation) we recommend leaving the option disabled as the total task dictates the remaining effort.

 

Notes

  • Options 1 and 2 above are available at any level - Project, Milestone, Task, or multiple Work Items, and affect all tasks and resources below the selected level in the hierarchy. Option 3 is available only for individual tasks.
  • Work for future periods is spread based on the Work Item work policy.
  • If a human resource link is deleted, no history is saved for it.
  • Only approved hours are considered for the remaining effort calculations.
  • Work = EAC (Estimate At Completion) = actual approved hours in the past + planned task assignment for future periods
  • Update Forecast works only on leaf tasks as you can only assign work to leaf tasks.
  • For actuals not reported from timesheets, the hours are spread evenly over the period between the task’s start date and the date when the forecast is updated.

Retain total work estimation, spread remaining effort in future periods

In this scenario the total work estimation is preserved and future work is spread evenly.

Example

A resource has one assigned task at 100 hrs over 4 months (March through June). Cost rate is $10, Bill rate is $20.

In effect the resource works only 20 hours the first month (March).

In a typical scenario the Project Manager closes a week or month and updates the forecast. The following example shows an updated forecast from April 1st (after work is approved and closed for the first month, March).

The updated forecast subtracts the actual number of approved hours (20), which override past planned hours, from the total number of hours (100), and has spread the remaining work (80) over the remaining months.

Notes: 

  • Actuals are indicated in italics.
  • Actuals for past periods (prior to the last forecast update) that were overridden with actual approved hours are locked and cannot be updated. 

In reports we can see the following information:

  • Original Task Assignment - This field is populated once the Update Forecast feature has been applied and cannot be changed or overridden.
  • Task Assignment (Work) - shows actual hours for past periods, and current planned hours for future periods
  • Forecast Task Assignment / Previous Work - Shows previous planned work for past periods, and the current plan for future periods. It can be used to compare planned vs actual hours for past periods, and it keeps the previous plan for each period, before updating the forecast and overriding with actual hours.
  • Actual Approved Work

Financial Planning view

Retain future planned work assignments

This option keeps planned future work in place, regardless of the total work.

Example

A resource has one assigned task at 100 hrs over 4 months (March through June). Cost rate is $10, Bill rate is $20.

In effect the resource works only 20 hours the first month (March).

PBRE-0006_2.png

The forecast is updated from April 1st using the Retain future planned work assignments option (after work is approved and closed for the first month, March).

The updated forecast recalculates the total work (originally 100 hrs) based on the actual number of approved hours (20), and the remaining work that is preserved based on the original plan (75), updating the new work total to 95 hours.

The planned and updated forecasts are visible in reports.

Financial Planning view

Update remaining effort by resource

This option lets you update the remaining effort per individual resource.

Note: This option is for all the resources of the task. The Project Manager cannot update Remaining Effort for some of the resources.

Example

A resource has one assigned task at 100 hrs over 4 months (March through June). Cost rate is $10, Bill rate is $20.

In effect the resource works 20 hours the first month (March).

The Project Manager updates the forecast from April 1st for the resource and enters 100 hours. 

Note: If the Leaf task progress reporting policy is Shared, you can update the remaining effort of the task, but not for individual resources. 

The updated forecast spreads the 100 hours for the resource over the future periods. The total work is updated to reflect actual done work (20), and the updated forecast work (100), equaling 120 hours.

The planned and updated forecasts are visible in reports.

Financial Planning view

 

 

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