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Planned and Forecast Costs

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wmordaunt
Occasional Contributor

Planned and Forecast Costs

We're using the Project Cost Details report in PPMC 9.14 to report total planned and actual costs each month from work plans.

 

Because planned costs don't rollup into the financial summary (and hence to program and portfolio level), we're in a position where we're trying to keep planned and forecast costs aligned. This is to keep what is shown on the monthly reports in line what shows at the program/portfolio level.

 

This approach creates quite a lot of work for our project managers, particularly if their projects change (re-planning). I'm interested to know whether other customers try to align planned and forecast costs.

 

Thanks,

 

William

10 REPLIES
dirkf
Honored Contributor

Re: Planned and Forecast Costs

Hi William,

 

where do you see the difference between planned and forecast costs?

costs rolled up from the staffing profile and / or the workplan ARE rolled up to the FinSum, so I don't quite get that question.

But then I might just be missing something...

 

Best regards,

Dirk

wmordaunt
Occasional Contributor

Re: Planned and Forecast Costs

Hi Dirk,

 

On our set-up, the only costs that roll-up from the workplan to the financial summary are actual labour costs.

Planned costs (in the workplan) both labour and non-labour don't roll-up anywhere.

 

Please see the attached PDF which summarises how costs move through our system.

 

If there is a way to get planned costs from the workplan into the financial summary I'd be very interested.

 

Thanks,

 

William

dirkf
Honored Contributor

Re: Planned and Forecast Costs

Hi William,

 

well, the design is to use a Staffing Profile that will accomodate all those resources that are needed to schedule the tasks in the workplan. So say you need a developer for a task spanning 80h over a period of two weeks, you would enter this position in the workplan and assign a resource with developer role for the resource over exactly that period. Based on cost factors and cost roles, the Staffing Profile synchs with the FinSum and populates the planned costs -> forecast. That is why I had this question.

I guess you know all that, but it is a bit unclear to me if you are not using Staffing Profiles or if you are trying to make allocated resources and postions and their forecast cost comparable to workplanned planned costs or not - that would be the only logical explanation that I have for wanting to calculated planned costs from the Workplan against calculating forecast costs from the Staffing Profile. In my view, if you were to do both, you'd be doubling your forecast for a project.

 

Best regards,

Dirk

wmordaunt
Occasional Contributor

Re: Planned and Forecast Costs

Hi Dirk,

 

Thanks for your input.

 

We are using staffing profiles (which create forecast labour costs in the financial summary) and assigning resources to tasks in the workplans. We can't make these assignments unless the resources have been allocated in the staffing profiles.

 

We're not doubling up our forecasts (at least not double counting) but rather we're showing them derived from two different ways.

 

The monthly report shows planned costs from the workplan based on tasks and role/resource assignments. The financial summary shows forecast costs from the staffing profile. It's possible for the planned costs from the workplan and the forecast costs from the staffing profile to differ.

 

I guess the solution is to keep the workplan and staffing profile in synch. This should be straight forward but can be an overhead when you have many short duration tasks and need to re-plan a project.

 

Regards,

 

William

dirkf
Honored Contributor

Re: Planned and Forecast Costs

Hi William,

 

thanks for the clarification. Makes sense of course.

Apart from the Staffing Profile option 'compare to workplan' which of course doesn't show costs, I'm not aware how to align forecast and planning values, neither am I sure what the goal of it is - find descrepencies in the cost struture between planned and forecast?

If so, I think that the only way I would come up with right now (but not be able to tell you quite honestly how to set it up) would be to use database queries that give you the values for the workplan planned costs and the values for the staffing profile forecast costs from the Financial Summary and show you differences.

Might be a valid ER though to have a report or similar that will allow to at-a-glance show planned cost differences between Staffing Profiles and Work plan of a project.

 

Not having any other ideas at the time though, sorry.

 

Best regards,

Dirk

wmordaunt
Occasional Contributor

Re: Planned and Forecast Costs

Hi Dirk,

 

Thanks again for your input on this.

 

I think our issue may largely be that we are not using planned costs for their intended purpose.

I think I will run this topic by our SaaS customer manager to see what their thoughts are too.

 

Regards,

 

William 

dirkf
Honored Contributor

Re: Planned and Forecast Costs

Hey William,

 

best of luck for that.

 

It would be great if you could just update the thread with a two-liner if you get something positive back, might be interesting for someone else at a later point.

 

Best regards, have a great week,

Dirk

wmordaunt
Occasional Contributor

Re: Planned and Forecast Costs

Hi Dirk,

 

I discussed this matter with our Customer Success Manager and a PPMC consultant from the Professional Services organisation.

 

The consultant's view was that most customers focus on maintaining their forecast costs and don't pay that much attention to planned costs. He suggested that, as a workaround, if we wanted to keep planned and forecast costs aligned, we could maintain the planned costs within the workplan, and manually enter them into the financial summary. This would mean we'd need to disable the flow of costs from staffing profiles into the financial summary to avoid duplicating labour costs.

 

It looks like for the time being we will carry on maintaining our planned and forecast costs as we have been doing, i.e. trying to keep them aligned.

 

Regards,

 

William

Erik Cole
Honored Contributor

Re: Planned and Forecast Costs

Just to throw another wrench in here, keep in mind that if you use any of the earned value management that it is going to be using those costs from the work plan....

wmordaunt
Occasional Contributor

Re: Planned and Forecast Costs

Hi Erik,

 

That's a very valid point, thanks for raising it. We're not using the earned value management features at present but may wish to do so in the future.

 

William

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