Forecasting Reports (Projected Burn)

There are a few places where forecast reports can be accessed, with slightly different views available. At a high level, the reports provide the following information:

  • The amount which is forecast to be invoiced 
  • Access to the change log where details of forecast changes can be viewed
  • The projected "burn" for the month (burn = worked effort + value of resourcing)
  • The delta between forecast amounts and projected burn

Forecasts can not be edited from any of the reports, with forecasts being managed from the forecast screen for an individual project.

Before covering the three forecast screens, it is important to cover off some key concepts which are common to all reports. The project forecasting report, client forecasting report and forecasting report for an individual client are based on the same set of data and calculations, but are sumamrised/grouped to a different level of granularity.

Covered in this article are:


Key concepts common to the forecasting reports

Projected Burn

A key concept to understand is Projected Burn as it is an important part of the forecast reports. It is calculated the same way across each of the reports.

Projected Burn is used to predict the value of work that will be recorded on a project in a month. It is calculated as: 

Worked + Resourced = Projected Burn

  • Worked is the value recorded in timesheets up to the end of the previous week
  • Resourced is the value of resourcing from the start of the current week, to the end of the month

The calculation for each projected burn can be seen by hovering over the figure in the projected burn column. As well as showing the worked and resourced values it also shows the total value worked for the month (which includes work effort fro the current week). 

The "resourced" part of the calculation takes into account the rates which are most likely to apply to the work that each person will do. This is achieved by multiplying the hours resourced by the task rate. 

The task rate to be used is determined in the following order:

  1. The weighted average of all tasks which are assigned to each user
  2. The rates set on the Rate Card for the project
  3. The rates set on the Currency Default Rate Card
  4. The users current posting rate
Pro  Tip: You can see how a rate is established for calculating projected burn on the Resourcing screen for a project. Hover over the rate to see where the rate has been drawn from.

Delta between forecast & projected burn

The Delta is used to identify where there is a difference between what the services forecast to be invoiced and the expected value of effort to occur in the month. 

To ensure the delta is accurate it needs to take into account any accruals (where work and invoicing will be done in different months) and any services discounts which are given. This makes the calculation look more complicated than it actually is... The calculations are:

  • Services Forecast - Projected Burn  = Delta
  • (Services Forecast - Projected Burn) + (Accrual - Discount) = Delta   (takes into account accruals and discounts) 

The various components of the calculations are made up of:

  • Services Forecast is the value forecast against services modules, including any services discounts
  • Projected Burn is the value of worked + resourced, resourcing from the start of the current week, to the end of the month
  • Accrued is the balance of any accruals into (and out of) the month, against services modules
  • Discount is the value of any forecasts against modules with a services discount GL Code

Future forecasting

The forecasting screens are focused on a single month to help validate that forecasts align to the worked + resourced effort. The screens do also provide a high level forward view, showing the total forecast for all future months. The future forecasts are shown to the right of the table, providing an indication of expected future revenue for projects and clients.

If you change the month that the report is for the future forecast amounts will update accordingly.

Graphs and summary data

Each of the reports screens include graphs and summary data. The graph combines a forecast worm tracking alongside work effort and resourcing. The forecast worm is updated each day with a snapshot of the forecast amount for each project, which shows how forecasts change across the course of a month.

All information shown (including the graph and summary data) on the report screen is based on the filtered criteria. By filtering to an office, client manager or project manager you can focus on a portfolio of work. 

Graph

  • The graph plots the total forecast amount for each day of the month (light purple line)
  • The value worked (in timesheets) up to the current date (dark purple line)
  • Cumulative value or resourcing through to the end of the month (green line and shaded area)

Summary Data

To support the graph, totals are shown for Worked, Resourced, Forecast and Invoiced.

Worked + Resourced Forecast Invoiced
Projected Burn is the value worked + resourced Services is the total value forecast against services modules Services is the total value invoiced against services modules
Worked is the value worked up to the end of the previous week Non-Services is the total value forecast against non-services modules Non Services is the total value invoiced against non-services modules
Resourced is the value of resourcing from the start of the week to the end of the month Total is the value of services + non-services Total is the value of services + non-services

Clients Forecasting - summarised to the client level

The Forecasting screen in the Client section provides forecast information rolled up to a client level. It is a high level view and allows Client Managers to see the forecasting for their portfolio on one screen and identify any clients where there is a delta between projected burn and what is forecast. Highlighting clients where there is a delta between forecasting and projected burn can be a catalyst for client managers and project managers to get together to review the client portfolio together.

The report can be filtered by Month, Office, Client Manger, Project Manager, Finance Type and/or Project Status  All content in the report is based on which filters have been set, allowing your to take a wide or narrow view.

Forecasting information for an individual client can be accessed by clicking the name of the client. This opens the forecasting screen for that client, which shows the forecasts at a project level. See  forecasts for an individual client for more details 

Pro Tip: Use the Project Status filter to see which clients have forecasts which could be risky (Opportunity & Committed) - they may require attention and action.


The report provides the following information

  • Graph and summary data
  • Overview for each Client Manager
  • Forecast, projected burn, delta and future forecasting for each Client Manager
  • For each client, the forecast, projected burn, delta and future forecasting is shown

Note: If no filters are set, the overview will be grouped by Office, then Client Manager, with graphs & data shown for each office.


Project Forecasting - forecasts summarised to the project level

The Forecasting screen in the Project section provides forecast information rolled up to a project level. It is a high level view and allows Project Managers to see the forecasting for their portfolio on one screen and identify any projects where there is a delta between projected burn and what is forecast. Highlighting projects where there is a delta between forecasting and projected burn can make it easier for project managers to know where adjustments could be needed, to either a forecast or project resourcing.

Clicking a project name opens the forecasting screen for that project, which is where changes can be made to the forecasts. 

Pro Tip: Use the Project Status filter to see which clients have forecasts which could be risky (Opportunity & Committed) - they may require attention and action.


The report provides the following information

  • Graph and summary data
  • Overview for each Project Manager
  • Forecast, projected burn, delta and future forecasting for each Project Manager
  • For each project, the forecast, projected burn, delta and future forecasting is shown

Note: If no filters are set, the overview will be grouped by Office, then Project Manager, with graphs & data shown for each office.


Client Forecast - Forecasts for an individual client

Forecasts for an individual client are shown on the forecasting screen in the workbench for that client. You can get to this screen by clicking the name of the client on the Clients Forecasting report, or from the forecasting menu in the client workbench.

The forecasting screen for a client shows the forecasts, projected burn and deltas for each of the clients projects. This view makes it easy for a Client Manager or Project Manager to monitor the forecasts for a client, and identify any projects with a delta between forecasting and projected burn.

Forecasting information for an individual project can be accessed by clicking the name of the project. This opens the forecasting screen for that project, showing the forecasts entered against modules. Forecasts can also be edited from this screen. 

The report provides the following information

  • Graph and summary data
  • For each project, the forecast, projected burn, delta and future forecasting is shown


Project Forecast - Forecasts for an individual project

The forecasting screen for a project presents forecasts at a module level, the most granular view that is available. This screen is structured differently to the other forecasting screens as this is where Project Managers maintain the forecasts. As the screen has a different primary purpose, the information is presented in differently. 

The project forecast shows

  • Forecasts entered against modules, including the GL Code of the module
  • Forecasts are grouped by Services and Non-Services modules
  • Worked to date and projected burn
  • Resourcing delta highlighted

The concept of validating forecasts against projected burn has been carried through to this screen, with the resourcing delta highlighted beneath the forecast information. The delta is calculated exactly the same as on the resourcing reports.

Refer to the  Maintaining Forecasts article for details on how to add and edit a forecast.