Have you been using Harvest’s new budgets for fixed fee projects? If so, you might’ve run into an interesting problem. A project can come under its total budget, but how do you know exactly what happened beneath that total number? How do you pinpoint where your team’s kicking butt, or going off track? Or where should you rethink expectations for future projects?

Those questions can be hard to answer if you’re setting just one general budget for every project. But we’ve just released a bit of x-ray vision into exactly what’s going on: the Fees per Task budget.

What’s Beneath the Surface of Your Budgets?

Check it out: this under-budget project looks healthy, and probably made a profit.


But is this project really as on-track as it appears? What if:

  • One task took 10 times longer than you expected. Egad!
  • Another task took up $200 worth of time, instead of the $2000 you expected. Nice, but something’s off.
  • Someone tracked $500 worth of time to a task you didn’t expect to work on for several more weeks.

If you look at just the overall budget, you might never know these things were happening. And you wouldn’t have the info to know how to improve (or whom to high-five), how to better budget your next project, or where to focus your project management energy.

Get Closer to the Full Story

The happy news is, you can get a more detailed story of your project’s monetary health by simply setting one budget per task. We call this the Fees per Task budget, and it’s now available for your fixed fee projects (and was already available for your time and materials projects!). Here’s an example:


Once you’ve set your Fees per Task budgets, you can pinpoint exactly where things are going smoothly or off the rails. Up above, it looks like our design task went over—it’s time to reassess our estimate, or talk with the team about what might have gone wrong. On the other hand, our implementation task went super fast! That’s good news, and we can bring this knowledge to future projects for better budgeting.

Budgeting in Fees per Task can be a really simple solution to get a much more comprehensive picture of your project. Setting it up can take just 30 seconds, and you’ll be able to pinpoint issues more easily, and catch problems sooner, than one total budget could. Low cost, high reward.

Happy budgeting, folks! And if you have any thoughts or feedback you’d like to share with us, just get in touch.