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Posts tagged “Forecast”:

Smaller Increments and More Flexible Scheduling in Forecast

Scheduling your team is a fundamental part of Forecast. On average, our customers create 50,000 new assignments every week—that’s a lot! Today, we’re releasing a major update to scheduling in Forecast that offers you tremendously more flexibility when assigning:

  • Assign time in smaller increments than whole hours (e.g. 0.5, 3.68, etc)
  • Select 7.5 as an option for Max Hours/Day (this allows you to set a 37.5-hour workweek)
  • Quickly adjust the Total Hours for any assignment, instead of only its Hours/Day (more on this below)
  • Other workflow improvements for faster assigning

The above changes allow a wider range of scheduling options available to you in Forecast. You can now assign a project manager that is only sitting in on a 15-minute meeting (0.25 hours/day). You can also accurately book a 37.5-hour workweek without unnecessarily over- or under-booking your team’s schedules.

New Ways to Assign in Forecast

We want Forecast to be even better for high-level planning and have done just that by now allowing you to adjust the Total Hours for an assignment. Here are some examples illustrating how you can use this feature to plan at a higher level:

  • Hours/Week — You want your developer to work 30 hours on a project each week for the next few weeks. Simply create a Monday-Friday assignment, enter 30 into Total Hours to show hours/week, and repeat this assignment for as many weeks as needed.
  • Hours/Month — You plan to work 100 hours on a project for the entire month. Create an assignment from the first business day of the month through the last, and enter 100 into Total Hours.
  • Hours/Phase — You just won a new project and you want to assign 60 hours over the first three weeks to a designer. You can create one assignment for those three weeks, and enter 60 into Total Hours.

In each scenario, Forecast will do the math for you to break the assignment down to the proper Hours/Day. We’ve created a short, 2-minute video that highlights these new concepts. We highly recommend you watch it as you’ll learn some insightful ways to work faster in Forecast:

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team. Happy scheduling!

How an Agency Used Forecast to Improve Resource Scheduling

Forecast makes it easy to schedule your team on multiple projects and plan out what you’re working on over the next few months. But it’s much more than a visual team calendar. It provides you with the insight to answer critical questions about your business: What is the team working on right now? Who’s under water? Do you have the capacity to take on new work? How secure is the future of the business?

In this post, Holly Davis, a project manager at White October, describes how her digital agency implemented Forecast and used it to help manage their business.

Resourcing for a growing agency is a big challenge. Things change from minute to minute and everyone has different information they need access to:

  • The whole team needs to know what they’re supposed to be working on.
  • Project managers need to ensure that resourcing forecasts mirror the needs of their upcoming project work.
  • Account managers need long-term forecasting so they know what new business they should pursue.

A year ago we were struggling to fulfill these needs, mainly due to the fact that we had little confidence that the data we were putting in was an accurate reflection of ‘reality.’

One of our project managers, Sarah Clarke, decided to take on the challenge of improving resourcing at White October. She chose Harvest Forecast, integrated with our main Harvest account, as the management tool.

Continue reading…

Zoom Out the Forecast Schedule

The schedule is at the heart of Forecast. It’s where you assign hours to your team and add milestones to your projects. It’s where you can see the team’s availability and overcapacity. Every week, it’s displayed on conference room TVs in meetings all over the world.

Today, we’re introducing an incredibly useful (and oft-requested) feature to the Forecast schedule: Zoom Out.

The amount of weeks you see in the schedule is based on your browser’s width. A typical schedule used to display only ~3–5 weeks at a time. That wasn’t enough… Perhaps you’d like to see the next two months to get clear insight into when a developer team would be freeing up. Maybe you want a high-level view of when you can take on that next project.

Now, with the click of a button, the schedule will show you ~9–12 weeks at a time.

forecast-zoom-out

Everything about the schedule will remain the same when you zoom out. You can still assign time, resize, drag, and split assignments, add and edit milestones, etc. It will simply show you more weeks in the timeline.

We believe this new feature will give you the high-level view you’ve been missing. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team.


As a reminder, you can still navigate the schedule forward or back in time. Make use of keyboard shortcuts to make this even faster: use the left and right arrow keys to navigate weeks, t to return to This Week, - to Zoom Out, and + to Zoom in.

Create Assignments Faster with Click and Drag

Be frictionless is one of our core principles on Forecast, and today we’re pulling out the WD-40 and going friction hunting. We’re excited to introduce a better way to create assignments.

Simply select the desired start date on the schedule, hold down your mouse and drag it out to the desired end date. That’s it! You’ve now created an assignment without having to open the date-selector or resize the assignment after.

Not only that, it also works for assigning a new project or person.

clickendragon2_v2

Assignments are at the core of Forecast, and our users create more than 30,000 of them each week. At that rate, the time and energy lost to a few extra clicks can really add up. We want Forecast to help you do your best work without getting in your way.

We’ve found this change makes Forecast even more pleasant to use. We hope you will too!

Forecasted Project Health now supports Fee-based Budgets

Earlier this year we announced a tighter integration between Harvest + Forecast, combining your tracked hours with your scheduled hours. This update allows you to compare your team’s estimates vs actuals, and also reveals real-time project health, so you know ahead of time if you’ll go over your hours budget.

We’re happy to announce that we recently added two nice updates to this project health portion of our integration.

  1. We’ll now show if you’ll be over or under budget in the Forecast summary for all budget types, including fee-based budgets.
  2. If we are able to calculate the projected fees, we’ll also show that in the summary, even if you’ve selected an hours-based budget.

This means you’ll be able to know ahead of time if you will go over or come under your fee budget right in the summary!

project-health

Note: To calculate projected fees, you will need to select an invoice method of Project Hourly Rate or Person Hourly Rate.

We know that, at the end of the day, knowing where you stand against your projected fees is critical to your business. We think this update will help you run your projects more smoothly and efficiently.

Bonus! We’ve also just rolled out the “money graph”, which means we will show you a graph of your project’s progress against the monetary budget you have set for any projects budgeted by fees. This graph will also includes projected budget data from Forecast.

Export your Forecast Schedule (Beta)

Today we’re introducing a new feature to Forecast: you can now export your schedule to a CSV file! This is super useful if you want to work with your Forecast data in other applications, such as Google Sheets or Excel. We’re still fine tuning things, but we wanted to get this out to you today in its Beta form so you can give it a try.

To try this out, just head over to the new Export section from the navigation menu. Once there, it’s as simple as choosing the weeks you’d like to export, and choosing the format of your export:

  • Projects Schedule View will list your projects, with a separate line for each person’s assigned hours for each week.
  • Team Schedule View will list each person on your team and a rollup of their assigned hours for each week.

forecast-exports

As you can see, exports are a fast way to get weekly summaries of your Forecast schedule. We hope these exports allow you the freedom to do more with your data!

If you have any questions or feedback, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at support@forecastapp.com.

Jump to Harvest’s Project Analysis from your Forecast Schedule

Today in Forecast we are adding a quick link for you to jump from your schedule to Harvest’s Project Analysis page.

The Edit button on expanded project rows will now be replaced with the project’s Actions menu. For all Harvest-connected projects, a new action to “View in Harvest” will be present.

viewinharvest6

Now you can easily stay on top of your project’s progress as you’re scheduling. We think you’ll find this link helpful as you use our upcoming Harvest + Forecast integration!

Bonus: Update your project notes in Forecast often? Now you can click the notes icon on a project row to edit them immediately!

Assign Company-Wide Holidays and Closings in Forecast

Harvest HQ is closed for a holiday nine times in 2015, and we also host two week-long company-wide summits throughout the year. We know that you have your own company-wide holidays, closings, outings, and summits, and we want to make those easier to manage when scheduling your projects.

Now in Harvest Forecast, instead of tediously assigning Time Off for each person individually, we’re introducing a much simpler way to mark these days off for your entire company.

Previously, assigning time off for everyone would mean a separate row for every person, which could fill your entire screen with noise for just one holiday. Now, that time off will be rolled up into just one row.

cwto

Simply select “Everyone” from the “Assign Person to Project…” option on the Time Off project and assign the days as you normally would. As always, you can use the Notes field to explain what the Time Off is for. And this company-wide assignment behaves like any other Time Off assignment, showing up in all project rows to help you avoid scheduling projects on these days off.

We hope you enjoy this new feature. If you have any questions or feedback, don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at support@forecastapp.com.

Smarter Project Scheduling with Harvest and Forecast

Today, we’re proud to unveil the first step of the highly anticipated integration between our two products, Harvest and Forecast. The project budgets in Harvest will now be reference-able from Forecast in real time. You can now compare the hours you have left in a project budget with the hours you have scheduled from today through the end of a project. With this first point of integration, using Harvest with Forecast lets you make smarter scheduling decisions. Here’s how it looks in Forecast:

Remaining Budgeted Hours Demo

Scheduling With Insight

As a project manager, you are constantly striking the balance between deadlines, your team’s availability, and the project budgets. Forecast provides a realistic view of your team’s schedule, availability, and commitments. By referencing future scheduled hours, you can quickly see how many hours are committed across your projects and team members. For projects linked to Harvest, you can easily compare these hours against the actual budget left. This handy feature informs your scheduling and ultimately keep your projects running smoothly.

For example, if your project is scheduled to take another 300 hours (in Forecast), but you only have 280 hours left in the budget (according to Harvest), you can take action before it’s a bigger problem. Maybe you need to talk to your client to revisit the scope, or talk to the finance team to see if there’s room to increase the budget. By having quick access to these key numbers, you will be better equipped to keep projects predictable and clients happy.

More To Come

This is just the first step of the Harvest and Forecast integration. We’re excited to bring together the information from these products in a way that will not only save you time, but provide a new level of insight to help you manage projects.

In the near future, we’ll bring Forecast data into our new Projects section. Our goal is to help customers not only see where they are in their project budgets, but to also see it alongside the expected efforts needed to complete the projects. We’ll share more details about this in a future post.

We hope you enjoy this new feature and if you have any questions or feedback, don’t hesitate to reach out the team at support@forecastapp.com.

Customize Max Hours Per Day in Forecast

In July, we introduced Harvest Forecast, a whole new way to schedule your team’s time. Since then, hundreds of companies have adopted Forecast as their tool of choice for team planning. While this has been an exceptional beginning, we’ve been hard at work to make Forecast even better.

Starting today, you can customize the max hours per day for each person. Until now, every person in Forecast is scheduled against a default of eight hours per day. Many customers have asked for this to be flexible to match their needs and we listened. If your entire team schedule around something other than eight hours per day, or if certain individuals on the team have unique availability, you can now accurately reflect that in Forecast. Learn more about how to customize hours per day in our Help Center.

customize max hours per day

This is the first of more updates to come. If you find yourself struggling with unwieldy resource planning spreadsheets or programs, we welcome you to give Forecast a try.