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Question

What is the difference between Plans and Assignment Budgets?

Solution

A People Plan in Unanet is considered as project resource soft booking, which can be used to represent your initial contract baseline. Once it is created, the contract baseline should be left untouched since it contains the initial contract agreements or the goals you plan to achieve initially.

Plans are great for creating proposals and making resourcing decisions. You can optionally have multiple Plan Sets for “what-if” analysis, as well as multiple versions of a given Plan Set. Also, Plan Versions can be locked to prevent further editing and keep your baseline/original budgets intact. Plans can also be directly converted to Budgets/Assignments.

Plans can be directly converted into a working budget. In Unanet, this is called "People Assignments." Assignments are hard bookings and resource authorization to charge time and expenses to the projects. In most cases, project managers choose to only allow assigned people to charge to their projects. During the contract execution phase, project requirements may change, initial planned resources may not be available any longer, and/or the schedule gets tight and you need to assign additional resources. The changes can be implemented by directly modifying the people assignments on the projects, at which time the assignments vary from the initial plans and they represent the contracts' working budget.

Budgets/Assignments are also used in reporting/forecasting, but their primary purpose is work authorization (i.e., control mechanism). The original Assignment/Budget is typically the result of your planning procedures, but once the Project begins and circumstances change, it becomes fluid. Budgets/Assignments may also be used for authorization without being initiated as Plans. Unlike Plans, you only have one budget/assignment and it cannot be locked. Think of Assignments as your “working budget.” They are great for forecasting the costs you’ve authorized, comparing to total funds available, and identifying when action is needed. For example, if Funded Value equals $10,000 but your budget forecast equals $13,000, it would be an indication that you over-allocated your budget and there is risk for overspending if action is not taken by the PM to further restrict spending.     

As people enter timesheets, the hours on the timesheets are the actuals indicating what truly happened.

Each project can have at least three sets of data in Unanet that you can compare with in order to monitor the project performance and get a feel for project backlogs. (Plans, Budgets, Actuals).

Note: Project Budgets and Task Budgets are different from Assignment Budgets or Expense Budgets. For more information on Project Budgets, please click here.


PeopleExpenses

PlansAssignmentsPlansBudgets
Can be versioned to show various proposal/what-if scenarios and/or corporate periodic planning/replanning

YES

(via Plan sets)

NO

(there is only ever one level of assignments)

YES

(via Plan sets)

NO

(There is only ever 1 level of assignments)

Allows authorization to charge

NO

(unless also using Org Assignments or Self-Assign)

YES

n/a because no people are specified in an expense plan

n/a because no people are specified in an expense budget
Periodic Reporting terminology"Plans""Budgets""Plans""Budgets"
Import terminology"Planned Work""Assignments""Expense Plans""Expense Budgets"


Additional Information

KC - FAQ - Which reports feature Project, Task, Assignment Budget/Plans?

KC - FAQ - Which Unanet Report can display Project, Task and Resource Assignment budgets on one report?

KC - Quick Topic - Corporate Budgeting in Unanet

KC - Plans

KC - Assignments

KC - Quick Topic - Portfolio Requirements Assessment and Scenarios



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