Title: Project Management Toolkit: Managing Resources to compare Working Budget and Actuals to Initial Plan

Brief description:

With this resource management approach in Unanet, an initial plan represents the project resource plan "as bid" or as initially planned to meet project cost, profit and revenue targets. Once the initial plan is created, resource assignments/budgets are made using the plan. Then, as contract modifications, project deliverables, resource changes, or other changes occur over the term of the contract/project, Unanet resource budgets are updated to reflect a current "working budget." At any time in the contract/project term, Project and Resource managers can compare the current budget and actuals to the initial plan.

Relevant metrics include:

What’s covered in this document:

Key Concepts

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.


Configuration Requirements

Proper Roles and Organizational Access

Project Profile

Task level

Create Resource Plans

Evaluate Project and Resource Targets

Reports should be run in a separate tab to determine if Project and Resource targets are met, based on Plan data.

Create Resource Assignments from Plans (Working Budget)

Ongoing Management of the Working Budget

Update Project and Task Revised dates and budgets

Collect Estimates to Complete (optional)

Evaluate ongoing Project Performance

Revise People assignments: Shift Hours, Project Delivery Dates or Resources to meet Project Performance Targets

Relevant Metrics

Additional Information

Help Docs - Report Calculations

KC - Quick Topic - Corporate Budgeting in Unanet