Setting up a budget ensures the project manager a better understanding about how the human and financial resources will be used throughout the project's progress. Within Nutcache, the Project screen allows you to track the project as well as the budget from one convenient location.
Access to the project budget with milestones and alerts and the new invoice methods are available within the following Nutcache editions:
||Time entries only
|Only consider approved entries
|Only bill approved entries||No||No||Yes|
Defining a budget
Defining a project budget includes the following steps:
1. Setting the budget scope
- Global. As its name suggests, a budget with a global scope covers the entire project.
Per member or per task. A more specific scope, either per member or per task, allows for a more detailed monitoring of your project's activity.
NOTE: A budget with a "Per member" scope is incompatible with an "open" type project since an "open" project is, by definition, opened to all members from your organization.|
If you have chosen the "Global" scope for your project, you have to set an amount for the budget type you selected. For instance, for a "global" scope budgeted by "Worked hours", you need to assign an amount of hours to the budget.
If you have chosen the "Per member" or "Per task" scope for the project, you have to set an amount for the budget type from either the Members tab ("per member" scope), or the Tasks tab ("per task" scope) of the project screen.
2. Setting the budget type
Once the budget scope is set, you can choose to budget by the following methods:
- Worked hours (hourly rate defined within each member's file)
- Costs (worked hours x hourly rates + expenses)
- Billable hours
- Billable amount
3. Only consider approved entries
This option allows you to select all entries (worked hours, expenses, etc.) when calculating your budget, or only those that have been approved via the approval options from under the Time Tracking module.
Monitoring a budget
Once all the budget initial parameters are set and saved, you can monitor the project performance through several KPIs from the Budget tab of the Project screen.
Tracking the budget progress
The main graphic indicator lets you measure exactly how well the project is progressing within the defined budget.
The dotted line across the graph show the budget threshold. A red dotted line means the budget threshold has been exceeded.
A "Refresh" option at the top right of the graph can be used to regenerate the graph if you make any changes to worked hours or expenses related to the project.
The project KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
The project KPIs are divided into 5 categories:
Budget spent: amount or number of hours spent so far
Percentage: the percentage of completion in relation with the defined budget
Remaining: amount or number of hours remaining before the budget is reached
Worked: worked hours
Billable: billable hours
Ratio: ratio between worked hours and billable hours
Expenses: project-related expenses
Labor: labor costs (salaries)
Total: total costs
Billed: billed-to-date amount
To bill: billing remaining amount
Total: total billable amount
Current: billed-to-date amount vs total costs
Projected: total billable amount vs total costs
The member view
If you have chosen the "Per member" scope for your project, you will have in the bottom list an overview of all the members involved in the project. For each member, you get information about the allocated budget, the amount or number of hours accumulated-to-date, the amount or number of hours remaining, the budget percentage of completion, the project costs (worked hours x hourly rates + expenses), and the hours and billable amount.
The task view
If you have chosen the "Per task" scope for your project, you will have in the bottom list an overview of all the tasks related to the project. For each task, you get information about the allocated budget, the number of hours accumulated-to-date, the number of hours remaining, the budget percentage of completion, the project costs (worked hours only), and the hours and billable amount.
Setting budget milestones and alerts
To ensure your project runs smoothly, efficiently, and profitably, you can set different milestones (in percentage) to monitor the budget's progress. When a budget threshold is met, an alert is triggered and an email is sent to the project manager(s).
Creating a milestone
First, click the Milestone tab on top of the list and then click the + Milestone button.
From the pop-up screen, enter the description of the milestone (for example, 50%), set the status and percentage for the milestone, and enter the email addresses of the recipients who will receive an alert when the milestone is reached.
If the budget scope is set "Per member" or "Per task", you will also need to set a scope to the milestone, which can be applied to all members and tasks, or to a specific member or task.
Nutcache lets you create as many milestones as you need to monitor the budget and project's progress.