Setting up a new platform can be daunting but we've got you covered! In this article, we will review important account components and the first steps for configuring your Forecast account including:
Basic account administration
Upon logging into Forecast for the first time, navigate to your Profile by clicking on the profile icon in the upper right corner, then select Admin. Here you will begin building your company profile.
Add your company account information including company name, logo, contact details, default working hours and holidays.
For more about basic account administration visit Configuring your Company Account Details.
Consider the notifications you'd like to set for your entire organization. Check out Viewing and Configuring Account Notifications for more on setting company-wide notifications.
Forecast also offers customizable notification settings managed at the individual user profile level. For more on managing personal notifications see Managing and viewing your personal Forecast notifications.
Resource Management settings
Consider the questions you asked yourself from the first page of this guide:
- How does your team work currently? Is it Agile or Waterfall?
- Do you know the full scope of a project when planning, or do you work in milestones/phase and sprints?
- What existing processes and practices are already in place that you want to improve and maximize efficiency of?
Give careful thought and consideration to this setting, as it is not advisable to flip between allocating resources to projects versus tasks. Instead, select one or the other based on your project management methodology, initiatives and goals. There is no right or wrong answer, you decide what will work best for you and your team! Learn more about choosing the right resource management setting to fit your project management style in Selecting your resource management strategy.
- Allocate People to Projects (Agile)
If you prefer to allocate resources at the project level, choose Allocate people to projects. If you intend to use Forecast’s Capacity Planning Placeholder feature, you must select Allocate people to projects. Check out Allocating people to projects (Agile) for more information.
- Allocate People to Tasks (Waterfall)
If you know your resource capacity and the full scope of the project including time spent on tasks up front, select Assign people to tasks. For more on working waterfall and assigning people to tasks, take a look at Assigning people to tasks (Waterfall).
Assign people to tasks has two additional setting options that will determine how you will view the heatmap. Check out Reviewing your resource heatmap (Schedule People) to learn more about this setting and its affect on Schedule People heatmap.
- Task Estimates will heatmap the Schedule People based on the time estimates entered into tasks when determining their assignments and reflect resource utilization and availability as such.
- Time Registrations and Remaining Task Estimates will heatmap Schedule People based on the difference between the original task estimate and the actual time registrations made by your team.
Forecast provides several time management options which enable Admins to change the settings for timesheet approval and timesheet locking, and create custom internal time and time-off categories.
One very important aspect of timesheet reporting is internal time and time-off. Internal time categories might include meetings, administrative tasks or training while time-off might include paid time-off, annual leave, sick time or vacation. Time off categories may also be imported from your existing time tracking application via integrations and will display here.
Learn more about internal time and time off categories in Overview of Time Management Setting.
In addition to customizable internal time and time-off categories, use Forecast's Timesheet features to help manage time registrations.
Timesheet approval is a feature available PLUS customers only. It enables Admins and Project Owners to review and approve their team members' time registrations across all their billable projects, ensuring all invoiceable time has been accurately registered before being invoiced.
Check out Using timesheet approval (Plus only) for more information.
This setting may only be activated via the Admin panel however, once enabled, Admins and Controllers permission have the option lock company timesheets up until a preferred date. This prevents team members from editing or deleting existing time entries or adding new time entries until after the date specified when setting the lock.
You can find more on Timesheet locking in About Timesheet Locking.