Forecast offers a variety of project solutions to fit your needs and help you to manage simple tasks to complex projects. Now that you've configured your Forecast account and rolled the platform out to your team, you are ready to create your first project!
Creating a new project
Step 1: Create a new project
To get started building your first project, check out Creating and managing a project. This walkthrough will show you how to create a new project and set its parameters such as the start and end date, your project team and resources, the project budget and more.
Step 2: Configure your project budget
Forecast offers 4 distinct budget types to fit your client contract and project needs. Availability of budget types depends on your Forecast subscription plan. You can learn more about the various budget types available to you based on your plan in Overview of budget types.
Step 3: Assign your teams/resources
We touched on the importance of creating teams in Onboarding your team/resources. When adding teams, you may find it easier to do so while creating your project, however you can always add a team or individual resource to a project. To learn more about adding teams/resources to your projects, check out Adding a team or individuals to a project.
Step 4: Review your project settings
Additionally, each project has its own project-specific settings that allow you flexibility in managing the project. You can learn more about the available project settings in Managing your project settings.
As part of the project settings, Forecast offers various statuses to help organize, track and manage your projects. Having ability to categorize your projects in ways that clearly display projects that are running or in progress separately from those that are opportunities or even on-hold gives insights into project prioritization. You will likely be managing multiple projects at the same time, so clearly identifying their respective stages will maximize your efficiency and also help identify where you and your team should be focusing.
Step 5: Determine your project priority
Forecast also offers you options to manage project priority by setting Project Priority Levels. Check out Project Priority Levels for more information about using priority levels to manage your projects.
Step 6: Apply labels
You may also consider using labels to categorize your projects. You can learn more about the benefits of using labels to organize your projects, people and tasks in About labels and how they work.
Executing your project
Once you've created your project, added your team/resources, defined your budget type and project priority, adjusted your project-specific settings and added labels, you are ready to start scoping your project.
Step 1: Configure your baseline
Baseline is a project scoping feature available for Pro and Plus subscription plans. Baseline offers you the option to pre-scope your projects and present proposals to your clients. To learn more about the benefits of working with Baseline, check out Setting and Reviewing Project Baseline.
Step 2: Scope your project
If you don't have Baseline, don't worry! You still have the ability to scope out your projects directly from the Scoping page. Here you can create project phases and tasks, define task roles and assignees and estimate the amount of work required to complete your project. Check out Defining your project scope for details on how to create and manage the scope of your project.
Step 3: Create tasks
While scoping your project, you will likely start creating and assigning tasks. Working with tasks allows you to get specific about the work required and who will be completing it. Tasks also allow you manage your scope of work and gain insight over your project budget, time estimates compared to actual time registered, internal cost of the project and the revenue it is generating. To learn more, check out About tasks and how they work.
Forecast's AI also offers helpful suggestions for task roles, assignees and time estimates. You can find more about how Forecast's AI works in Task management suggestions.
Step 1: Locate your work/tasks
Once you've scoped your project, created tasks and added time estimates, task roles and assignees, you may be wondering where to advise your team to look for their assignments. Forecast offers a personal dashboard, My Work, to help individual team members stay organized and on top of their tasks.
To learn more about My Work, check out Viewing and managing My Work.
In addition to offering your team personalized dashboards, My Work also includes My Timesheets where individuals can register time, view time registrations and manage their daily or weekly work by personalizing the tasks displayed. For more on My Timesheets and the options available, see Viewing and managing your personal timesheet.
Sometimes your team members may have expenses for hosting a dinner with clients or for travel to on-site meetings. To help manage expenses, Forecast offers My Expenses as part of My Work for Pro and Plus subscription customers. To read more on individual expense management, check out Submitting your expenses.
Step 2: Update and communicate on tasks
As you are likely now becoming familiar with the ins and outs of Forecast, you can see the benefit of team collaboration. You likely also have a team comprised of various individuals responsible for various aspects of your projects and tasks. You also understand the importance of communication across your team and organization and in order to efficiently manage your projects, you need team communication to remain open. Forecast helps accommodate this by allowing you to customize how you manage communication in tasks using task followers. To learn more about the various settings for task communications, check out Following a task.
Step 3: Invite Client/Guest users
While most, if not all, of your project work is completed internally by your team, there may be times that you need to pull in your clients and provide them with visibility over specific projects and tasks. To help with this, Forecast offers you the ability to invite your clients to Forecast by using Guest users. Guest users are not counted toward your paid subscription seats and you can have as many as you like!
Check out Adding and managing Guest Users to learn more about setting up project and task access for your clients.