How do I use Harvest and Forecast to view Estimates vs Actuals?

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Using Harvest and Forecast together allows you to see your estimated time compared to actual time tracked, week by week, for the lifespan of your project.

To compare what you’ve planned versus what actually happened, you can start with the project’s Hours Per Week graph.

Screenshot of the Hours Per Week graph on the project analysis page for a Harvest project connected to a Forecast project, where the hours scheduled in Forecast will make the project go over budget

In this example, scheduled time could make the project go over budget in the future, but recent weeks show that people have been spending much less time on it than scheduled.

Tracked hours from Harvest appear in black and scheduled hours (i.e. estimated hours) from Forecast appear in gray. This allows you to see trends at a glance, as well as get a sense of when you’re on track and when things didn’t quite go according to your expectations. Want to find out more about a specific week and see specific amounts per person? The answer lies beneath the graphs, in the Team Table.

The Team Table will show you the number of hours tracked by each team member, the amount they were forecasted, and the difference between the two. By default, you’ll see a view of the lifetime of the project, but you can narrow the timeframe as needed.

It appears most people working on this project are in good shape, but Hildegard has worked 16 hours more than forecasted.

If you budget by Hours per Person, the Team Table will show the Budgeted hours for each person, the amount of time spent, and the remaining budget, as well as the Forecast Projected Spend. This is the number of hours the team member has spent on the project, along with the number of hours they’ve been scheduled to work in the future.

Using the timeframe dropdown in the top-right corner, you can see, week by week, the estimates vs actuals for the entire team. Is someone consistently working more or fewer hours than anticipated? Drill down and see raw figures for each individual on the project.

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