How Synergy Enterprise advanced forecasting helps architecture and engineering directors and practice managers plan for the future of the business
Understanding your business income and cash flow is vital if you want to know you can afford to pay your staff and grow your business.
The key differences with advanced forecasting (compared to Business level forecasting) is being able to see a forecast of revenue down to individual stage level for confirmed and proposal projects.
Where Business level forecasting uses an automatic forecast splitting the project value evenly over the months, advanced forecasting (Enterprise only) enables you to nominate the monthly invoice value. By assigning expected invoices to future projects based on the work breakdown and budget planned for each stage, you can visibly see where your revenue peaks and troughs are and plan accordingly.
What’s more, your business’s capacity to deliver planned and proposal projects is visually linked to the forecasting and resourcing Gantt chart, so you can quickly see whether you have the right people and roles to deliver projects to that revenue expectation. With a simple drag and drop function, you can simply adjust start and end dates and project timelines to see how that affects revenue and capacity.
Read more about resource planning and its role in the forecasting and resourcing feature set.
Project planning mode vs project delivery mode
The Synergy Enterprise forecasting and resourcing module offers two modes — project planning mode and project delivery mode — useful at different stages of project proposal likelihood.
PROJECT PLANNING MODE
In project planning mode, advanced forecasting automatically creates a project budget in order to forecast the project role-type requirements and the breakdown of revenue across the project timeline. This mode is where Synergy advanced forecasting helps you make a highly educated guess about your future revenue and resourcing levels (much faster than you can do on the back of a napkin or in a spreadsheet!).
In planning mode, the forecast is created through a sophisticated algorithm (a bit too complicated to explain here) that looks at your specific company’s primary rates and how you apply resources to a job. While this won’t provide your final budget, work breakdown, staff allocation and utilization, it’s a useful way to get a guide (a forecast) without having to do the detail work for a project you may not win.
When a project proposal is at a lower likelihood of being won, this forecast is enough to look forward and plan your business activity. Once the likelihood percentage of winning that job goes up, you can switch to project delivery mode to add details and be more precise.
PROJECT DELIVERY MODE
In project delivery mode, you can create a defined budget with expected billing per stage and task. You can assign these invoice values in your forecast which updates your revenue forecast more accurately. If the project is an opportunity and still set to a ‘likelihood’ percentage, this is reflected in your revenue graph (more or less revenue is shown depending on how high the likelihood of winning the job is). Once at 100 percent, the full revenue is shown. Active projects are all set to delivery mode. You can choose to move opportunities to delivery mode if you are confident about winning them and want to add the detail.
In project delivery mode, project managers and directors can switch to the resource planning view to assign staff to individual tasks, replacing the role types with actual people.
Read the forecasting and resourcing blog by Synergy product manager Paul Hemmings.