The Process of Capturing Actuals
Capturing Actuals in addition to Forecasts is very valuable, giving information over time on what really happened, not just what you thought would happen.
Comparing actuals to forecasts makes visible whether needed resources are finishing prior assignments and rolling onto new ones when expected, giving early warning of issues that need addressed for project success. It also helps improve Forecast estimates over time, as the estimators see what it really took to complete an assignment, with this historical knowledge available when forecasting similar items in the future.
The best way to capture Actuals for each assignment is for individual Team Members to record their actual time spent (on a weekly or daily basis), either in ResourceFirst Actuals Tracking or a different system, which can then be integrated into ResourceFirst.
In both of these cases, once approved (automatically or manually), the Actuals data from the individual timesheet records makes its way into ResourceFirst assignments, available for viewing. In these cases, any modifications or additions to the Actuals should normally be done in the timesheets themselves, so that the timesheets and the viewed Actuals are consistent.
Using this approach, the Actuals in ResourceFirst assignments (visible by changing the value type toggle from Forecast to Actual) are an easily viewable summary of the timesheet details. They are also available for use in reports or for exporting.
Another approach is for Project Managers or Resource Managers, using their knowledge of the day-to-day work their project/team members are doing, to record those Actuals.
NOTE: For these actuals to be useful, those Managers must have a good view of what work is really occurring and how much time it is taking, not just the forecast. The remainder of this article shows how the Manager can enter and modify Actuals when this approach is used.
How to Enter and Modify Actuals
Go to the Resources->Assignments or Projects->Assignments page. Set the value type (shown in upper right of page) to Actual by toggling the button.
The values now shown are the Actuals for the assignments.
To enter or modify Actuals for an existing assignment, select a cell and enter/modify the value. Note that actuals cannot be entered for inactive resources.
Occasionally, work has been done that is not reflected as an existing assignment. In these cases, the Manager can click the Add button to bring up a new row (creating a new Assignment) and enter the Actuals.
After you have completed entering/modifying Actuals, be sure to save.
Toggling the button in upper right now showing Actual will return the value type to Forecast.