The Workflow Series – Forecast Tracking Reports

Miree Le Roy - Friday, January 21, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about the power of workflows in customising and automating your project management software. Well this got me thinking about all the nifty ways IPM can use workflows to better suit your project management needs, and I decided it was time for a blog series to show you how a few of them work. So, welcome to the first post in The Workflow Series.

I will start off with showing how workflows have helped develop quite a new feature of IPM, the forecast tracking report. Not long ago, IPM developed the enhanced forecasting tool in the Job Tasks Progress screen. This easy to use tool enables you to continually update detailed forecast to complete information for each job task as the job progresses. However, we found that once the forecast was updated, the original forecast was overridden with the new one.

Was there a way to view what your forecast to complete was three months ago and compare it to now? With workflows, the answer is yes. We added a forecast tracking report to the Job and Job Task forms, which is created by a workflow. Now you can decide how you want the workflow to run.

As an example, we created a workflow that would run every time the forecast to complete figure in the Job Tasks Progress screen was changed. When the forecast is updated, the workflow runs in the background and creates a forecast tacking report to show you what the forecast looked like before it was updated. Now each time the forecast is changed, a forecast tracking report is created in the Job and Job Task forms and they will soon develop into a comprehensive and searchable tracking log for all the forecast updates on the project. This way you can compare what your forecast looked like three months ago to how it looks now.

Of course, the nature of workflows means you can choose how you want them to work. Instead of automatically creating the forecast tracking report, you could set the workflow to run on demand, so it only creates the reports when you want it to. Workflows are also simple to create if you have the appropriate security access level, so you are in control without the need for external consultants.

This is just one way IPM is utilising workflows, so stay tuned for more in the Workflow series...


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