Tracking Time, Budget, and Progress

Because Planscope knows what's done, what's left to do, and how much time you've logged, we're able to help you figure out just how healthy your projects are, and whether you're on track to complete it within budget.

Almost every project evolves overtime, and Planscope's able to actively be a "canary in a coal mine" and warn you and your clients if any added scope is jeopardizing the project.

Logging Time

There are two ways to log time:

  1. A running timer - By clicking the "Start" button on any task, we'll create a timer that runs until you click "Stop". As you jump between tasks, just be sure to let us know what you're working on and we'll keep tabs on your time. (If you let a timer run for too long and need to edit it, you can find out how to do that by clicking the "Learn more... time logs" link below.)
  2. Manually adding time - Sometimes you forget to run a timer — but that's cool, you can fill in your missed time logs. Click the "Learn more... time logs" link below to find out how to add arbitrary amounts of time.

How your logged time affects the progress meter

Here's how we calculate the progress percentage for your projects:

  1. We sum up the total estimated time for either the selected milestone or your entire project.
  2. We then subtract all of your in review or approved tasks (that is, we assume they're 100% done).
  3. Finally, any tasks that have time logged against them are factored in. If a task estimated to be 4 hours has 1 hour of time logged against it, we assume it's 25% complete.

Example: Say you have three tasks, "A", "B", and "C". Each is estimated at 1 hour. If "A" is approved, and "B" has 30 minutes logged against it, your project is considered 50% complete.

Here's The Math:

  • Task "A" is 100% done (aka "approved"), so it adds 33%,
  • task "B" is 1/2 finished (30m of 1h), so it adds 17% to the project total,
  • and "C" hasn't been worked on yet (no time logged), so it adds 0%.

How your logged time affects the budget meter

Calculating the budget meter is a bit simpler.

  • If "Show progress for" is set to a milestone we'll take the budget of your milestone and compare it to the total time logged in that milestone.
  • If "Show progress for" is your entire project we'll take the budget of all of your milestones combined and compare it to the total time logged for the project.

What to do when your budget used outweighs your progress

If your budget meter surpasses your progress, this means that there's a high likelihood that the scope of the project won't be completed for the expected budget.

This can happen for a lot of reasons: the tasks might have been more complex than initially estimated, additional scope has been added during the lifetime of the project, etc. Should this happen, it might be time to discuss increasing budgets or decreasing scope with your clients.