Decision Lens Accelerate - Project Costs Overview

Project Costs represent the resources that are required in order to undertake a project.  Costs are flexible to be able to represent whatever the resources are that are being planned against (ie monetary funding, work hours, FTEs, or any other desired resource).

A “Cost” represents the requested amount of resources for a given Project.  Projects can draw from one or many different types of Costs if desired.  For example, a Project may require both Hardware and Software costs that could be tracked separately.  Each Cost type will also have a budget associated with it for a given time period for either year, fiscal year or more granular by month.

Decision Lens Accelerate is designed to assist in portfolio planning over time analyzing the planned cost allocations against planned budgets.

Managing Cost Data

When a Cost Field is created, there will be an associated Column in the Projects Table.  This data in this column represents the requested amount of that Cost Type for each Project.  When a cost request is added there also must be an associated planned timeframe for that request.  This is only a placeholder for planning and can be changed at any time either before or after choosing to allocated resources to a project.   For Projects in non-allocated statuses (see Statuses section), the placeholder request month/year will continue to move forward when a specific Start Date has not yet been entered.  

While each Project has a single cell in the Projects Page to represent this cost, the Cost can be either simple or multi-time period.

Simple Cost

For a Simple Cost, a number can be manually added to a cell to represent the request for that project. By default, when a single simple number is entered into a Cost cell, it will be entered for the current month/year.  If there are existing requests for other Cost Types, the default will be to add the new request for the new Cost Type to the first time period that is requesting resources for any type of Cost. 

Multi Time Period Costs

A Project can also request Cost Type Resources that spans across multiple time periods (ie a 3 month or 2 year project that requires resources across all time periods).  For this use case, additional requests can be added in the Cost section of the Project Details view or the Schedule page to enter Cost Request information for additional time periods. 

The new Cost Table was designed to decouple display a window of time periods (ie the time periods that are options to add cost requests) from the Project Start Date (ie the time period where the first Cost resides)

Users choose which Budgets to add to their respective project

When a Cost Request is entered for more than one as in the example above, then in the Projects table the Cost Cell for the given Project will display as a link instead of an editable cell as seen with the Simple Cost.  This link signifies that the number displayed is a calculated total and not a single number for the Cost. 

Clicking on the link will open up the Project Details view to see the individual time periods. The timing can be viewed and edited either from the Project Details view or in the Schedule Page of the application.  See more information regarding Project Scheduling in Schedule View Overview.

By default:

  • For new projects, the default will be the next time period for either FY, CY, or months.
    • For existing projects, the window boundary will be defined by the existing start and end.
  • In both case the start and end of the window boundary can be changed if desired.
    • Future work will allow owners to set the cost window for all Idea.
  • The displayed columns must always contain the time periods that have costs but can extend before or after to allow for additional costs to be added if desired.
  • The project start date (time period of first cost) is displayed below the table and can be used to shift the project in time. It will automatically update based on data changes.
    • Note that End Date is not displayed in the details views.

To add Costs, the user will click Add Cost to bring up the Add Costs Modal.

In the Add Cost Modal, all of the Budgets and Budget Fields (where applicable) will be displayed.

Users can filter to be able to find the appropriate Budgets from which the Project will be. requesting resources.

By Clicking Add the Budget line will be added to the Cost table.

Hovering over an added Budget will display an option to remove if desired.

Users can then add Costs to the table into any of the time periods and Budgets added.

If a Budget is added an unused (ie no cost requests are added) it will not appear next time the modal is opened and will need to be re-added.

The project start date (time period of first cost) is displayed below the table in Project Details.
    • Start date is not displayed on the Idea form.

The Project Start can be used to shift the project in time. It will also automatically update based on data changes.
    • Note that End Date is not displayed in the details views.