Estimating the cost of upcoming projects can be difficult, especially as the scale and complexity increase. Faulty estimates can cause resource shortages and exceeded budgets, which lower your profit margins. Accurate resource estimates and margin projections are a crucial part of initiating a successful project that keeps your teams thriving.
Fortunately, Mavenlink’s Estimates gives you the ability to create multiple staffing (or resource allocation) scenarios for each project. Selecting predefined roles and Rate Cards makes it easier to model margins and compare staff options across multiple scenarios.
This functionality simplifies the estimation process and eliminates the guesswork necessary to make accurate financial projections for potential and/or future projects.
Before you begin, you'll need to figure out your target margin, project budget, and resource needs so you have a better understanding of what needs to be delivered and the resources required to work on the project.
This way you can both produce a project estimate that will both be an informed business decision and “win the deal” with your new client.
The main Estimates page consists of a list of your current estimates that display basic information about the client, creator, number of scenarios, and related actions. We recommend creating new estimates for each opportunity you have; individual estimates can later be turned into projects.
Note: In order to access the Estimates page, you need to enable rate cards for your account.
The Estimates list allows the following actions:
- Sort By—By clicking the arrows (“ ”) to the right of the Created On column header, you can sort the list by creation date in ascending or descending order.
- Filter By—By clicking on the Created By filter icon (“ ”), you can filter the list by the person who created the estimate. In the Search field at the top of the filter panel, start typing the first few letters of the member name; all results matching your query will appear below the Search field. Check or uncheck the boxes depending on the members by which you want to filter. When you are finished settings options in the filter panel, click Apply; you’ll notice that the filter icon will turn from an outline (“ ”) to solid (“ ”), indicating that the filter is active. You can remove all filters by clicking Deselect All in the upper-right corner of the filter panel.
- Delete (“
Note: You cannot delete a locked estimate; this occurs when a project has been created from one of your scenarios. When an estimate is locked, none of the scenarios, resources, or allocations can be updated or deleted.
- Clone Estimate (“
Note: You are currently unable to change the Currency in cloned estimates. Therefore, if you need it to be different, you’ll need to create a new estimate.
- New Estimate—This button opens the Create a New Estimate page, where you must provide the estimate name, the client, and the start date. You may also configure financial information for your new opportunity. When a new estimate is created, your first scenario is also created.