After you create a New Estimate, it appears alphabetically on the Estimates page. Click the name of the estimate to open the Estimates Workbook where you can create up to five different scenarios to better understand how changes in budget, resources, timelines, and allocations impact the estimate.
Locked Estimate Workbook
If the scenarios page is flagged as LOCKED, it means that a project has been created from one of your scenarios.
When locked, the estimate can not be updated or deleted. This way, you can check the accuracy of the original estimate by comparing it to the results of the project delivered. If the estimate is not locked, the values are updated with the latest bill rate and cost values.
Client Name and Estimate Name
The client and estimate name are at the top of the Estimates Workbook and apply to all scenarios that you create. You can change the client by clicking on the client name and selecting from the corresponding drop-down menu. You can also change the estimate name by clicking it and typing.
Estimate Details Side Panel
The Estimate Details side panel (" ") contains the opportunity confidence score, client name, project description, and custom fields.
- Opportunity Confidence—A whole number between 0-100 that reflects your belief that the estimate will convert to a profitable project.
- Client—The name of the client for whom the estimate was created. To change this, click on the client name and select a new name from the corresponding drop-down menu. If you change the client name in the Estimates Workbook, it will also be updated here.
- Description—A text field for information related to the overall estimate, or notes about each scenario. The Description field can be used any way you’d like; however, please be aware that the information entered in this field will be carried over to the project description.
- Custom Fields—This section displays all the Project Custom Fields (marked as Available in Estimates) in Settings > Custom Fields. These fields (arranged alphabetically) are initially created by an Account Administrator. You are not able to add or delete custom fields from the Estimate Details side panel.
Use the Details header bar to add a new scenario, rename a scenario, clone a scenario, mark a favorite, or delete a scenario.
Add Scenario—Click this to add up to five scenarios.
- Rename—By default, each scenario is labeled with a number, such as Scenario 1, Scenario 2, and so on. You can change the name of each scenario to something more meaningful. Note that each scenario name has a 255 character limit.
- Clone Scenario—By duplicating data from existing scenarios, you can create new ones with different resource demands and costs. This will retain information you want shared across scenarios while allowing you to adjust variables such as Start Date, Rate Card, resources, allocation percentages, and more to see how it impacts your profit margin compared to other scenarios
- Favorite—By default, the first scenario in the table is favorited. If you mark a favorite scenario, a star icon (“★”) is displayed to the left of the scenario name so it’s easy to identify which one is preferred. Note that you can have only one favorited scenario, and it will appear in Insights.
- Delete—Removes the current scenario. When locked, a scenario cannot be deleted.
You can also adjust basic information for each scenario from the Details header.
- Start Date—By default, the Start Date in the calendar picker assumes today’s date, and will auto-populate the Start Date in the Resource table. The Start Date is the anchor that all allocation date ranges refer to. Providing a Start Date makes it easier to calculate projected fees and helps when converting the allocation to planned hours. Once an estimate becomes a project, the Start Date helps you better understand who is needed and when.
- Budget—Provide an initial rough budgetary estimate of the resource costs to complete a project. The more accurate your estimate of project cost is, the better able you will be to manage your project’s budget. The budget is carried over to the project.
- Rate Card—Use this drop-down menu to select from one of your previously-created rate cards; otherwise, the Account Rate Card is selected by default. For more information, please see our Rate Card Overview article.
- Add Resource—To provide an accurate estimate, you must first create a list of resource placeholders. To do this, click the Add Resource button. A new line will appear in the resources list. Continue adding resources as needed; doing so will populate your projects that are created from this estimate.
Adding resources helps you get a sense of how to meet project demands while staying within budget. Click the Add Resource button to enter the following information about a resource:
- Role—Selecting a role helps you accurately plan how much a project will cost. Click inside a blank Role field to open a scrollable, searchable drop-down menu pre-populated with the roles created in your Settings > Roles.
- Resource Label—By default, the Resource Label will be the same as value as the Role. However, you can change the label so it’s easier to distinguish from other resources that have the same role. For example, if a project requires five engineers of varying skill levels, you can specify junior engineers, senior engineers, front-end and back-end, and so on. Then, when you create a project from this scenario, you can assign these resources to actual people.
- Resource Side Panel—Clicking the Side Panel icon (" ") in a resource row of the table will open the Resource side panel.
Use the side panel to add needed skills and provide information in any User Custom Fields (marked as Available to Resources) in Settings > Custom Fields. These custom fields (arranged alphabetically) are initially created by an Account Administrator. You are not able to add or delete custom fields from the Estimate Details side panel.
- Geography—Users with Organizations enabled can specify the region where the project will take place. Providing a Geography will affect the estimated cost rate of resources. If no region is designated, the cost is the average cost of all users whose Account Role matches the resource Role. When Geography is specified, it limits the average cost to users in that region. This information doesn’t carry over when creating a project from an estimate since the resources are then assigned to an actual person and their costs.
- Start—Date on which the resource is to begin work on the project. It does not have to be the same as the project start date. So, for example, a project may start on September 10, but a resource like a designer may not start until September 18.
- Start Day—How many days into the project a resource is to begin work. For example, if a project start date is September 10, but a resource starts September 13, then the Start Day for the resource is day 3. Changing the Start Day automatically adjusts the Start Date, and vise versa.
Note that durations in estimates are calculated based on the default workweek schedule of 8 hours per day, 5 days per week.
- End Date—When a resource is expected to stop work on a project. This does not have to be the same day that the project ends.
- Duration—The total number of days that a resource is expected to work on a project. For example, a designer may only be needed for 10 working days, while the project itself may last 30 working days. Changing the Duration automatically adjusts the End Date, and vise versa. Note that durations in estimates are calculated based on the default workweek schedule of 8 hours per day, 5 days per week.
- Allocation—Determine what percentage of this resource’s time will be soft-allocated to the project.
The remainder of this table contains non-editable fields where the project Hours, Cost Rate, Bill Rate, Estimated Cost, and Estimated Fees are calculated.
- Hours is calculated currently based on a 40 hour week and the % allocation.
- The Bill Rate comes from the Resource's role and the rate card version that is active during the time of the project. If the duration of this Resource's time goes across multiple versions of the rate card, that is taken into account.
- Estimated cost is the total cost (hours*cost rate).
- Estimated fees are the total fees (hours * bill rate).
- Delete (“
- Create Project—Click this button to create a project from an estimate.
- Estimates Overview
- Estimates Workbook
- Mavenlink API: Estimates
- Mavenlink API: Estimate Scenarios
- Mavenilnk API: Estimate Scenario Resources
- Mavenlink API: Estimate Scenario Resource Allocations