Cost plan forecast <> ETC - how have you resolved that?

Discussion created by TomVerkooijen on Jan 5, 2011
We're on release 12 and are using the cost plan to project monthly spend against our portfolio. It does a nice job of capturing the actuals, but not the forecasts. For example, a project that runs October 2010 - February 2011 has at this point (January 5) actuals posted to it for Oct - Dec, and shows plan values for all months. However, the plan values for the months Jan and Feb don't match the ETC on the project. Any variance between plan and actual created in Oct - Dec is left in those months, and therefore not re-spread over the remaining project timeframe. Also not when you allocate from estimates and regenerate the cost plan.

At a total cost plan level, that works fine. But using the current and future months for forecasting doesn't work, as the ETCs in the WBS don't match the sum of the current and future months (since the plan for the prior months doesn't match the sum of the actuals for the prior months). Example:

Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Total
Plan 100 200 200 300 100 900
Act 80 140 160 0 0 380

At this point, the ETC = 900 - 380 = 520hrs. But the future months for the cost plan add up to only 400hrs. If we use the cost plan to financially forecast our portfolio, we lose the cost of the 120hrs. In working with CA Support, there appears to be no way to sync past-plan with actual and then re-spread the ETCs.

How have you addressed this from a portolio forecasting perspective in your organization? Is the cost plan the wrong foundation to use? It enables us to forecast by charge code, which is key for us.

Any feedback/recommendations welcome.