What is an Actual and Estimated Project Hours Report?

Project reports showing actual and estimated hours are considered operational analysis tools and are often used by project managers to track consultant and project performance. Some of the key functionality in this type of report is that it is parameter driven and can be run for any month, entity and project(s). It compares the actual hours delivered versus the estimated hours and displays the variance amount and percent with exception highlighting. The rows can be expanded and collapsed and they group projects by consultant and region/entity. The chart on the top gives a clear picture of the grand total performance. You find an example of this type of report below.

Purpose of Hourly-focused Project Reports

Technology companies and their consulting services teams use Hourly-focused Project Reports to keep a keen eye on the the time they planned for their projects versus what they actually ended up providing to their clients. When used as part of good business practices in a Project Management department, a company can improve its estimate accuracy and therefore client satisfaction and profitability as well as reduce the chances that large number of non-billable hours occurs without proper analysis.

Hourly-focused Project Report Example

Here is an example of a Project Report with actual versus estimated hours and variances.

Example of an Actual and Estimated Project Hours Report for a Technology Company

Example of an Actual and Estimated Project Hours Report for a Technology Company

You can find hundreds of additional examples here

Who Uses This Type of Report?

The typical users of this type of report are: Project Managers, Project Management Offices (PMO), Directors of Services, Consulting Managers.

Other Reports Often Used in Conjunction with Hourly-focused Project Reports

Progressive Project Management Departments sometimes use several different Hourly-focused Project Reports, along with detailed project reports, project dashboards, billing reports, project budgets and forecasts and other management and control tools.

Where Does the Data for Analysis Originate From?

The Actual (historical transactions) data typically comes from enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems like: Microsoft Dynamics 365 (D365) Finance, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central (D365 BC), Microsoft Dynamics AX, Microsoft Dynamics NAV, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL, Sage Intacct, Sage 100, Sage 300, Sage 500, Sage X3, SAP Business One, SAP ByDesign, Acumatica, Netsuite and others.

In analyses where budgets or forecasts are used, the planning data most often originates from in-house Excel spreadsheet models or from professional corporate performance management (CPM/EPM) solutions.

What Tools are Typically used for Reporting, Planning and Dashboards?

Examples of business software used with the data and ERPs mentioned above are:

  • Native ERP report writers and query tools
  • Spreadsheets (for example Microsoft Excel)
  • Corporate Performance Management (CPM) tools (for example Solver)
  • Dashboards (for example Microsoft Power BI and Tableau)

Corporate Performance Management (CPM) Cloud Solutions and More Examples