What is  Client Project Estimate Template for Professional Services Companies?

Client Estimate Models are considered project and resource planning tools and are used by project leaders and consultants to enter all key metrics related to a client project. Some of the main functionality in this type of input form is that it gives project managers a online, database-driven template to enter data to estimate and quote metrics like: 1) Comments/line item descriptions, 2) Lower and upper hour and cost estimates, and 3) Start date and end date. All of these inputs can be done at any level of detail with automated sub-totals and totals. The screen shot example below shows a few of these and many more are below and to the right of what is visible in the screenshot.. You find an example of this type of input form below.

Purpose of Client Estimate Input Forms

Professional Services organizations use Client Estimate Input Forms to capture all important metrics that go into a project estimate. These can then be reused in actual vs estimate status reports and in higher level summary reports and dashboards that go across any number of consultants and projects. When used as part of good business practices in PMO and Consulting departments, a company can improve its internal forecasting and resource planning as well as provide detailed backup for statement of works (SOWs) and client communication, and it can reduce the chances of cost or time overruns or inaccurate forecasts.

Example of a Client Estimate Input Form

Here is an example of a Client Project Estimate Form with comments, high/low hours and cost estimates.  Note, many details are not visible in the screenshots.

Example of a Client Project Estimate Template for Professional Services Companies

Example of a Client Project Estimate Template for Professional Services Companies

You can find hundreds of additional examples here

Who Uses This Type of Input form?

The typical users of this type of input form are: Service Leaders, Project Managers, Consultants.

Other Reports Often Used in Conjunction with Client Estimate Input Forms

Progressive PMO and Consulting departments sometimes use several different Client Estimate Input Forms, along with KPI dashboards, consultant billing reports, project dashboards, project detailed and summary reports, project forecast models, annual budget models 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