Full Sail Partners Blog

Controlling the Details with Deltek Vantagepoint Planning

Successful project management requires more than having the right people on the right project. It requires having the right project management tool to control project delivery.

The Deltek Vantagepoint Resource Planning application has been designed to require only the simplest interactions to review and plan on a go-forward basis. The system will display all Job-to-Date (JTD) time through today to direct emphasis on what happens tomorrow. With Estimate to Complete (ETC) planning, the effort is focused on what will be spent in the future. As a result, there is no need to adjust planned hours in the past to understand the forecasted results.

Planning a professional services project

For those who want access to the past to adjust the planned hours or to see the JTD through a less current/more realistic lens, Vantagepoint 4.5 introduces new options and alternatives.

Adjustable Job-to-Date Basis

In Deltek Vantagepoint 4.5, system administrators can now choose the system JTD Date Basis. In previous versions and in Vision, the system assumed today’s date as the basis with the next day as the start for the ETC. This is problematic for firms where timesheet entry is not always as up to date as it should be.

Now firms can choose to show JTD details for Labor as of the end of the last week, the end of the last timesheet period, as of a specific date, or leave it as today. Whatever the choice, the ETC always begins on the next business day following today. This allows for planning in the time periods occurring since the JTD can utilize the date basis setting. Remember the ETC will reflect only those planned hours in the actual future from the date basis.

In the example below, “today” is November 12 and the previous Timesheet period ended on October 31. Using the JTD Date Basis setting, it is reasonable to assume that Heath’s time is complete through October 31 as indicated in the red square in the example below. Therefore, planning can be done based on what we expected since then and what we anticipate going forward.

Vantagepoint Planning 1Spreading the Variance between Planned and Actuals

Another Deltek Vantagepoint Planning feature, Redistribute Hours, has many applications and uses for project planners. Please note that this function can be made available only to selected Security Roles in Settings.

In this use case scenario, the plan below was scheduled with a two-month duration and 30 hours of Emily’s time. However, the project was delayed, and Emily posted 10 hours to the project before it was put on hold. The assignment end date of May 31 is in the past and there are no remaining ETC hours. However, Vantagepoint users do not need to worry.

Vantagepoint Planning 2

One way to correct this is to simply extend the end date with a Duration Change. If this is the chosen method, the resulting options will include respreading all the Planned Hours evenly over the entire Assignment period or not spreading them at all and replanning the remaining hours in the future. The first option will spread the hours backward in time. The second option will have the result of duplicating Planned Hours and muddying the expectations.

A more eloquent solution is to change the Assigned End Date to the new date and use the Redistribute Hours function to control how the remaining Planned Hours are spread. The Redistribute Hours function has many options and uses. The key is the Spread Differences Between Planned and Actual Hours tick box. In this example, the decision was made to spread the variance of 20 hours evenly into the period shown.

Vantagepoint Planning 3The result is now that the unused Planned Hours are spread into future time periods as shown in the following image. Therefore, the integrity of the Planned Hours has been maintained which will support the reliability on Planned Hours in timesheets and other reporting mechanisms.

Vantagepoint Planning 4Gain Project Control with Deltek Vantagepoint

Projects rarely go according to the original plan and being able to adjust for unpredictable changes is a must. Whether it’s looking back at JTD or looking forward with ETC, Deltek Vantagepoint allows project managers to truly control the details of their projects.

Wondering what the differences in Vision Planning and Vantagepoint Planning are? Use the button link below to hear from Rana Blair about how these two systems compare.

Link to learn the differences between Deltek Vision and Vantagepoint planning