Available to Synergy Business and Synergy Enterprise subscribers.
What is a budget?
The budget is where you estimate the work required to complete a job. This can be as simple or as detailed as you like. If you are a business manager and you delegate the running of your projects to a project manager, then the budget is how you can monitor whether the project manager is on track.
Budgets in Synergy use the rates you have for your roles. When you assign the roles (rates) to the tasks and set the expected number of hours, you have a budget.
It’s simple for your project manager to report progress and you can easily measure the health of the project.
The budget you create feeds through to the planning board.
Ways to create a budget
This method automatically generates a sample budget from the fee. For example, you might estimate your fees at 20K and the automatic budget feature will resource this for you with roles and hours that add up to the fee.
“Design a new house? Yeah, we will do that for 20k”
In this method, the budget will split the fee between all your available rates. You can then fine tune this to meet the exact needs of this project.
Use a budget template to do this more accurately and quickly – see method 3.
Use case: Simple jobs where the accuracy of the budget is not important. Future opportunities where you don’t want to spend a lot of time setting it up.
Pros: Very fast, and reasonably accurate.
Cons: It is not as accurate as method 3.
Note: If you are in planning mode and a rate is deleted or hours changed, the fee will also update to reflect the change - the fee, budget and resource plan are linked. To keep the original fee amount, you can either switch it to delivery mode to stop automatically synchronising the budget and fee, or add an extra item into your budget to adjust it to a specific fee value.
You might know the brief and will build up your fee is based around the work that is required to deliver the project.
Rather than guess a fee, you might prefer to do a more detailed budget, estimating the work that needs to be done, and see what that all adds up to. Then you can be confident that the fee will cover the work, and hopefully a bit left over for profit.
“Can you prepare a budget to include in the tender for the city oval grandstand redevelopment?”
Use case: When you need an accurate fee proposal.
Cons: Time consuming
This is the fastest and most accurate way to price a job. You should already have templates setup for your different types of jobs. The template will show a typical budget for each project type, set up to a certain value. The magic starts when you drop the template into the budget. You can set the expected target fee, and all the items in the budget will automatically, proportionally adjust to scale to the fee.
Use case: All jobs
Pros: Accurate, customisable and scalable
Cons: Initial setup of the templates takes time
How to use the different budget methods
When in planning mode:
Go to the Project work breakdown page.
Enter your fee.
When you go into the budget, you will see all your rates assigned hours to equal the fee. (screen grab)
At this point you can fine tune the hours to the roles required for the stage and assign the tasks to staff.
Note Unless you are in delivery mode, your fee will automatically update when roles are deleted and any hours changed – because now you are doing bottom-up budgeting.
From the work breakdown:
- Add stages or tasks below the default stage by clicking on the add icon.
- Choose your fee type but you don’t need to enter a fee (it will be calculated for you)
- Save changes.
- Go to budget view (screen grab?)
- Add the rates for a task
- Optionally, choose staff working at the rate you selected
- Enter the estimate for the number of hours.
- When you click save, the budgets total is your new fee in the work breakdown.