Macroscope(tm) Budget Manager
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Macroscope(tm) Budget Manager

principles


Trying to keep a high-level view of many projects? Macroscope gives managers a quick way to monitor the progress of all current projects.


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A service of Arlo Leach
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Design principles

If you find something Macroscope can't do, it might not be a bug! We've found that an effective budgeting process can break down with too much information, so we built Macroscope with a few key limitations:

  1. Project managers can learn to estimate the total time that a project will take, but trying to estimate the timing of every individual task is usually not worth the effort. Team members might take a little more time on some tasks and a little less on others, making a mess of schedules but keeping the budget on track. Since the latter is what ultimately matters, Macroscope focuses on budgeting and doesn't address scheduling -- freeing project managers from endless reorganization of the work plan.
  2. Actual hours are logged by users, but planned hours are allocated to roles. This means that some reports don't compare planned to actual hours in ways that you might expect. But the advantage is that you have great flexibility in changing staffing on a project, can keep employee salaries confidential, and can receive a more accurate picture of project costs when employees at different salary levels are contributing.
  3. Timesheets aren't saved as sets of tasks that can be carried over into subsequent weeks. This arrangement usually requires that timesheets be configured as a separate step from logging hours, which forces users to go back and forth between multiple pages if they need to log hours to a task they hadn't planned for. Instead, we designed timesheets to be configured easily as you fill them out, allowing team members to spend less overall time logging their hours.
  4. Macroscope automatically adds a proportional amount of your project costs to cover your organization's overhead costs. This might cause some confusion when you look at your reports, but it helps ensure that the entire organization, not just individual projects, are profitable. If you don't have overhead costs or don't wish to use this feature, you can set the overhead rate to 0 on the Account admin page.

    (Click to enlarge)