At an organization like Forecast, pinpointing the right time for a wrapup or retrospective is difficult. We’re always bringing fresh ideas to the table, always iterating, and so it doesn’t sit well with us to rest on our laurels and look back behind us. It’s not our way. Whenever we do take a retrospective look, it’s always with an eye to what we can improve in the future. We rarely look back for the purpose of simply patting ourselves on the back.
Truth be told, though, 2021 has been a huge year for us at Forecast. From raising our Series A funding to expanding our team with scores of bright new hires, it’s been a wild ride.
But scaling and growing is only one side of what Forecast got up to in 2021. Throughout the year, we’ve never stopped working on the platform - creating new features and integrations, and refining existing functions. In this journey, we have to thank our customers. We are extremely fortunate to have so many platform users who are just as excited about Forecast as we are. Their thoughtful, insightful feedback is a cornerstone of our development process, and it’s the best steer we could ask for.
And so, without further ado, here are our highlights of the new features, improvements, and refinements that we released into the world in 2021. Roll on 2022!
This year we really expanded the functionality of the platform with a range of new features, big and small.
Our headline release of the year was Baseline, and it’s really revolutionized the way that many of our users plan their projects.
With Baseline, you can better predict project profitability and model future portfolio financials. It gives you a tool to see how the work you are pitching will affect the bottom line - before you are tied into doing it.
Baseline has already guided many of our users to more profitable best practices. We can’t wait to see what people will keep achieving with Baseline in 2022!
The All-New Task Report
We introduced the Task Report, which gives you a customizable view of the tasks across all of your projects. This report makes it easy to see task progress at a glance, as well as variance between planned vs actuals.
Subtasks and Task Hierarchy
We wanted to give Forecast users the ability to decompose and break down tasks into more specific work packages, and so we introduced Subtasks into the Task Hierarchy.
New and Enhanced Retainer Functions
Not everyone works on a fixed budget model with retained clients, and so we wanted to reflect that with new Retainer functions. You can select Retainers as Time & Materials, and even set a default target in hours on these. When it comes to invoicing, you can simply invoice the number of hours registered in each period.
Timesheet Approval & Timesheet Locking
This year we launched Timesheet Approval and Timesheet Locking to help ensure that only correct time registrations end up in your invoices.
Manage Resources by Department and Role
Juggling resources can get complicated quickly, which is why we are always thinking of ways streamline resource management on our platform. That’s why we released this new feature, allowing you to group resources by Department or Role. You can also use Forecast’s Utilization Report to understand past, present and future billable utilization rates by Department or Role too!
Rate Card Versions
It’s inevitable that client negotiation will sometimes lead to a change on the rate card. But we believe that this doesn’t have to come hand-in-hand with additional admin and confusion. That’s why we released Rate Card Versions, to allow you to create multiple versions of rate cards that are effective from a specific date - and deactivating obsolete rate cards while also retaining all the historic financials that you might need.
We play nice with other platforms, because we know it gives our users the best experience and the most flexibility in their tech stack. This year, we expanded our range of integrations to a grand total of thirty-one!
The hugely popular CRM platform was a clear favorite for an integration.
Since releasing this integration in the summer, users of Hubspot and Forecast have been able to enjoy the benefits of aligning their sales department and project delivery teams. With vital project information syncing from Forecast to Hubspot, manual duplication is reduced - freeing up more time for teams to spend on meaningful, revenue-generating tasks. Learn more about this integration here.
The Pipedrive CRM platform was heavily requested by users who wanted integrated visibility of their sales and project pipelines. Find out more here.
This clever integration eliminated the need for tedious duplication between BambooHR and Forecast. Now, approved time-off requests appear directly in the resource heatmap, giving a far more accurate and up-to-date picture of your resources - automatically! Learn more here.
But just because we were busy adding new integrations did not mean that we neglected our existing ones. This year, we added buckets of functionality and refinement to our existing integrations with Xero, Jira, Quickbooks and Salesforce.
Refined, Improved, Polished!
We’re obsessed with quality and user experience, which is why we treat improvement, development, and evolution as a crucial and always-ongoing process. It’s all part of our goal to keep bringing Forecast closer to our vision, becoming the most intuitive, intelligent project management platform out there.
The Forecast Mobile App: Updated and Upgraded
We made working flexibly on the go easier by overhauling the Forecast mobile app. By updating the look and feel of the app, we brought it in line with the browser version of Forecast, so it’s familiar and easy to use. The app is faster, smoother, and better than ever.
The New and Improved Utilization Report
This year we released a brand new Utilization Report that allows you to instantly compare and analyze your team's billable and non-billable utilization rates. It consolidates the Utilization List, Bar Chart and Monthly Utilization all in one report.
We replaced Scoping with Scoping 2.0: a newer, more user-friendly layout of our scoping page. Key project metrics that now sit at the top of the page, such as start/end dates, progress, plan versus actual revenue. Scoping 2.0 also brought a host of performance improvements, such as a faster loading time, and the ability to drag, drop and nest subtasks under one another.
New Project Settings
We revamped the Project Settings page, giving it a new design that’s cleaner and easier to navigate.
Sharable Schedule Projects Timeline
Sharing views and timelines directly from Forecast can be the fastest way to get that information over to your clients. So, we made the Schedule Projects timeline view sharable (with filters applied), so that clients can get an overview of their projects in a timeline.
Better AI Suggestions
This year we’ve been refining our AI with a new and improved machine learning model. And if you’re a fan of our AI features, we’ve got great news for you: there’s more where that came from, and you’ll be seeing it soon!
Improvements to the Project Portfolio Report
We’ve developed our Project Portfolio Report by giving you the options to display additional financial information, such as the planned, actual, and remaining revenue, cost or, profit.
Sometimes, you just need a higher-level view. That’s why we made it so that you can zoom out to a quarterly view in the Schedule People, Schedule Projects, and the Timeline view in each project!
So, What’s on the Horizon in 2022?
We’ve achieved a lot in the space of a year, but we’ll be keeping this stellar momentum going into 2022 and beyond. There’s some exciting release news in the pipeline for January already, so watch this space.
From all of us at Forecast, have fun, stay safe, and enjoy the holiday season. See you in the New Year!