What is Forecast?
Forecast organizes your teams schedule into visual plans that let you map out your upcoming projects and make smarter resourcing decisions. Assign people to multiple projects and determine how many hours they're available to work on each one. Red bars make it easy to see who's overbooked, so you can move projects around before your team gets burned out. And Forecast's layout makes it easy to see when you're able to take on new work, and who's available to work on it.
Who Uses Forecast?
Forecast is ideal for teams that work on many different projects at once, and need a quick way to see who's available to work on which projects.
Where can Forecast be deployed?
- Yes, has free trial
- No free version
Forecast does not have a free version but does offer a free trial. Forecast paid version starts at US$5.00/month.
Forecast videos and images
Features of Forecast
- Availability Management
- Capacity Management
- Collaboration Tools
- Online Booking
- Project Management
- Resource Scheduling
- Task Management
- Utilisation Reporting
Alternatives to Forecast
Reviews of Forecast
Bird's Eye View for Project Planning
Comments: Forecast is a great little tool for project managers and directors, allowing them to organise and get an overview of upcoming tasks and projects for different teams as well as individual employees.
Forecast was probably the best innovation from Harvest in recent years. Even though the parent tool is in dire need of a refresh, Forecast gives managers a bird's eye view of their upcoming projects, allowing them to individually assign tasks and distribute the workload.
Despite the fact that it is a great forecasting tool, project visualisation can get a bit overwhelming on larger organisations with bigger teams.
If You Liked Harvest, You'll Love Forecase
Super easy to use, the calendar feature is very straightforward and visually clear. Harvest had some bugs where their "scheduling assistant" feature often did not work, but I find that Forecast specializes in that feature. Keeping track of time and finding time to work with coworkers are extremely simple with Forecast.
If you are switching from Harvest, you do need to individually carryover all features one by one, which may be tedious. If you do not have a specific project you are working on but are working on internal projects or are helping a coworker with their project, it may be hard to track time because you need a preset "task" in order to track time. I'd recommended having a general "internal" task to track time for work that does not relate to an existing project.
A good (almost brilliant) project management SaaS tool
We use Asana and Forecast to manage time allocation to tasks, and use Forecast to plan out our resource allocation.
Harvest Forecast seem to work well for us when planning work schedules over the next few weeks, but we do not seem to successfully use this for longer term project management. We use Harvest Forecast daily - it has become mission critical to the successful running of our business.
However we resort to spreadsheets (and Asana) to manage longer term forecasts, and for this have marked it down a star. I suspect that this is not the fault of the software per se, but our work flow process from Asana making this just too clumsy. Still, Harvest Forecast a good, stable, well written piece of software. It is reasonably priced and one of the best methods to properly forecast project-based work.
Forecast is easy to use and does the job as a forecast management tool for us. The ease of use should not be underestimated - we have trialed many other project management tools and they were just too hard to set up. Moreover the integration to our Harvest itself (a time tracker) makes this much more powerful than a classic project management tool. We use it to manage our software development processes, which has a mix of short 1-2 days tasks and longer multi-month projects. Forecast and has some neat features: particularly like the quick way of setting up milestones. Forecast now also allows time planning around weekends so you can accommodate over time and will work in countries where the weekend is not Saturday and Sunday.
The integration method to Harvest Forecast is lumpy. You have to manually select which products in Forecast you import, and it is not perfectly linked, so change a name in, say, Asana and you have to manually fill this in. It is hard to include public holidays.
Intuitive Time Planning Software That Adapts to Any Team Size
Comments: The software works like a dream if your organization has the depth of project management/trafficking skill to understand how to balance its functions with the needs of the people captured by the system. This is NOT a great software for agile environments in my opinion.
Forecast (and its partner Harvest) make for a powerful program that can assist in planning any work that requires team effort. The process is easy, the interface readily understandable. Setup is very simple and new projects are easily managed in Forecast. You can be as detailed as you'd like, or very high-level. Perfect for traffic management, not so great for creativity.
This isn't a software for agile environments, and it's VERY easy for project managers to get caught in the objective of making red into green (a person is over budgeted time allotments versus a person has time to do the work) rather than thinking about what they're actually splitting or assigning. This can be a big problem in creative environments where team members may need large chunks of time for thinking, creating, or researching.
Useful tool for planning team members' time but not the most intuitive
Comments: Overall, Forecast is a time saver for managing teams, and the feedback from the team members is that it helps co-ordinate their week ahead and know what they need to be working on. If they can work on improving the design and layout, it could be the perfect team management system.
Forecast's direct integration with Harvest (time tracking) makes it a simple and easy process to assign tasks to a team member in Forecast and have it automatically appear in Harvest for them to log time against, helping streamline the process and reducing the number of steps.
While the interface for Forecast is fairly easy to use, it isn't all that intuitive. It can be difficult to see what a team member is working on, and if there's a few people on the team, there is a lot of faffing around to open up each team member's list and see what they're assigned to.