Tip of the Month: Using Folio’s Baseline Versioning to Get the Most Out of Your Budget Planning

Folio is Seamless Project and Portfolio Financial Management for JIRA

Our Folio add-on for JIRA helps project managers, account managers, and executives manage project scope, schedule, and cost — three known challenges in the project management constraint triangle.

Managers can use Folio to:

  • Keep track of project financials (planned and actual costs and revenues).
  • Provide objective data on project performance, with or without Earned Value Management.
  • Implement Earned Value Management (EVM), its Agile counterpart, or if preferred, use traditional cost and revenue management instead.
  • Get forecasts on time and money.
  • Get high-level overview of projects with a roll-up of data on the portfolio level.
  • Get resource and capacity information at a glance.
  • Gain insights in real-time.
  • Identify risks and over-allocations before they escalate, and immediately react to them. Know immediately if those changes have made an impact.

folio-project-management-triangle

Keep Track of Planned Costs and Revenues With Budget Baselines

Our Folio 7.2 release introduced labeling and versioning of multiple baselines to give managers more flexibility and adaptability in tailoring their budgets as needs require.

Folio’s new baseline versioning responded to significant customer feedback we received from project and account managers (one of the biggest feature requests we’ve had!) who need to utilize what-if scenarios to determine whether proposed budgets make sense and can strategically be implemented.

Once you approve a budget, it is set as a baseline and stored for future reference. The latest baseline is used for all calculations throughout your Folio. You get a comprehensive snapshot of all planned and current revenues and expenses and positions are saved, enabling you to consult with them later. You can switch an approved budget to Draft mode to continue editing it, and all changes made will not affect your current Folio’s statuses unless and until the changes are approved.

You can also display versioned baselines for your budgets using Folio’s Forecast Charts for an easy visual comparison, choosing which makes most sense for your business.

Here’s How to Version and Label Your Baselines:

Step 1:  Create and Approve a Budget With a Baseline

This step assumes you have already created a Folio in JIRA based on a defined JIRA Project or filter (it’s quite easy; here, we are using a Folio with Earned Value Management turned ON).

Next, you’ll need to create and approve a budget. You can do this by either going to the Costs > Planned or Revenues > Planned screens and designating the budget they contain as approved.

To approve a budget, you need to first view it in Draft mode, where you can add your planned costs, positions and actual expenses.  At least one change must be made to a budget to approve it. (Note: the below screenshot includes JIRA Agile and additional Tempo add-ons installed and visible in the JIRA top menu for reference.)

folio-open-baseline-for-budget

When the budget is modified, you can view an Approve link in the Draft tab.  Click Approve, and this will take you to the Set as Baseline dialog.

folio-baseline-1-advertising-included

Here, you can designate:

  • The name of the baseline:  This should be a short, descriptive name that will help you remember what this budget is about.
  • Who has approved the baseline:  This is a JIRA user. NOTE: Only the Folio owner, and approver with edit rights to the Folio, or a Super Admin can delete or edit the baseline at a later time.
  • Description (optional):  Feel free to add an optional description providing details about the budget or this particular baseline, or any other information.

Once you’ve created a baseline, your view will be switched to Baseline Mode; your Draft indicator will disappear and the baseline’s name will display at the top of the budget.  The budget will not be editable unless you open the baseline again.

folio-switch-to-draft-mode

Step 2:  Create and Compare Baselines for Your Budget

To create a comparison baseline, a Folio owner, user with edit rights to a Folio, or a Super Admin can open the action (…) menu and select the Open Baseline… item.

Click Switch to Draft Mode from the action menu. Edit the planned costs and revenues as you wish. Click Approve, and this will take you to the Set as Baseline dialog.

folio-set-budget-baseline-2

To compare baselines, select the Open Baseline… item from the action (…) menu. This brings up a dialog that lists all existing baselines for this budget. Either double-click a baseline to open it, or click it and then click the Open button. This will display all expenses and revenues as they were when that baseline was created.

folio-open-baselines

Step 3:  Editing and Deleting a Baseline

You may need to edit baselines to fully compare and contrast certain cost and revenue scenarios before deciding which ultimately makes most sense strategically.

Note that if you are the owner of a Folio, an approver with edit rights to the Folio, or a Super Admin, you can edit (delete, and discard drafts of) a baseline.  To do so, simply open the action (…) menu and select Open Baseline… item.  As noted above, this will open a dialog listing all existing baselines for this budget.

The pencil icon shows that you have permission to edit.  Click this icon next to the baseline you wish to edit, and this will open the Edit baseline dialog.  Click Save once you’ve made your changes. If you have rights to delete a baseline, you will see the trash can icon, which you can click to open the Delete baseline dialog, as shown below.

folio-baseline-edit-delete

Step 4:  Approve the Budget That Makes Most Sense

Through the action (…) menu, you can toggle back and forth between your baselines to compare them and view their forecasts, and click Switch to Latest Baseline from the action (…) menu to automatically go to your most recent baseline.

folio-forecasts-chart

Give Folio Feedback!

We’re constantly striving to improve Folio to best suit our customers’ needs.  We’re working on additional Tempo integrations — stay tuned!

If you have an idea or would like to see a current feature improved, you can send us your feedback directly from within the Folio product or by submitting a JIRA issue with Tempo’s Support team.

folio-give-feedback

Get Started With Folio

Try Tempo Folio for Free
Buy Tempo Folio
Get the Basic Tempo Folio Concepts
Learn More About Baselines
Watch the Demo Video
Read the Documentation

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Jessie
Jessie is a New York transplant living in Reykjavík. Her motto is #ABL—always be learning— and having some fun along the way. As the head of marketing, communications & legal initiatives at Tempo, Jessie thinking about storytelling, building a strong brand, growth, teamwork, and grit.

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