Basic Concepts

What is Tempo Budgets?

Tempo Budgets is a project and portfolio management app that is anchored in many project management concepts. You can use it to:

  • Keep track of financial aspects (budgeted costs, actual costs, and revenues) for your projects
  • Provide objective information on performance and progress of projects with or without Earned Value Management (EVM) indices
  • Provide project forecasts about time and money
  • Get an overview of project portfolios, that is, a collection of related projects
  • Provide as much insight as possible over collected information with highly customizable reports

Key concepts

Important terms and concepts you will need to understand when using Tempo Budgets are described below.

Folio: Tempo Budgets project

At the heart of Tempo Budgets is... the Folio! A Folio is simply a Project, in Project Management terms:

Project management is the discipline of planning, organizing, motivating, and controlling resources to achieve specific goals. A project is a temporary endeavor with a defined beginning and end (usually time-constrained, and often constrained by funding or deliverables), undertaken to meet unique goals and objectives, typically to bring about beneficial change or added value.

Source: Wikipedia

So a Folio is just that: a tool to manage funds invested to accomplish a goal (a set of issues) within a defined period of time, and to better predict how the goals will be met.

You might wonder: "why call it a Folio and not a Project?". Simply because Jira has its own definition of a project and already uses the term quite extensively. So to avoid confusion, we decided to label Tempo Budgets projects as "Folios". You will see when you create a Folio that it can be associated with any number of Jira projects.

See the documentation to learn how to create your first Folio.

Portfolio

Most organizations manage many projects and group them in portfolios or programs. In Tempo Budgets, a portfolio is a group of folios. A portfolio can also contain other portfolios. It gives you an aggregated overview of the grouped folios. You can see, for example, the overall budget, overall health, and completion ratios, and get the big picture across all folios.

Expenditures, Expenses and Positions

Expenditures include all costs (planned or incurred) related to achieving a project's goals. In Tempo Budgets, they are divided into Expenses and Positions. Expenses are all material resource and financial related costs, such as purchasing furniture, loan interest, rent, and so on. Positions represent job roles, that are filled by people, in this case Jira users. Positions represent human resource costs, more specifically salaries.

Scope

The Scope of a Folio is the objective of a project in terms of tasks to accomplish, features to develop, etc. Thus in Jira terms, it is a collection of issues. Jira allows you to create collections of issues using Filters that you can save and reuse. A Folio is always associated with a Jira Saved Filter that determines its Scope. By tracking the progress of the issues that make up the Scope, Tempo Budgets can derive such project status information as: its Completion Ratio, EVM indices, Time, Cost and Revenues forecasts, Staff member workload, and so on.

Earned Value

Earned Value is defined by the PMI as follows:

The budgeted cost of work that has actually been performed in carrying out a scheduled task during a specific time period.

Source: Wikipedia

Earned value is a portion of the budget that is "awarded" when a portion of the work has been completed. In Tempo Budgets, earned value is calculated as a proportion of the budget corresponding to the number of completed issues over all issues associated with the Folio. For example: if a project (or Folio) has a budget of 100,000$ and contains 10 issues, one way to calculate the earned value is to count 10,000$ for each issue that is completed. Of course, Tempo Budgets allows you to weight issues when calculating Earned Value by specifying a numeric issue field instead of simply using the issue count. We call this field the Earned Value Field. That way the earned value can be computed based on Estimates in hours, Story points, Business Value, and so on.

Earned value, along with budget and actual costs information can be used to calculate a series of indices (or metrics) that provide objective information on the general performance and progress of projects. These indices were defined as part of the Earned Value Management technique, a project management technique introduced by the US Department of Defense and that has since been adopted by recognized project management institutions such as the Project Management Institute, PRINCE2 and the Association for Project Management.

The use of EVM is optional in Tempo Budgets. You can turn it on or off on a per folio basis through its configuration.

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