More details on CLRT-26902: Enhancements to Actual Cost of Assignments added in 12.0.2

Document ID : KB000022707
Last Modified Date : 14/02/2018
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Summary:

The release notes have the following on ERQ CLRT-26902: Enhancements to Actual Cost of Assignments, can you provide more details.

This enhancement introduces the following new fields:

  1. A new, time-varying actual cost field in the CA Clarity PPM database. This field is automatically populated whenever actual work is posted against an assignment.
  2. A new, Actual Cost field for an assignment on the Task Properties page of a CA Clarity PPM project. This field sums all the time-varying actual costs for an assignment.

Release.

The enhancement also introduces a new Actual Cost field in Open Workbench (OWB) r1.1.9 to keep assignment costs synchronized with CA Clarity PPM. See the Open Workbench Online Help for more information on this field.

Prior to CA Clarity 12.0.2

All cost-related fields on the Project (including Team and Task) are calculated by multiplying resource rate times the work units. The rate comes from the database table that is populated by the Rate Matrix Extraction job. In order to calculate a cost, the rate matrix extraction job needs to run after a team member is added to team and after assigning the team member to a task.

Problems:

  1. Actual Cost is calculated on the fly: When we were working on the EVMS product with the PPMS consultants, they were "shocked" to discover that the PPM side of the app always displayed "estimated actuals" and not the actual cost from WIP. Actuals were always calculated as rate times units. Timesheet posting only posted units. And backposting from WIP only posted units. This was viewed as a serious "hole" because historical actual cost could be changed just by making a change to the rate matrix and re-running the extraction job. An organization could 'cook the books' by having one set of data in WIP and another set of data in the PPM reports. They strongly recommended that actual cost at the assignment level needs to be stored at the time of posting.

  2. Many customers use transactions to bring costs into their projects. Expense Labor Resources can start off with a negative cost which then has subsequent transactions that brings the balance above zero. Because work units cannot go below zero (there is no such thing as negative work), actual cost in PPM (and OWB) would always show zero while WIP showed a negative value. When the next transaction gets posted, the units increment and now PPM (and OWB) show a positive cost instead of being added to the actual negative balance. This is unacceptable to any organization using transactions.

As of CA Clarity 12.0.2

To address both of the above issues, new logic and fields were added to the Assignment Object to track Actual Cost. Actual cost is stored in a time-varying curve and displayed in an aggregated "Total Actual Cost" field. Assignment Actual Cost is now stored when timesheets are posted and when WIP transactions are backposted to the assignment. The assignment cost supports negative values because it is no longer an on-the-fly calculation of work units times rate. The actual cost is written to the assignment and can be displayed in Clarity and OWB. PPM and WIP are always in synch.

What This Affects

Timesheet Posting: When timesheets are posted, the assignment cost is calculated using the rates in the Rate Matrix Extraction table. This means that prior to running the Timesheet Posting job, an organization needs to run the Rate Matrix Extraction job. This is a procedural change.

Caution: If an organization allows users to run the Post Timesheet job interactively (instead of scheduling it), then they might post a timesheet for a resource who's rates have not been extracted. The result would be "missing/zero" actual cost for that resource's tasks.

Baseline: Prior to 12.0.2, the baseline action always calculated all costs on-the-fly using the rate times work units (and again - PPMS raised concerns that an organization could cook the books by adjusting the rates to make a baseline show the results they wanted). With the change in 12.0.2, baseline uses the actual cost as stored on the assignment plus the calculated cost for ETC. This means that if a timesheet was posted with zero actual cost, the baseline is incorrect. What did not change was the requirement that costs need to be in the Rate Matrix Extraction table for ETC calculations. That requirement exists prior to 12.0.2 and exists after 12.0.2.

Best Practice Recommendation

  1. Always schedule the Rate Matrix Extraction job to run prior to posting timesheets. This will ensure that actual cost is posted to the assignment.
  2. Schedule the Rate Matrix Extraction job to run as often as possible. This will reduce the chance that a baseline will have missing costs for ETC (which is used as input into BAC which is used as input to many of the EV calculations such as SPI and CPI).

Additional Information:

Reference TEC537825 : Task Actual Cost calculation

Reference TEC439129 : How to calculate new rates and costs for transactions in financial module waiting for WIP or already posted into WIP