Project Comparisons Report

Learn how to quickly utilize historical cost data to create a project comparison report

Leveraging historical cost data from past projects is a challenge that most companies in the industry face because their information is often siloed or stored in different locations and formats (estimating platforms, spreadsheets, PDF reports, etc.). When all of your projects are entered into Join, the cost data is stored in a central location and is easily leveraged using the project comparisons report. The project comparisons report can be used to quickly create a new Milestone estimate or budget by averaging the $/UNIT costs of past projects and can be organized by any categorization.

Included in Join Forecasting

 

Running a Project Comparisons Report

To run a project comparisons report follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Reports tab and expand the Built-in Reports section
  2. Click the Start Report button to the far right of the Project Comparisons section
  3. Sort and filter the list of projects and select the check boxes for all projects to be added to the project comparisons report
  4. Click the Add to report button to create the report with the selected projects

Display Settings

The display settings are used to change how the cost data is displayed.

Selecting a Categorization

Click on the first drop-down list in the Display Settings section to select a categorization for the report cost data to be organized by. The options include the built-in UniFormat, built-in MasterFormat, or Custom Categorizations.

If Custom Categorizations is selected, you will need to select the categorization for each project using the drop-down in each project column. These custom categorizations should use the same coding structure across all projects in order to be matched correctly.

Display Costs

Click on the second drop-down list in the Display Settings section to select the way direct costs and markups will be displayed in the report. This functions similarly to the display cost settings for a project in Join.

Metrics

Click on the Metrics drop-down list to select the Unit of Measure to be used as the unit price ($/UNIT) for cost calculations and comparisons. You can select from any of the built-in Units of Measure or custom ones you've created for your projects.

Escalation and Milestone

Location Escalation Factor

When comparing against projects located in different geographic areas it is essential to normalize the costs using a location escalation factor. The location escalation factor is entered as a percentage. The most common way of determining the location escalation factor to use is by utilizing data from RSMeans.

Tip: Enter a positive percentage to increase the costs of a project from a less expensive area and enter a negative percentage to decrease the costs of a project from a more expensive area.

Time Escalation Factor

When comparing against projects with outdated cost information it is essential to normalize the costs using a time escalation factor. The time escalation factor is entered as a percentage and is a total for the entire duration, not a percentage per year.

Milestone

Click on the Milestone drop-down list below each comparison project to select the desired Milestone for the cost comparison. Just above the selected Milestone is the Milestone Date which will be helpful in determining the correct time escalation factor to use.

Creating a Comparison Average

After the projects have been added to a project comparisons report, a new average column can be added to help build a conceptual estimate for your project by following these steps:

  1. Click the Start a comparison average button in the top left of the report
  2. Rename the column based on your project or Milestone (optional)
  3. Upload an image and choose a color for the column by clicking the Options button in the top right corner of the column and selecting Customize
  4. Enter a quantity for the selected Unit of Measure for the project and the total costs will be calculated based on the average $/UNIT of the comparable projects

Tip: You can manually override the average $/UNIT by clicking into the cell and editing the cost value.

Creating a Milestone Estimate/Budget From an Average

After a comparison average has been created, the average total costs can be added to a Milestone Estimate or Budget.

Creating a New Milestone Estimate/Budget

To create a new Milestone Estimate or Budget from a comparison average follow these steps:

  1. Click the Add to a milestone button in the Escalation and Milestone section of the comparison average column
  2. Click the Milestone drop-down and select Create a new milestone
  3. Enter a Milestone name (required)
  4. Enter a Milestone start date (optional)
  5. Click the Send to estimate or budget drop-down and select either Estimate or Budget
  6. Click the Next button
  7. Click either the Create as Draft button or the Create and Publish button to create the new Milestone

Replacing an Existing Milestone Estimate/Budget

To replace an existing Milestone Estimate or Budget from a comparison average follow these steps:

  1. Click the Add to a milestone button in the Costs section of the comparison average column
  2. Click the Milestone drop-down and select an existing Milestone
  3. Click the Send to estimate or budget drop-down and select either Estimate or Budget
  4. Click either the Replace estimate button or the Replace budget button to replace the existing estimate or budget
  5. Click either the Continue to estimate button or the Continue to budget button to navigate to the new estimate or budget, or click the Done button to close the window

Saving a Report

The project comparisons report can be saved and accessed at any time from the Reports page using the following steps:

  1. Click the Report button in the upper right-hand corner of the report
  2. Select Save as...
  3. Enter a report name (required) and a description (optional)
  4. Click the Save button

Tip: If you make changes to a saved report, you will also have the option to select Save or Save a copy... during step #2.

How do I get access to Project Comparisons?

Reach out to your Account Manager to request access to Join Forecasting for your company. Not sure who your Account Manager is, email support@join.build and we’ll get you connected.