The main product of professional-services companies is their time.
To help track that precious resource, New York-based Harvest has come out with a cloud-based, visually-oriented service.
Called Harvest Forecast, the new product expands on, and integrates with, Harvest’s main service of time tracking and invoicing. A Forecast user can modify staffing time on a project by dragging and moving visual blocks of time.
“It’s not a [full] project management tool,” Harvest co-founder Danny Wen told VentureBeat. “A project management tool is good at [tracking] discrete tasks,” he said, while Forecast is for “an agency that wants to know who’s going to be available for a project in two weeks.”
Forecast does, however, include milestones. “If I see an important launch milestone coming up,” Wen said, it helps focus how people’s time is planned.
Other time trackers such as Hours or Toggl, he said, “don’t have this component of looking into the future as well as comparing it with the past,” by the integration of a time tracker and a time planner. Wen added that competing time planners like OpenAir can compare future time planning to actuals, but Forecast “is modern, more simplified, and easier to grasp.” A time planner like Replicon, he noted, is more focused toward the enterprise.
Forecast’s release follows several months of beta testing with about 100 Harvest customers. One of the most popular features, Wen said, was the ability to add and define filters, so that a user could filter by, say, roles instead of actual people.
The 8-year-old Harvest might add some project-management capabilities in the future, Wen said, as well as integrations with existing software for that. The “key integration” at launch, he said, is with his company’s time-tracking service.
With Harvest to track time already spent, and Forecast predicting how time will be spent, customers “can now get a complete picture of their time from the past to the future,” the company said in a statement.
Subscription to Forecast starts at $20 a month for up to 10 projects.