Retainer Projects

Learn how to create retainer type projects in Forecast where you can set specified periods in either time or money and stay on top of your deliverables.

Every project has a specific timeline, but there are a broad range of services and deliverables that can be fulfilled by dedicated team member...

Main Takeaways


Note: If you are interested in learning about adding expense items to a retainer project please visit this article.

How to create a Retainer Project

Step 1: Create a new project 

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Step 2: Set the budget type of the project to Retainer (1)

Step 3: Set the billing period, budget and pre-create periods. (28)-1

Retainer Project Layout

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Retainer Status Chart

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At the very top of you'll find the retainer status chart. From here you will be able to monitor your period targets, the chart will reflect a series of data points, which are: 

  • Default Period target: idicated by a thin blue line. This is the original default period target. 
  • Period target: indicated by a purple hue bar. This is the set target for a given period. 
  • Subtracted hours: indicated by a light grey stripped bar. This is reflecting hours that you have taken away from a future period. 
  • Rolled Over hours: indicated by a dark grey stripped bar. This is reflecting hours that you have added over to a future period. 
  • Planned time: indicated by a green outlined bar. This is reflecting the original planned time scoped out for a period. 
  • Time entries: indicated by a green bar. This is reflecting all time registered within a given period.  

Retainer Totals

Get a quick overview of your retainer totals on the graph located on the top right hand side corner of the periods section. You will be able to get a sense of where you stand regarding:

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  • Total period target: Sum of all your periods
  • Total hours registered: time registrations on tasks. 
  • Dates: Start and End date of your periods
  • Periods: Total number of periods
  • Default Period Target: the specific total of each individual period. 
  • Avg. hours per period: constitutes the result obtained by adding together the amounts of time registrations across all periods divided by the number of amounts. 
  • Conflicted Time: displays an amount that has not been factored into a period. This is a result of ignoring a roll over or subtraction. 


Navigate Across Periods

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Step 1: Choose to monitor between All, Past, Current or Future Periods

Step 2: Expand on a specific period to monitor its progress. 

Step 3: Check to see the percentage of completion of a given period. 

Step 4: Track the total number of time entries on a given period. 

Step 5: See the specific tasks your team is logging time on within a given period. 

Note: Time entries made on tasks that fall within a given period will be the only ones factored in to that period. 

Changing Period Dates

To change the dates of your periods simply click on the date picker of a period.

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Locking Periods

Screenshot 2020-02-08 at 21.27.59Once you've met your period target and your team has completed their time registrations on the tasks within a given period, you can lock a period to prevent and further work from being done. 

To lock a period, all you need to do is click on the three dot icon (burger menu) on the far right hand corner of a period and select Lock Period from the dropdown menu. 

You can also opt to change a period target i.e. increase or decrease the target by your desired amount. Or you can delete an entire period altogether. You can also unlock a period if you wish. 


Rolling Over, Subtracting or Splitting Periods

Rolling Over: If your team has not utilized the full amount set within a given period, you can choose to Roll Over the amount that remains over to the next period. 

Split Roll Over: You can also opt to Split the amount that remains across all future periods. 

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Subtracting: If your team has gone over the full amount set within a given period, you can choose to Subtract that amount from the next period. 

Split subtraction: You can also opt to Split the amount that the team has gone over by across all future periods.

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Adding New Periods

Screenshot 2020-02-08 at 22.09.52To add new periods simply click on the New Period button located on the top right hand corner of your periods section. 

A modal will pop up where you can set and add as many periods as you wish. This will change the total value of your overall periods.

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Periods & Scoping

2021-08-23 (6)You can view which phase and tasks belong within a given period from the Scoping page of your project.

Simply click on the three dot icon (burger menu) located on the top right hand corner of your scoping page and enable Show Periods. 



The scoping page will identify the phase that belongs to a specific period by outlining those with a dotted line.

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Change an Existing Project into Retainer

Change any existing project into a Retainer type project. (2)Step 1: Find the project you wish to change to a retainer and go to the settings section.






Step 2: Scroll down and find the Change Budget Type button.  on the Change Budget Type button (29)-1


Exporting the Project

Find the download button in the top left corner of the screen. Click to export your data in CSV format. NOTE: All time entries will be reflected in minutes. (3)-2