Define general properties and scheduling

Requirements

License Dynamics 365 Sales Enterprise or Dynamics 365 Sales Premium
More information: Dynamics 365 Sales pricing
Security roles System Administrator
See Predefined security roles for Sales

Using the general properties and scheduling options of the forecast configuration page, you can define a forecast model by specifying a hierarchy and timeframe.

Basic forecast scheduling

  1. In the General step, enter a descriptive name for the forecast. For example, Kenny's Org FY 2020 Forecast.

    Enter a name for the forecast.

  2. Select a Rollup entity. The forecast is based on the gross rollup of the selected entity.

    By default, Opportunity is selected as the rollup entity. You can choose a custom or other out-of-the-box entity, to support your organizational requirements. Only the entities that have Change Track enabled will be listed here. To learn more, see Enable change tracking to control data synchronization.

    Select a rollup entity.

    The following rollup entities are selected for templates:

    Template Default rollup entity
    Org chart forecast Opportunity
    Territory forecast Opportunity
    Product forecast Opportunity Product
  3. Choose the Hierarchy entity. The entities that are displayed in the list are hierarchy-enabled entities that are available in your organization.

    By default, the following entities are selected for templates:

    Template Default hierarchy entity
    Org chart forecast User
    Territory forecast Territory
    Product forecast Product
  4. Select the Rollup to hierarchy relationship attribute to establish a relationship between the rollup and hierarchy entities.

    For example, if you've selected the hierarchy entity as User, the attributes in the Opportunity entity that has a relationship with the User entity are displayed.

    Select an attribute to define relationship.

    Select an attribute to define the rollup relationship between the rollup entity (Opportunity) and the hierarchy entity (User). Here, we're selecting the relationship attribute as Owner (User). The relationship is mapped as Opportunity > Owner (User) > User. The mapping specifies that the attribute Owner is in the Opportunity entity that has a relationship with the User entity.

    Selected owner attribute.

    Similarly, if there is no direct entity relationship between the rollup entity and the hierarchy entity, you can choose a related attribute to define the relationship. Select the Related tab, and then choose a related attribute from the list. The list displays attributes of the hierarchy-defined entities only.

    Note

    The entities that contains related attributes must be hierarchical type only. For example, if Opportunity Product is rollup entity and User is hierarchy entity, the relationship between them can't be established through the Opportunity entity(Opportunity Product > Opportunity(Opportunity) > Owner(User) > User), because Opportunity entity is not a hierarchical type entity.

    Here, we're selecting the hierarchy entity as Territory. Because there's no direct relationship between the rollup entity (Opportunity) and the hierarchy entity (Territory), the relationship attributes are displayed on the Related tab. These attributes have an indirect relationship with the rollup entity through the Account entity. The Account entity is considered to be an intermediate entity for establishing a relationship with the hierarchical entity Territory.

    The relationship is mapped as Opportunity > Account (Account) > Territory (Territory) > Territory. The mapping specifies that there is an attribute Account in the Opportunity entity that's related to the Account entity, which in turn has the Territory attribute that's related to the Territory entity. The rollup values in the forecast will be based on the relationship defined through the Territory attribute.

    Selected related attribute.

    By default, for both the Org chart forecast and Territory forecast templates, the rollup relationships are predefined as described in the following table.

    Template Rollup to hierarchy relationship Description
    Org chart forecast Opportunity > Owner (User) > User The forecast hierarchy is defined based on the organizational hierarchy.
    Territory forecast Opportunity > Account (Account) > Territory (Territory) > Territory The forecast hierarchy is defined based on the territory hierarchy.
    Product forecast Opportunity Product > Existing Product (Product) > Product The forecast hierarchy is defined based on the product hierarchy.

    You can edit these values if you want to use your organization-specific attributes to define the relationship between the rollup entity and hierarchy entity.

  5. In the Top of hierarchy list, choose a value from the list that will be at the top of this forecast hierarchy. The list of values depends on the selected hierarchy entity.

    For example, if you select the hierarchy entity as User, the list displays all active users in your organization. You can then select a user from the list to be displayed at the top of the hierarchy. Say, Kenny Smith, a sales director, is looking at a forecast based on the Org chart template. He wants to see a forecast for his team, so he selects his name as the top name in the hierarchy. After Kenny makes his selection, he can see a preview of the full hierarchy in the rightmost pane.

    Configuration section.

  6. Choose a Default underlying records view. This is the default view used when users select a row or a cell of the forecast to view its underlying opportunities. To learn more, see View and manage underlying opportunities.

  7. In the Scheduling section, specify the following information.

    Note

    You can use the advanced scheduling to configure the forecast scheduling based on the calendar used by your organization. More information: Advanced scheduling

    Parameter Description
    Forecast period Select whether the forecast is to be generated monthly or quarterly. By default, Quarterly is selected. You can schedule the forecast up to one year.
    Fiscal year Select the fiscal year for the forecast. This is populated based on the organization's fiscal year settings. To learn more, see Work with fiscal year settings.
    Forecast starts at Select the time period to start forecasting. If you select the forecast period as Monthly, select the month you want to start forecasting. If you select the forecast period as Quarterly, select the quarter you want to start forecasting.
    Number of periods Enter the number of forecast periods to be generated. You can only create forecasts that span up to one year.
    Note: If you set the Forecast period to Monthly, Fiscal year to FY19, Forecast starts at as January, and Number of periods as 4, the generated forecasts will be grouped by four months: January, February, March, and April. In such a case, the forecast start and end dates will automatically be set to January 1, 2019 and April 30, 2019, respectively.
    Valid from This field is read-only. It identifies the date the forecast starts.
    Valid to This field is read-only. It identifies the date the forecast ends.

    Scheduling section.

    Scheduling supports fiscal year that spans across calendar years and fiscal months that spans across calendar months. For example, your organization's fiscal year spans across two different calendar years—from 28 December to 27 December of next year. Let's see how we can schedule a monthly forecast for the fiscal year FY2020.

    1. In your organization's fiscal year setting, verify Start Date and Name Based On settings.

      The start date determines when the fiscal year must start and the name base defines which date has to be considered to name the fiscal year.

      Verify organizational fiscal settings.

      In the above image, you can see that:

      Start Date is selected as 12/28/2019 (format is DD/MM/YYYY) specifying that the fiscal year starts on 28 December 2019 and ends on 27 December 2020.

      Name Based On is selected as End Date specifying that the name of fiscal year is FY2020. If the option is selected as Start Date, the name will be FY2019.

      To learn more, see Work with fiscal year settings.

    2. In the Scheduling section, select the following values:
      Forecast period as Monthly
      Fiscal year as FY2020
      Start this forecast as December
      Number of periods as 12

      The dates in the Valid from and Valid to are selected according to your organizational fiscal year settings.

      When you select the forecast period as monthly, the Start this forecast on fiscal start date month option is displayed at the bottom of the section.
      When this option is enabled, the forecast’s first month will be taken from the Valid from month (December when valid from is 12/28/2019). When disabled, the forecast’s first month will be the following month (January).

    Schedule a forecast with start month name.

  8. Select Next.

Advanced scheduling

Using advanced scheduling, you can configure forecast scheduling based on the calendar used by your organization. For example, a car manufacturing company, Contoso, has a planning calendar that uses 13 weeks per quarter. Contoso uses what's referred to as a 4-4-5 calendar, in which quarters are divided into two 4-week months and one 5-week month. The 13 weeks can also be grouped into 5–4–4 or 4–5–4 calendars, depending on organizational requirements.

Forecasting now supports the selection of different calendar patterns to match your organizational requirements. In the Scheduling section, enable the advanced scheduling option.

Enable advanced scheduling preview.

In addition to the basic scheduling settings described earlier in this article, the following options are available for you to configure:

  • Fiscal Year Start Date: Select the date depending on your organization's fiscal year start date. In general, the fiscal year start date starts at the beginning of a quarter, such as January 1, April 1, July 1, or October 1.

  • Calendar Template: Select the calendar template that corresponds to the accounting periods used in your organization. The calendar patterns supported in forecasting are described in the following table.

    Calendar templates Description
    4-4-5, 4-5-4, and 5-4-4 This calendar pattern divides a year into four quarters of 13 weeks each. In the 4-4-5 pattern, the quarter is grouped into two 4-week months and one 5-week month. Similarly, the grouping can be configured as 5–4–4 or 4–5–4. Using this calendar pattern, the end date of the period is always the same day of the week, which is useful for shift or manufacturing planning because every period is the same length.
    This calendar pattern has only 364 days (7 days × 52 weeks), meaning that a fifty-third week will need to be added every five or six years. This might make year-on-year comparison difficult. You can add an extra week to a specific quarter or month by selecting Add week in the preview section.
    Gregorian This calendar pattern is a 12-month period between January 1 and December 31. You can choose a different start and end date for this 12-month period.
    Broadcast Calendar This calendar pattern starts on a Monday and ends on a Sunday, and every month has either four or five such weeks. The broadcast calendar months thus have either 28 or 35 days.
    The key link between the broadcast and Gregorian calendars is that the first week of every broadcast month always contains the Gregorian calendar first of the month. For example, if January 1 falls on a Saturday, the broadcast calendar year begins on the preceding Monday, December 27. Broadcast January would then have five weeks, ending on January 30, and the four weeks of broadcast February would begin on January 31. The number of weeks in a broadcast month is based on the number of Sundays that fall in that month, with the period ending on the last Sunday of the month.
    When you choose this option, the Fiscal Year Start Date is automatically set to the Monday in the week that contains January 1. To remained aligned with the established broadcast calendar logic, the start date can't be changed.
    3-3-3-4, 3-3-4-3, 3-4-3-3, and 4-3-3-3 This calendar pattern divides a year into 13 periods where each period is of 4 weeks. For example, in 3-3-3-4 calender, the first 3 quarters consist of 3 periods and the fourth quarter consists 4 periods. Similarly, the grouping can also be configured as 3-3-4-3, 3-4-3-3, or 4-3-3-3.
    This calendar pattern has only 364 days (7 days × 52 weeks), meaning that a fifty-third week will need to be added every five or six years. This might make year-on-year comparison difficult. You can add an extra week to a specific quarter or month by selecting Add week in the preview section.

See also

Configure forecasts in your organization
Configure forecasts by using a custom rollup entity
Troubleshooting forecasts