Expand my Community achievements bar.

Join us for our Coffee Break Sweepstakes on July 16th! Come ask your questions or share your use cases on Creative Briefs for a chance to win a piece of Workfront swag!

Customer Success Tips: Comparing Planned vs Actual Data




By tracking and comparing planned versus actual data in Adobe Workfront, you can identify process gaps, training opportunities, bottlenecks, resource needs and ultimately, better understand why the delivery veered away from the original plan. From there, you can implement improvements to keep things on track for future project execution. The most used comparisons are planned vs actual dates, cost and hours. There are multiple ways to capture this information in Workfront – custom forms, column rules, text mode reporting, calculated data expressions – but to keep it simple, let’s stick with conditional formatting, or column rules.  

Step-by-step instructions 

Follow the step-by-step instructions in the blog, Compare Dates (and more!) Using Conditional Formatting, to learn how to apply conditional formatting to cells or rows where actual data is greater than planned. Then, apply this new learning to each of the scenarios below in your own instance. We've included additional PRO TIPS for even more helpful hints. 


Planned vs Actual Dates 

Are work items starting late, finishing early or wrapping up way past the expected due date? By comparing planned vs actual dates in a report, you can visualize missed deadlines and then dig deeper into the root causes to understand, correct, and ensure future work items are hitting expected targets.


Sometimes dates don’t paint the whole picture – a work item may have 30 days in duration, even though it started late. If you want to capture turnaround time, as in how many days did it take from start (or entry) to finish, follow the instructions in the blog, Tracking Turnaround Time, to learn how to capture this in a custom field so it can be pulled into a report.


Planned vs Actual Cost 

Are work items more expensive than expected, or using less resources than planned for and saving you money? By comparing planned vs actual costs, you can help stay within budget projections and ensure profitability for your organization.


Want to see how much extra money was spent, or how much was saved? Calculate the difference between the actual and planned costs by adding a column to your report, switching to text mode and pasting the following: 

displayname=Difference in Cost






Planned vs Actual Hours  

Are work items requiring more effort than expected to be completed? By comparing planned vs actual hours, you can begin to understand effort, help prevent burnout or justify additional headcount.


Filter a project, task or issue report to only look for the work items where Actual Hours is greater than Planned Hours by creating a new report, navigating to the filters tab, switching to text mode and pasting the following:



Have questions? Connect with other like-minded system administrators and ask a question on the Workfront Community. For application troubleshooting or technical assistance, please contact Customer Support at 844-306-HELP (US) or by submitting a case on Workfront One. For anything else, including optimization packages and ad-hoc consulting services, please reach out to your Account Executive.

1 Comment