5 Quick Steps to Compare Cost Plan Snapshots and Even Revert Back to an Earlier Version

Are you still using the Save As button in Excel as part of your cost planning strategy in order to organize multiple versions and track changes for your estimate?


Vico Office Cost Planner allows you to save full versions of your cost plan for every iteration.  How?  It's a database with a complete history function; not a set of files.


The Compare & Update function is the "Swiss Army Knife" in the Vico Office platform. It can be used to compare current project data to another project on your Vico Project Server, to copy data from a Reference, and even to copy published Building Information Models from one project to another!


Another clever use of the tool is for reverting your cost plan back to a previously saved version.  Going back to an earlier version can be done in five simple steps:


Step 1: Once your cost plan has been developed to a point where you would like to save it for future reference, click the Save Version button in the Cost Planner Ribbon. Enter a short description to make it easier to find the desired version later.


Step 2: Continue to work on your cost plan by adding more detailed information, replacing manual quantities with model-based quantities, and checking alternative options.


Step 3: Repeat step 1 to store the "furthest development status" of your cost plan.


Step 4: When you now want to go back to the version stored in Step 1, delete everything in your current Cost Plan view, so that only the Project Name ("node level 0") remains.


Step 5: Start the Compare & Update view from the Workflow Panel and run a comparison with either "Cost" or "Cost and Takeoff" profile. Just select the version of the cost plan that you stored in Step 1 and compare the current version to it. Now click the "Update All" button to copy all content that existed in the saved version to your current cost plan. Note that formulas (Takeoff Items with Takeoff Quantities) will use the current set of quantities and will not show the quantities that you had when you saved the version you just restored.


To complete restoring of the saved cost plan data, go to the Plan Cost view and make sure to activate the required Assemblies (Assemblies are inactive by default after using the Compare and Update function).  This cool trick helps you quickly go back to earlier cost plans, or evaluate options for your project!


Take a look at the video below to see what I mean...


Video Caption: There are several ways to create "what-if" scenarios for a budgeting meeting with the Owner.  This video explores how to use the Compare & Update feature in Vico Office Cost Planner to examine two different versions of the construction estimate.  So instead of flipping through pages and stacks of Excel printouts, you can quickly compare the two options on your screen.


You can also explore these resources to learn more tips and tricks:

Webinar: Model-Based Estimating Basics

Training: Cost Planning Video Training Series

Our Products: The Vico Office Estimating Solutions

Tags: construction estimate, saved cost plan, cost planner, vico office, compare versions of the estimate