For professional services companies, project management can be a real pickle. Does your organization have the right tools to find the best solutions?
Easy Maintenance of Billing Rates
As you well know, business is constantly changing. Projects are moving along fine and then – POW! – just when you least expect it, the project comes to a screeching halt.
Resources (consultants) are put on hold and instructed to work on another project until the details of what happened are reviewed and a clear go forward direction is defined. Perhaps the customer now requires the project be completed one month earlier than originally planned. To complete the work on time requires additional resources to be assigned to the project. As a result, the consultants must work extra hours for the upcoming month. To cover the overtime, the billing rates need to be adjusted up.
The ability for the software to be updated at whatever frequency the company deems necessary, while retaining a history of billing rates, is a key feature successful organizations expect from project software to help them run their business.
Optimizing resource time is one of the most important job assignments of a Project Management Director.
Having resources ‘on the bench’ can erode the motivation of the team and the success of the organization. Likewise, striking a balance between billable and learning/educational time is critical to allow the resource to feel invested for the future. Professional consultants need time to learn new technologies and hone already established skills. Employers need to find the right balance for how much time resources should spend on each type of project.
Assigning the right resource to the right project, at the right time, provides the best possibility for profitability. Project Management software must be flexible enough to allow project managers to re-assign resources on demand to keep up with schedule delays, last minute requests, and project deadlines.
Do you have access to all of the information you need to make appropriate business decisions for your consulting firm? Can you get to the information when you want it or do you have to wait for some process to complete before running reports? Do you need to drill into the detail supporting reported data?
Traditional reporting capabilities enable a point in time view of data. However, businesses run at a fast pace and project managers/executives need the ability to monitor the business as it is moving, make qualified decisions quickly, and change direction on demand. Waiting to make a decision until end of day, end of milestone or end of project may cost you that opportunity. This increases the need to look inside the business at projects in motion and refresh your view of progress frequently.
Reporting for Employees: Project software needs to empower the employee to see the priority of their assignments, record time and expenses in a timely, accurate manner, analyze completed work to scheduled work, and alert project managers (and sometimes customers) when the direction of the project needs to change.
Reporting for Project Managers: Project managers need to monitor their resources and milestones for project progress to ensure quality, on time results.
Reporting for Executives: Executives need to monitor all projects to ensure profitability. At the end of the day, what matters most is a positive bottom line.
Enabling this type of functionality requires visibility into the data from views or queries. Typically the data will not be printed in whole. Parts of the data may be copied into an email or status report to support a change in project direction (to a resource) or explain why a certain piece of work was completed a certain way in response to a customer inquiry. Seldom is a long report printed and gone through with a fine tooth comb. No time for that.
It’s time to run an agile consulting team. One that can flex and change direction quickly while keeping the project on track and on budget. This demands the ability to view filtered data and re-filter on the fly and react to what you are seeing with confidence, in the direction you and your team need to go.
Beyond Software: Powerful Project Management
For more information about how project management in Beyond can help your business
Beyond: Powerful Project Management & Accounting Software
Thursday, June 23rd 2016 at 11:00 AM EST
by Admiral Consulting Group