How do world-class organizations plan and manage their projects?

Without a doubt, how services/product organizations plan and execute their projects is a major factor in how well they grow. Though it sounds simple, making project plans, prioritizing specific projects, ensuring you have adequate resources, and managing a portfolio in real-time requires a lot of oversight across the organization. We spoke with some of our customers, analysts and our product team on how they plan and prioritize projects, and found a few standout best practices for different phases of a project:

 

Planning phase:

  • Almost everyone we spoke with mentioned that they looked at historical metrics around hours, cost, and resources for all the bidding, planning, and prioritization of projects and programs. This helped organizations come up with accurate first estimates based on all the work they had done previously.
  • Another interesting tidbit was the fact that many of our customers looked at their project capabilities and employee capabilities in determining which projects would make the most sense to go after. This process of prioritization involved metrics like on-time project delivery, budgets and schedule overruns, and employee skills among other things.
  • Even more compelling was how most of these organizations prioritized clients. All of us have heard of Pareto analysis or the 80/20 principle. Project teams use this or similar prioritization techniques to manage their customers and determine which of these relationships will be longer term and meaningful. The idea is to work with clients who show great potential, are really happy with the service, or are critical to the business.

Execution phase:

  • When the project is mid-flight, project managers mentioned that they needed real-time visibility into status and actual performance against estimates. This helped them make judgment calls on which projects were running great and which of them needed intervention immediately. The real-time understanding of this data was necessary to make proactive decisions.
  • A major consideration here for managers was getting the most out of their valuable project resources and having them spend most of their time on projects or other productive tasks. Global resource utilization or billable utilization was the metric that was used to determine how efficiently the resources were being deployed and utilized. You would want your most skilled resources mapped to more critical projects to ensure desired quality is delivered on these. A best practice is to establish a benchmark and a precise definition around utilization and use that to manage project allocations.
  • Finally, businesses wanted to be able to have a feedback loop from the ongoing projects into the planning phase as that would determine the requirements to meet pipeline needs including planning for resources, schedules, and budgets.
Vivek Gopalpuria
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Vivek Gopalpuria
Vivek is the Associate Director of Product Marketing at Replicon. Replicon provides award-winning products that make it easy to manage your workforce. With complete solution sets for client billing, project costing, and time and attendance management, Replicon enables the capture, administration, and optimization of your most underutilized and important asset: time.
Get started today.
Set up a free trial based on your business needs. Start Free Trial

Global Compliance Desk – California

Changes to Wage Premium Payment Practices for Non-compliant Meal and Rest Periods The California law [California Labor Code §226.7(c)] requires employers to pay non-exempt employees an additional hour of pay…Read More

5 Steps to Proactive Resource Management for Services Firms

As a business leader, you do your best to make your service organization successful. You invest in the latest technologies, hire the best candidates, and get all the essential resources…Read More

Calculating the ROI of Your Projects with Time Tracking

Before initiating a project, professional services firms want to know how much profit and revenue they can generate for the company. Return on Investment (ROI) analysis helps firms to evaluate…Read More

Demystifying the millennial workforce: 5 tips from Trunk Club’s Andrew Anderson Devine

Time magazine labels the millennial generation the “most threatening and exciting generation,” infamous for “narcissism [and] its effect: entitlement.” In the workplace, the perception of the millennial workforce is no…Read More

Time and Attendance Orientation Guide

In a growing business, the day will eventually come when managing time and attendance on paper becomes both inefficient and risky, especially when trying to balance things like overtime, paid…Read More

Using shared services? These five technologies are a must

As organizations continue to scrutinize operating costs and look for areas to drive efficiencies, shared services centers (SSCs) are a no-brainer. The concept of a multi-function SSC has been around…Read More
  • Polaris
  • Time & Project Insights
  • Time & Projects Solutions
  • Replicon Products
  • Replicon Users
  • Cloud
  • Corporate
  • Professional Services Management
  • Shared Services Management
  • Time and Attendance Management
  • Customer Feature
  • Time Intelligence
  • Industry News
  • Global Compliance Updates
  • Others