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 – Ireland

New Unpaid Parental Leave Entitlement The Parental Leave Acts allow parents to take parental leave from employment in respect of certain children. Under the Parental Leave Act 1998, parents of…Read More

Global Compliance Desk – Germany

Annual Leave Entitlement During Unpaid Special Leave  An employee who is continuously on unpaid special leave for a calendar year is not entitled to holiday leave in the absence of…Read More

25 Employee Payroll Tips for Small Business Owners

Recruiter | July 05, 2019 By Lakshmi Raj, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Replicon Payroll can be a challenging task for any small business but with the right tools, it can become…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

Miscalculating wages by a few cents led to this company paying a six-figure lawsuit

West Marine Products, which operates a chain of retail stores across the United States specializing in boating supply and fishing equipment, recently settled a class action lawsuit involving 707 former…Read More

Employee time tracking is dead

iBeacons, Bluetooth Low Energy, Proximity sensing and the obsolescence of time tracking as we know it. Businesses have to track the time their employees work for a variety of reasons,…Read More
  • Cloud
  • In The News
  • Corporate
  • Professional Services Management
  • Project and Program Management
  • Shared Services Management
  • Time and Attendance Management
  • Workforce Management
  • Customer Feature
  • Feature Update
  • Time Intelligence
  • Industry News
  • Webinar Recap
  • Global Compliance Updates
  • Chat with us
    How can we help you?