Problem #1: How do you stay on top of fast moving projects?
Problem #2: How do you monitor your work-in-progress investment without scanning a report every day?
Problem #3: How do you trigger project reviews without micro-managing project managers?
Events occur every day that affect profits. It may be a direct impact like runaway costs on a fast moving project. Or it may be indirect like time spent searching for exceptional situations or milestones in projects that could be billable (revenue-producing).
To stay on top of fast moving projects, most managers try to adhere to a daily workflow:
- Print budget comparisons, project spent and other reports job
- Scan through each project’s numbers to check for smoke signaling a problem, or a full blast of fire demanding immediate attention
- Put out the project on fire
- Deal with any smoking projects
- Deal with other projects as time permits
- Repeat the next day
Executives follow a similar workflow as they monitor company activities. On a daily, weekly, biweekly or monthly basis, they step through their workflows. Executives monitor project managers, perhaps looking for percent complete information to trigger a project status meeting. This has become more common in economic downturns. Also in downturn periods, watching work-in-progress inventory, cash flow and similar metrics closely (daily or weekly) is critical. On a monthly basis, executives may check HR information for excessive sick or vacation hours.
All of these activities take time. Most often, it is a manager’s time. Managers and executives bill out at higher rates, so these necessary workflows are expensive. Managers could be handling more projects and nurturing client relationships that will produce more jobs in the future. Executives could be spending more time on client relationships too, rainmaking with current and prospective clients.
BillQuick automates exception workflow. Using Agent Workflow Automation, you can set business alerts to monitor key metrics for an exception event based on a count, percentage or dollar value. Business Alerts in Agent include:
- Project Spent
- Project Percent Complete
- Project Work in Progress
- New Payment Received
- Daily Cash Receipts
- Project Status On Hold
- Project Over-Budget
- Invoice Unpaid For . . . Days
- Employee Vacation Hours Greater than Permission Hours
- Employee Sick Hours Greater than Permission Hours
You set the threshold for an alert. For example, say you set two alerts for Project Percent Complete. The first might be at 35% and the second at 80%. When each threshold is reached, Agent sends an email to the project manager and the executive’s assistant to schedule a Project Progress Meeting. They will work out a meeting day and time and the executive will see it on his calendar.
Managers and staff spend less time looking for exceptions that demand attention. This time shifts from non-billable to billable and productive hours. You have time to find opportunities and make ‘rain’ for your firm, and to be one top of the key metrics for projects and company.