Best practices: Project management (time)
Most companies put a lot of effort into keeping track of and optimizing every last penny. Not many know what their team spends most of their time on. The harsh truth is, time is your most valuable asset, having a direct impact on the money you make – especially so if you’re in the business of selling your time. With Scoro, you can easily track, manage and optimize the time (and, therefore, money) you spend on different activities.
If you haven’t done so already, make sure you take a look at our project management video
. We’ve also created numerous detailed help articles
on how projects work in Scoro. If you want to know more and learn a few clever tips along the way, just follow these three steps to set up and manage your project portfolio, down to the last detail, with the help of Scoro.1. SET UP A PROJECT TO EASILY TRACK ITS PROGRESS.
2. ADD ASSIGNMENTS UNDER THE PROJECT TO GET AN ACCURATE PROGNOSIS AND LATER SEE WHAT KIND OF ACTIVITIES TOOK LONGER THAN ESTIMATED.
- A project behaves like an umbrella. It includes information on client communication, done and planned activities, different project-related files, as well as financial documents.
Make sure to link all project-related tasks, invoices, bills, files, etc. with the correct project for easy detailed reporting, but also to get a full overview of every aspect of the project. When adding new documents or activities directly from the project detailed view, Scoro automatically creates these links for you!
In the project list view, you can get an overview of all projects and easily track project progress.
- Set up a new project only after you have won the deal (the customer has confirmed the quote). This way, your project list is nice and clean, filled only with the projects you are actually working on. You also avoid unnecessary admin work (setting up and closing projects) related to projects that never happened.
Note! You might want to create a project before winning the deal in case the sales phase involves a lot of work – in that case, you might want to track the time spent on sales activities under the very same project from the start.
- Save time on creating each project from scratch by turning the original quote into a project. This way, the most important data (e.g. project duration, client, phases, and milestones) is automatically filled out for you.
PRO TIP: When using quote subheadings, they're automatically turned into project phases when creating a project from the quote. Subheadings also help to visually segment the quote for the customer.
Alternatively, for similar projects, you can use project templates to save yourself the manual work of creating each project anew.
- If your projects are lengthy and consist of many stages, set up phases and milestones for each project to keep an eye on the timeline and track project progress. Add the relevant activities (tasks and events) under each project phase, so it’s easy to get a visual overview of what’s planned and already done.
With shorter projects, it’s wise not to overcomplicate things. In that case, we recommend using tasks and project statuses for keeping track of project progress.
- Use project statuses to get a quick and easy overview of your project portfolio. Predefine statuses according to your project flow, for example: Not started > In progress > Waiting for approval > Approved > Completed. You can also use statuses for negative scenarios (e.g. On hold, Canceled).
Group and sort the project list to get an overview of how many projects you’re working on and in which status they are. Of course, you can bookmark the filtered views and easily add them to your dashboard.
- Tag your projects to get reporting on the performance of different types of projects. For example, if your business offers various services (some are design projects, other marketing projects, etc.), just tag them accordingly. You can later filter both the detailed work and finance report, as well as the project list by project tags to see which projects are more profitable, whether they fit into their estimated time, and so on.
- Make sure to set up project estimated duration and deadline. That way, it’s easy to compare the actual results to the prognosis. The estimated duration is also the basis for calculating project progress. In addition, you can add estimates to each individual project task.
3. ASSIGN PROJECT TASKS TO YOUR TEAM SO EVERYONE KNOWS WHAT AND WHEN IS EXPECTED OF THEM.
- As a project manager, you can predefine daily or weekly tasks for your team. This way the team knows exactly what their priorities are. Even so, each team member is welcome to add tasks for themselves or other team members, if there’s a need for it.
The fastest way for predefining tasks is to create tasks from the quote confirmed by the customer (if you are in the business of selling your time). When turning a quote into tasks for your team, all the service lines are automatically turned into tasks with the duration set on the quote. Also, if you have predefined the doer of the assignment on a quote, the tasks are automatically assigned to the right person.
- Another way for presetting a list of assignments for your team is to use task bundles. Task bundles act like template tasks that you can add to each project that includes a checklist of similar activities. For example, you can create a task bundle for a creative project with template tasks like Research, Brainstorming, Initial design, Copywriting, etc.
Note! You can also add task bundles for each service line on the quote (each task) when creating tasks from the quote. This comes handy in case the quoted services are more generic, but you wish to divide them into several specific tasks for your team.
- Use activity types (for tasks and events) to get detailed reporting on what kind of activities your team spends most of their time on. Activity types are handy as they help to classify and segment activities (task titles may vary even if the job itself is similar, yet activity types are in a standardized format and are easily filterable and groupable in detailed reports).
Make sure to add an activity type to each task and event. Predefine the list of activity types for your team – add the activities you and your team perform on a daily basis (the ones you want to track and get reporting on).
TIP: You can link activity types with products and services for additional automation. If you then create tasks out of a quote (service lines), the relevant activity types are automatically filled out for you.
- Define the planned duration for each task and later compare it to the actual duration. The planned duration of the task is also the basis for calculating task progress. The person performing the task can specify the time actually spent on the task when logging time under it.
You can keep an eye on the task progress both in the task list and in the detailed work report. The project list, on the other hand, gives you an overview of all assignments planned and done related to different projects.
Here's how to easily catch up and stay up to date with your projects, plus get truly detailed reporting on everything important.
- Define a task deadline so the person doing the task knows when the assignment needs to be ready. It also helps to prioritize the task list (take care of the urgent tasks with due dates approaching first) and understand the remaining availability of your team members (just check the Utilization report). You can either set task deadlines one by one (under a specific project or in the task list) or do it in bulk by selecting the relevant tasks in the task list.
- Assign tasks to your team so it’s clear who’s doing what. Like with deadlines, this can be done one by one (in the project or task list view) or in bulk (in the task list).
PRO TIP: If you are in the project detailed view and click on the Planned activities title, it will take you to the task list with all the relevant tasks already filtered out.
- If the task is bigger, you can use the Planner for truly granular work planning. With the Planner, you’re able to easily split the task into several smaller parts (time entries) and schedule exactly the right amount of work for each day. This helps to avoid bottlenecks and overbooking your team.
You now have all the necessary tools to start tracking and managing your team’s time more efficiently. If there’s anything we can help you with, just let us know
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