Visibility matters a great deal when it comes to project management. You can have the best team in the world, but if they’re in the dark on important details, you won’t be able to deliver projects predictably. Waiting for a weekly or bi-weekly status report to see how the costs and timeline match up with budgets isn’t an option.
Typically, your Project Managers have the best handle on how projects are progressing. But even their knowledge can be limited if they don’t have instant access to project costs and schedules. For example, it’s common for Project Managers to touch base with clients when they’ve used a certain percentage of their budget, say 80%. At this point, you want to discuss with your client where things stand, whether you’re on track to complete the remaining work within budget, or if you need to make adjustments. Sounds simple, right? The challenge is that most firms can’t easily identify when they’ve reached 80% of their budget. It can usually be done, with lots of manual effort to compile reports. And by the time they have the answer they’re looking for, they’ve already moved beyond the 80% marker as the project work continues.
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What Does This Level of Visibility Look Like?
Picture a real-time dashboard with your key project information, including a gauge showing the amount of your budget that’s been used to date. This can actually be done quite easily. The key is running an integrated project management system that brings all your project data together. When you only have to enter information once, you can see the impact on your project performance in real-time.
But visibility goes deeper than that. With an integrated project and business management system, you’re pulling together information from multiple disparate systems, like project management, accounting, payroll and sales. You’re able to compare and contrast different projects according to a number of benchmarks, including:
- Billed vs. budget, at the project, labor or expense level
- Labor and overtime costs
- Invoiced and work-in-progress amounts
- Project resource utilization by individual
This data will not only help you keep current projects on track, it will allow you to make more meaningful decisions as well. Your sales force will know if you’re at capacity and when you can start a new project. Your Project Managers can proactively manage budgets and schedules, addressing potential overruns before they occur. You can more easily identify areas in your organization that could benefit from efficiency improvements.
All this, from dashboards available at your fingertips. You get visibility at the project and corporate level, with the option to drill down for more detail. That’s what project visibility is supposed to look like.
Achieve Total Visibility
How do you get this level of insight into your business? The answer is simple – run the right project management system. Eralis Project [link: /products/project], based on SAP Business One, integrates all your data into a single solution giving you the ability to evaluate your project performance in-the-moment. Make faster, more informed decisions about your projects. Deliver more projects on time, on budget.
Project visibility isn’t the only benefit of running a project-based ERP. Get in touch with us to learn more about the potential for your firm.
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