Good tips to keep projects on track and on budget.

 

Is your project a disaster?  Budget blown?  Everybody lost motivation?   Yep, that can happen!  Actually, it happens more than one might imagine.   About 70% of all software projects are over budget and beyond schedule.   Actually, that's probably true of most engineering projects.  That's  because these types of projects contain a high percentages of unknowns.   I.e. new territory that the engineers are unsure of, or don't know exactly how  to proceed.

Sometimes in these types of projects, the project manager interviews engineers  briefly and then throws out a ship date without any consideration for unknown  territory.  That's an oversimplification, but one that occurs a lot.   Combine this with the fact that engineers don't like to interrogated over task  schedules.  For them, the task is done when it's done, and not until.   Just don't bother me!  So it becomes difficult to predict a ship date,  which leads to out of control projects.  Engineers have to understand and  accommodate this scheduling process.  Only then can you keep your project  on track and under budget.

There is another type of project that is performed over and over again for  different clients.  In this type of projects, the same basic tasks are  repeated for each client.  Since the company has a lot of history with the  same type of project, they can learn from older ones.  By studying past  projects, the tasks can become refined, in terms of estimates, sequence, and  number of discrete tasks.  Using Standard Time® you can duplicate an older  project and start with that as a template.  After completing several of  each project type, your estimates should match your actuals by a small  percentage gap.  That history keeps your project on track.

This video describes both types of projects.  It shows how timesheet hours  are collected into the Actual Work field which you can compare with your  original estimates.  That simple comparison is enormously valuable.   You learn a lot about how tasks are executed and how employees work.  It  doesn't take long to improve your estimation skills based on human input from  the timesheet.  But without timesheet input, you are flying blind.   You are unsure how long tasks actually take, and when different types of tasks  will be completed.  Employee timesheet are key.

Milestones, which are highlighted in this video, help to evaluate projects as  you go along.  They are a time for reflection and reevaluation.  If  you are blowing through half your milestones, then you need to sit down with  your team and figure that out.  More than likely you are forgetting about  half the work involved in the project.  That goes back to engineers who don't like to be integrated, and an unwillingness to submit to the tedious  process of documenting and scheduling a project.

This is a discipline that take time and patience.  You have to analyze your history and learn from past projects.  If you don't, you'll keep blowing schedules and burning investor dollars.

Also see: Video: Timesheets for Engineering Companies, Video: Timesheet Features for Manufacturing Companies

 

Back to Videos

 

More videos on YouTube

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

    More videos to explore

  • Instructional (3 - 6 min)

    Screencast videos with deeper instruction for project management, employee timesheets, PTO, expenses, and client invoicing Read More
  • Whiteboard (60 sec)

    Introductions to time tracking and project management. Get ideas, get inspired, try new things, and learn what your timesheet can do Read More
  • Old-Timey (60 sec)

    Tracking time and expenses in the modern world? See the most modern technique for time sheets and time management Read More
  • Short Intros (60 sec)

    Short intros to the basics of time tracking and project management techniques. Learn how employees use the timesheet. Read More
  • Animated (30 sec)

    Introduce and inspire use of the timesheet and project management techniques. You will learn what can be done and be tempted to try it. Read More
  • Interviews (2 - 3 min)

    Interviews about timesheets, project tracking, PTO, and management techniques. Get the general concepts of time and project tracking. Read More
  • Cartoons (60 sec)

    The lighter side of time tracking and project management, in cartoon format. Learn what the makers of Standard Time really think! Read More
  • Quick Questions (2 - 4 min)

    Answers to quick questions we have received regarding the employee timesheet, projects tracking, and PTO. See the product in action. Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8

 

FREE TRIAL


Download a fully functional timesheet that will remain active for 30 days.
Company Name
Please enter your company name
Full Name
Please type your full name.
E-mail
Invalid email address.
Number of Employees
How many employees will use this?