Are you an engineering director? What's your dream?
(watch the video, and scroll down to choose a dream below)
We want to know your dream. Is it to cut admin time? Reduce mistakes? Streamline engineering projects? Improve customer management? Align projects with priorities?
"We think we can reduce human error"
"We know this is taking way too much time"
"We screwed up big-time with the client"
There are a hundred dreams to choose from, but we've selected a few just for you. Scroll down to pick one.
Dream #1: Fix the whole stinking process
Your current system includes engineers communicating tasks and percent complete through a project manager or administrator. Everything is communicated verbally, which means about ten percent is forgotten, mistyped, incorrectly categorized. The exact hours worked on projects and tasks is a fuzzy commodity you're slightly uncomfortable. You tried spreadsheets to tighten up the process, but those still don't collect exact hours for a number of reasons, chiefly because engineers really aren't using them. Or they're not giving you accurate data.
So you want this whole time collection process streamlined and fixed.
"Eesh! The owner can't even tell how many hours engineers are working"
You want hours collected at the time they occur. You want task breakdowns. A central database where executives, administrators and project managers can view engineer's hours. This whole process needs to be reworked.
Dream #2: Get everyone working together again
In your current system, you can't track time at the task level because nobody really cares enough to commit the admin time to it, and you don't have a tool in place to help with that. Every engineers works on what he thinks is best. You communicate tasks verbally in meetings. Endless meetings. Hateful meetings. But you're not quite sure any of those tasks are actually worked on or completed. Sure, the job eventually gets done so you know something happened, but it's a little fuzzy as to exactly what was done. Was the project execution tight and efficient? You're not sure about that.
"I practically fall asleep in meetings"
You want a task breakdown that everybody can get behind. Everyone works toward the same goals, and things get done more efficiently than when left to verbal communication. Warnings appear when tasks take too long. Tasks are regularly closed out. Phases are finished. And you just know the project went as quickly as it could have.
Dream #3: Stop losing billable client hours
You're losing 5 - 10% of your billable hours in your current system. You're not exactly sure where the losses occur, but you have see evidence.
"I added 8 hours to last month. Is that okay?"
"Ahhh, no! We already billed for last month!"
You've heard these lines enough to know it's happening regularly, and you're not sure how often it happens where you don't hear about it. That's disturbing. Hours are added to date ranges you have already billed for. Sometimes those are accidental. Sometime out of uncertainty or ignorance. And sometimes, pure stupidity.
And sometimes hours are added to entirely incorrect projects. You worked legitimate time for a client, but it gets posted to a completely different project. Again, sometimes accidently, or out of uncertainty. In any case, the hours are lost, and you didn't even know it.
So you want a system that catches some of those mistakes. Or at least a centralized system where you can check for mistakes and correct them before billing the client.
"Billable hours increased 5% last month"
I’m an engineering director, and here’s my dream:
We’re putting Standard Time® on every desk to help manage our projects.
• The project managers will schedule projects and tasks, and analyze results
• Engineers will track tasks and close them out
• HR gets PTO tracking for every employee
• Executives find out which projects and portfolios mean the most to them
I think that’s a worthwhile dream. What do you think?
I’m the engineering director, and I got Standard Time from stdtime.com