Using A Project ERP System To Plan A Project

Posted by Deltek on April 14, 2016

Using A Project ERP System To Plan A Project

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If you're celebrating winning that plum project you've been working so hard on in recent weeks, then, congratulations! Exciting times are ahead. Right from the very start your ERP system will be a fundamental asset in making sure the project turns out to be a winner. Here's how to use it to plan ahead, assign the resources you need and keep your project on a path to success.

Creating The Roadmap

The plan you put in place for your project will not only act as a roadmap, it will also act as a reference guide to help you keep abreast of your project's progress in terms of time and budget. No two projects are ever the same, yet your ERP system is able to pinpoint certain trends from your company's data about how long certain tasks take, how much they will cost and what kind of resources you'll need to complete them. It's a much better approach than taking an educated guess and hoping for the best.


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Scheduling Activities

Once an idea of timescales and costs are in place, you'll be in a strong position to allocate milestone dates to the project. Yet this may not be as straightforward as it sounds as many factors can affect your schedule. The client may have a specific deadline in mind for a certain task. Certain specialists may not be available because of holidays. Or, a problem may delay future scheduled activities further down the line. Your ERP system will calculate the impact of any number of variables helping you overcome any obstacles as they arise.

resource planning ERP

Resource Planning

Allocating the right talent to the right project at the right time is a critical part of project management. But with a number of different specialists boasting various skills and expertise, all with different availability and charging different rates, it can be a challenge to get right. Your ERP system will provide you with the insight you need to know exactly how your resource decisions will impact profitability. It'll tell you, for instance, if assigning an expensive consultant to the project who will get the job done faster than others will end up saving or costing you money.

Budget Versus Actual

Yet it's not just at the planning stage that you'll benefit from the insight provided by ERP. As project manager you want the power to make responsive decisions throughout the entire lifecycle of your project. This requires access to up-to-date insight into every faculty of your business. For instance, an ERP system that processes data in real time will help you assess your budgeted costs with the actual costs as the project progresses so that you can act in time.

Measure For Success

But that's not all. You'll want to keep tabs on and measure a number of other key performance indicators (KPIs), such as:

  • Utilisation - that your employee's time is maximised
  • Realisation - that employee hours are as expected
  • Estimate to completion (ETC) - the amount of money or time you think will be needed to complete the project
  • Estimate at completion(EAC) - the amount of time or money the project will cost you in the end

Measure performance KPIs

Critical Tool

Even though the pitch may only seem like yesterday, a project's success is determined right from the outset. It's in these early stages that you'll draw up that integral, measurable plan that will either guarantee or jeopardise your success. Then it's a case of keeping track by monitoring measurable data. A project based ERP system is one tool you won't want to do without.

Understanding ERP - Introduction Series

Find out more about how a project based ERP system can support the planning and implementation of your next project. Download our 'ERP for Dummies guide' below - it's free!


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Project-based ERP for Dummies

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