Maximize the Power of Deltek Ajera’s Project Command Center to Better Manage Resources

April 05, 2023
Manage Resources Better with Deltek Ajera

Deploying project teams efficiently is a vital component to every thriving professional services company. Your work is driven by delivery milestones and is supported by your team's expertise. Your teams constantly encounter deadline changes, unforeseen delivery delays and general staffing issues as part of your weekly workflows.

Wouldn’t it be great to staff your projects to best meet delivery milestones? Would having visibility into your team’s up-to-date availability sound great to you? If you answered ‘yes,’ then it is time to take a closer look at resourcing your staff in Deltek Ajera, which is an easy-to-use project management and project-based accounting system for project-based businesses.

Build Better Plans with Schedule Manager

Deltek Ajera Schedule Manager allows you to assign work to individual team members, quickly adjust schedules, spread a budget over a date range and alter planned work already assigned. The best practice workflow begins with the Project Command Center (PCC) under the manage tab. To start this process, use an efficient project template to drive your baseline budget down to the resource level.

Ajera Image 1

Make the template work for you. Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) can be set for the type of project and resources should be set up by employee type with weights of their relative percentage of the phase budget.

These settings will allow the project and phase level budgets to be applied easily to this resource level. When designing the template, think about details like phase status, additional services phase, project manager, principal in charge and departments (as applicable).

Below is an example of how to use this type of template to create a workflow and set up some quality controls for the project management team. This will help your project managers (PMs) get the most accurate data out of Deltek Ajera to efficiently manage this process.

PCC Workflow Template

First enter the total project fee amount you want to spread down to the phase and staff levels. Then use the % symbol in the % Dist. column to push the contract down to the lower phase and staff levels.

Project Fee Amount

Next enter the Consultant part of your budget (if applicable) and apply estimated start and end dates.

The dates are key to the workload report used for forecasting and to the schedule manager tool for most efficient application to staff.

Apply Resources in Schedule Manager

Let your leg work on the project template and the initial budget create efficiency as you select the right resources for the project in the schedule manager. Use the team builder function to add staff directly per phase. Add the scheduled dollars and available dollars columns to display budget spending as you apply staff.

Apply Resources

The auto populate feature applies the remaining budget hours to staff in just a few clicks. This feature can use phase-level dates for staffing resource allocation to save time in applying and updating dates. From the project level, right-click on the hours remaining column as shown with the red arrow on the image below. If you have a resource level budget applied, then a check box will display in the pop-up box allowing you to apply the date for staff resourced from the phase levels.

Spread Remaining Hours

Create Schedule Manager Reports

Keep your management team informed of staffing issues and budget overruns and communicate staff delivery expectations directly from the schedule manager. You can accomplish this by using the dashboard reports to create visibility so that the broader team can help manage the project schedule. In this report, project management teams can see how their staff are deployed and work plans are staffed. With use in a weekly workflow, these tools will help the PM stay on budget and best utilize their team members.

To create these reports, use the employee base to a new project tab and add the scheduled hours column (set to a week), then copy the column repeating the weekly setting for as many weeks ahead as needed. Then add the phase base on the project tab and the scheduled dollars column to include in a budget set of numbers (for example, against contract) to get the remaining amount.

Team Scheduled Hours

You can also share this same information to the employee to use in their daily work by adding the My Scheduled hours widget from the Widget Gallery option.

My Scheduled Hours

Best Practices for Schedule Manager

Try to make this process of adopting the schedule manager tool fun and an organic process for all staff. Hold weekly or bi-weekly meetings to keep the team applying and adopting this practice. Host a lunch and use the conference room (or attend remotely) to respond to your team members’ and project needs. Make sure to outline responsibilities for each group member.

An example could look like this:

  • Project managers should have schedules completed and should bring resource issues to the regularly scheduled meeting.
  • Delivery staff will review weekly schedules and communicate issues or discrepancies back to the management team prior to the weekly or bi-weekly meetings.

Hint: have a pilot group test the process and establish a set of guidelines and best practices for the firm.

How Deltek Can Help

If your company is interested in setting up your Project Template and needs support, the Deltek Consulting team is happy to help. Email [email protected] to learn more. 

In addition, the Ajera Consulting Team can help your organization adopt best practices and optimize your system’s set up with some packaged offerings, such as:

  • Project Management Adoption Essentials – Critical concepts for project budgeting best practices and project management reporting
  • Project Management Adoption Bootcamp – Taking your use of Ajera Project Management features to the next level


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About the Author

Steve uses his 20+ years of management experience in the A&E industry into every engagement. His A&E-specific experience includes resource and project management, contract negotiations, business development and financial management. Having worked as a controller of a development firm in San Francisco, Steve brings a blend of experience from both the accounting and project management perspectives into each engagement. Steve has worked with many businesses to help their teams succeed in the adoption of best practices for successful financial and project management, maximizing the benefit of the business management tools in Deltek Ajera.