The cornerstone of managing any project is the price quote. It establishes what it will take to deliver the job including timing, resources, any additional costs and small amount of profit margin. But what it also does is establish a baseline or budget, against which the project’s progress can be measured and provides valuable information that every member of the delivery team uses to accomplish their role responsibilities.
You may already be using WorkBook to some extent to manage people, projects and costs, but if you’re still using spreadsheets to build price quotes or not building them in the system from the start, then you know very well how difficult it can be to put accurate staffing plans and schedules together, monitor project progress in real-time, quell issues before they get out of hand, or keep the agency’s revenue forecast up to date. And you most certainly know the pain of assessing the success of a project only after it has shipped.
It’s time to lower your risk by optimizing this process and maturing as a business. It’s time to LevelUp from firefighting mode to proactive project management.
It can be challenging to manage projects efficiently, especially for a distributed team, but by empowering your team to understand their responsibility to the big picture and providing them with the right processes and tools to get it done, it is exponentially easier to measure project progress accurately and in real-time, regardless from where your team members are working.
Empower Your Project Managers and Client Teams:
Price Quote Creation
Because the Price Quote provides the initial baseline against which all other progress is measured, it’s crucial that it reflect as accurately as possible, what it will really take for your agency to deliver. From that end, best practice suggests that Project Managers and Client Teams begin by planning the project out in full, and then turning that plan into the Price Quote. This way, the resulting cost of the Job accounts for every hour planned in the schedule, people’s time is priced according to the appropriate rate card, and all additional costs and profit margin are included.
From the Price or Budget tab, simply build your project plan by adding Phases, Activities and Resources. WorkBook feeds all of the integrated pricing information in automatically to quickly calculate a Price Quote. Once that estimate has been amended and approved, easily convert it to a matching project schedule to begin monitoring execution.
Another option would be to start at the Schedule tab, and follow the same process of adding Phases, Activities and Resources. Then create your Price Quote by copying the Schedule to the Budget. All of the same integrated pricing information is pulled in automatically.
Over time, as you refine your scoping process and have a history of completed jobs within the system, you can streamline the creation of new Price Quotes by creating templates from other jobs.
Depending on your agency’s workflow, your Project Managers or Client Teams may not be responsible for the initial creation of Price Quotes, but to ensure accuracy and establish accountability, they should be designated as a reviewer in the approval hierarchy before being sent to the client.
As Jobs take flight, your Project Managers and Client Teams play a crucial role in monitoring and managing every aspect to outmaneuver over-servicing, protect margins and ensure successful delivery. But without a detailed account of what has been budgeted within the Price Quote, there’s no way for them to take accountability for any of that.
As costs are incurred and time is submitted, those values are applied directly to what was budgeted, and WorkBook automatically calculates what is expected to be the final under or overspend at completion. This is the key to giving Project Managers and Client Teams the ability to get ahead of issues before they negatively impact the bottom line.
When red flags do arise, they can dig in to the Costs or Analysis tab, see where there’s a deviation from the Price Quote, easily find the culprit and take corrective action before it’s too late.
Updating Project Progress
As part of best practice, it is suggested that you delegate the monthly responsibility of updating project progress percentages to Project Managers and Client Teams in order to feed valuable information to the finance team for month-end reporting. As they’re closer to the coalface, so to speak, they’re the most knowledgeable of true project progress, and should be responsible for updating these values once a month.
Empower Your New Business and Client Services Teams:
Pipeline and Opportunity Quotes
If Price Quotes are the cornerstone of properly managing signed work, they are just as important for monitoring pitch investments and forecasting opportunities as well. By creating Price Quotes in WorkBook for all potential work, the New Business and Client Services Teams hold an important role in forecasting workload, resourcing needs, and revenue. It is crucial that the New Business or Client Service Manager work closely with Project and Resource Managers to first build the ideal project plan, and then convert that into the Price Quote, as described above. This way, the delivery team is apprised of what may be coming down the pike and can plan accordingly. And you can establish a set budget of what you plan to invest on a pitch and monitor its progress just like a signed job.
By empowering your team to take an impactful role in proactive project management by creating Price Quotes you can:
- build project schedules and staffing plans that match what was quoted
- monitor project progress in real-time
- identify over-servicing
- take preventative action to avoid overspend and protect project margins
- provide better financial data to feed month-end processes
- accurately forecast workload, resourcing needs, and revenue