How Integrated Systems Boost Cross Functional Collaboration
"If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself." - Henry Ford
By Annette Grotz, Product Marketing Manager, Deltek
Today’s project management teams are being stretched thinner than ever. Adding to headcount may seem like a good solution, but if it is busy work that takes a lot of their time, which is not the best option. Automating data flows, reporting and repetitive tasks, like creating projects and time entry, frees your team to focus on controlling costs and scope, the high impact work that leads to better project profitability and customer satisfaction.
Integrating a financial system with a project system, in addition to other systems such as the operations and talent, frees teams throughout an organization, as well as the lifecycle of the project, to communicate about more strategic work – forecasts, costs and trending data.
If teams are working on different systems and reconciling between them, they are working together but may not necessarily be moving forward together. And, if data differs, working together is a challenge as contentions may rise over which version of the budget is correct.
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Starting with the planning stage of a project, project managers using the same integrated system as the business development team can jump start their project by working off the proposal information for projects they are likely to win. The proposal is easily converted into the project baseline budget. This automated communication helps the project team avoid surprises and the business development team keep their promises.
Automating the flow of data from the business development team to the project team keeps valuable information intact and eliminates the need to reenter data. Plus, when changes are made, they are reflected in all departments as the data flows through one integrated system. Budget versions are retained in the system, so changes are automatically documented and can easily be analyzed for trending analysis. Automating the flow of data from the financials keeps everyone on the same page. Update EACs/forecasts as often needed, and with automation, as actuals are incurred, they flow throughout the system.
For example, say an employee wants to change hours, automation will take the changes and update the plan. Typically, automation includes data capture so that changes are recorded, historical versions are saved and reports can be run to see how projects are trending.
Rather than re-keying figures worked out in Excel, an integrated system that fosters collaboration allows team members to import or export directly to Excel. A system template will make the import process easier and keep things standardized, while also populating automatically and creating a new plan. The integrated system template will even allow you to check for errors prior creating that budget.
- What is the status of the project?
- Where are we with the project budget?
- What does the ETC look like?
Do these sound like familiar questions? Getting answers should not take hours. An integrated system keeps all of the data in one place, allowing teams to access and analyze the data they need to keep the project on course for a successful delivery.
Sometimes we want to slice and dice the data and be able to drill into it. Sometimes a dashboard view is best. An integrated and automated system brings this flexibility to teams as they can self-serve, without the help of the IT department having to customize dashboards and reports as desired.
See It For Yourself
Catch the Solution Speed Session: Costpoint Project Management & Planning, available now on demand, and discover the resulting efficiencies that happen throughout the lifecycle of the project when automation and integration make collaboration between the finance, project and other teams easier.
About the Author
As a Product Marketer, Annette Grotz shares the exciting story behind Deltek Costpoint and what makes it the industry leading ERP solution for Government Contractors.
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