Project management is important for expanding your business. You need to understand the processes and steps to take for each job requested from your clients, to ensure that everyone’s needs are met. Knowing how to meet your customers’ needs, as well as balancing those needs with those laid out in your budget and management plan will mean the difference between success and time and profit losses.
A plan which includes definitive objectives for your project, how those goals will be accomplished, which resources are needed for specific tasks, and realistic budgets and timelines all need to be considered for profitable project management. Each individual plan needs to be well-researched and fluid in order to give you the best chance of success.
Here are some tips for accurately estimating your next project:
Know your team’s strengths. Before taking on any project and being able to accurately forecast its required elements, you need to have a deep understanding of your team’s strengths (and weaknesses). By carefully tracking previous time and labor costs, you will be well-placed to match up particular tasks with the employees who are best skilled in terms of performance or time-efficiency. You will know just which job can be completed by whom, and how each pairing can benefit your business for maximum profitability.
Understand client and stakeholders’ needs. You may need to dig a little deeper to truly get at the varied needs of your customer. Sometimes, asking them isn’t enough to get a full grasp of what your project needs to incorporate in order to fulfill their true wishes. The last thing you want when trying to flush out a plan is ambiguous and shifting expectations, from either side. Identify and document every single required variable within each project, review it with your client, and go over it a final time before having everyone sign off on the budget before any work begins.
Make a list of resources and costs. Just as you collected all of your customer data and put it in writing, each and every piece of what will make this project work also needs to be carefully documented. Now that you know what your customer needs and which employees are best placed to accomplish these goals within the agreed timeframe, you can add in any costs, materials, hour estimates, and outside services to accurately gauge what your project will look like in terms of overall cost and time. Be sure to properly compare prices; you want to be as cost-effective as possible.
Assign costs. You have your list of resources in hand, so now you can refer back to it as you determine your task costs. Get accurate estimates from suppliers and apply your knowledge of past similar jobs to calculate realistic hours. Place a cost on each item on your list, and use the information to calculate your overhead.
Make a project budget. With your list and costs available, it’s time to set a budget. Now that you have all of the information you’ve gathered, this part will be a breeze. The accuracy of your estimates will allow you to stick close to whatever budget works for the entire project, keeping in mind a balance of quality, service, and cost. But remember that a too-strict budget can be constraining when it comes to the flexible nature of any project. Know what kind of estimate or budget is best for your particular project before going ahead.
Get good tracking software. Tracking your progress collaboratively and accurately is the key to achieving all of your project goals. Evaluate progress in real-time, with a tracking software tailored to your needs. Time Tracker allows for mobile or desktop time-tracking from anywhere, and includes features such as timesheets, one-click timers, GPS tracking, and team visibility, making project management effortless.
Try a free, 14-day trial today to see how Time Tracker can help you save time and money. Not quite convinced? Try a free, 20-minute tour with a Product Specialist to help you get started today.