WorkPoint is a logical and user-friendly solution that also offers great functionality. Unsurprisingly, however, there are several features, which create additional questions and contradict the previous experience of the user.
There are three really confusing features.
Calculating the cost sheet for the project
This is a great question, because planned labor contributions are entered, resources are allocated to the tasks, and each of them has prime cost values/ Why can’t we calculate the prime cost right away, adding the profitability percentage, getting the cost sheet for the client?
Here are the reasons:
- WorkPoint is a tracking system that works with both estimated and actual information. At the very same time, the cost sheet presented to the client may not correspond with the information on the cost sheet in the system. The following situations may affect it: risk management, moving working hours from previous projects, using a higher number of hours while decreasing the hourly rate etc.
- Surprisingly, the calculation methods for the cost sheet calculation are different for each company. For example, some companies use ‘role-rate’ prime cost matrixes with a third ‘office’ value, various coefficients (for the complexity of the client or the paying capacity etc), paying corporate taxes etc.
What do we recommend? We provide all our clients with practical information in the form of project passports in XLS format. At the pre-sale stage, the sellers want to use their ‘creative approach’ preparing the planned passport (cost sheet). If the project is launched, they migrate the data from Excel to WorkPoint.
Our sellers take each and every task and show planned time, prime cost, expenses, and revenue (for the fixed bid projects).
The passport has to be stored in a file archive such as SharePoint, which can be connected with a project in WorkPoint.
Planning resource allocation and correlation with the planned tasks
We want to remind you that WorkPoint has a project plan (task structure) and a schedule with planned resources (it supports two representations: ‘By project’ and ‘By resource’.
There’s no correlation between them.
Such an approach is pretty unusual from the point of view of traditional project management systems (MS Project, Primavera), which rely on the versioning of plans.
Why did we implement this model?
- This approach is traditional for project management. The project manager is responsible for the project plan, while the resource manager takes responsibility for the resource plan. In case a resource manager decides to re-allocate resources, this means the project plan will be unaffected.
- The project plan in WorkPoint is a type of project passport (cost sheet). For example, a passport shows the total prime cost of 100 thousand dollars, while the actual cost exceeds 200 thousand dollars. What is the solution for the project manager? Do they have to stop the project and avoid resource allocation? Or do they have to change the passport (cost sheet) without approval? Of course not. If the project manager can, they will prepare and approve the new passport, updating the information in WorkPoint. If they can’t, they have no other choice than to deviate from the initial plan.
- Professional Services Automation solutions, which include WorkPoint, are focused on KPI (in particular, on utilization) unlike project management systems. And the key factor in improvising the utilization is to balance resource loading, tracking time-offs, administrative tasks etc.). That’s why the scheduler feature is clearly represented in WorkPoint.
How can an employee inform the management about their tasks and planned workload?
They can’t do that in WorkPoint. Our solution is not a multifunctional machine that includes PSA, task tracking system, document exchange system and other solutions.
In normal conditions the project team works together, communicating closely with each other. There is no doubt that each of the members has their own KPI in WorkPoint. However, completion of operative tasks, as well as operative control is not built into the system.
This was a conscious decision, as there are several different solutions available in the field of communication, and each company has a different approach to this process. Some of them use boards like Kanban (Trello, MS Planer), other use ‘messaging’ systems (Slack, Skype4b, Telegram), while the remainder prefer tasks and control (Asana, MS Outlook). In the majority of cases, they use all of the mentioned solutions at once.