Blog

When building Salesforce reports, it’s sometimes necessary to calculate the number of work days per month, mainly when the report is grouped by month, and your calculation depends on the exact number of work days for individual months.

Team Capacity Example

Knowing the number of work days in a month is essential when calculating the capacity of your resources. Let’s assume that a resource has a capacity of 8 hours per day. For months with 20 working days, a resource would have 160 hours of total capacity. For months with 22 working days, a resource’s total capacity would be 176 hours.

What’s surprising is that many companies we’ve spoken to use 160 hours as their standard estimated monthly capacity. Even for a small team of 20 resources, this assumption can lead to significant inaccuracies. For example, in 2022:

MonthNumber of work daysCapacity based on 160-hour estimateCapacity based on the actual number of work daysDifference
Jan2132003360160
Feb20320032000
Mar2332003680480
Apr2132003360160
May2232003520320
Jun2232003520320
Jul2132003360160
Aug2332003680480
Sep2232003520320
Oct2132003360160
Nov2232003520320
Dec2232003520320
Totals26041600384003200

As you can see, if we use an estimated 160 hours per month, we are left with a total of 3200 hours in the year that has not been accounted for. That’s the equivalent of an entire 20-member team’s time not being accounted for an entire month.

Using this formula with your examples

While our example is going to leverage the ForecastDate__c field on the Resource Forecast object, the same principles, logic, and formulas would apply to any other date field on any other standard or custom object.

Our Approach

If you scroll to the bottom of this post and see our formula in its final form, you will notice that it is pretty complex and barely readable. To remove some of this complexity, we’ll first create each piece of logic as a separate formula field. When doing in real-world scenarios, these individual formulas are not required, and the final formula can be used.

Let’s get started

We will use November 2022 as our example month when explaining the below formulas, and the following diagram can be used as a reference.

Step 1: Finding the Month Start

This is, by far, the most straightforward formula we will use as part of this exercise. We simply create a new date that uses our example date’s year and month and set the day to 1.

DATE(YEAR(ResourceHeroApp__ForecastDate__c), MONTH(ResourceHeroApp__ForecastDate__c), 1)

Step 2: Finding the Month End

Finding the last day of the month is slightly more complex since we need to account for months with differing numbers of days. The easiest way to do this is to find the first of the month, add a month, then subtract one day.

ADDMONTHS(DATE(YEAR(ResourceHeroApp__ForecastDate__c), MONTH(ResourceHeroApp__ForecastDate__c), 1), 1) - 1

Step 3: Find the first day of the first full week

Now that we’ve identified the first day of the month, we can use that to find the date of the first Sunday of the first full week. We can do this by determining what day of the week the first of the month falls on, then adding the appropriate number of days.

Month_Start__c + CASE(WEEKDAY(Month_Start__c),
1,0,
2,6,
3,5,
4,4,
5,3,
6,2,
7,1,
0)

The WEEKDAY function will return the day of the week, 1 for a Sunday, 2 for a Monday, and so on.

Using a CASE function, we can specify how many days to add for each weekday. In our example, the first day of the month is Tuesday, November 1st. In this case, the WEEKDAY function will return a 3, and, as a result, the CASE function will return a 5. 5 days will be added to the month start to give us the date of the first day of the first full week: Sunday, November 6th.

Step 4: Find the last day of the last full week

We can find the last day of the last full week in the same way, except in this case, we need to subtract some days from the last day of the month.

Month_End__c - CASE(WEEKDAY(Month_End__c),
1,1,
2,2,
3,3,
4,4,
5,5,
6,6,
7,0,
0)

In our example, the last day of the month is Wednesday, November 30th. In this case, the WEEKDAY function will return a 4, and, as a result, the CASE function will also return a 4. 4 days will be subtracted from the month end to give us the date of the last day of the last full week: Saturday, November 26th.

Step 5: Determine the number of full work weeks

Now that we have the dates of the first day of the first full week and the last day of the last full week, we can use this to calculate the total number of full weeks.

((Full_Week_End__c - Full_Week_Start__c) + 1) / 7

First, we subtract the Full Week Start from the Full Week End date. This will give us how many days have passed between the two days. Notice that we then add 1 to this result. This ensures that we get the total number of actual days, not the number of days that have passed.

Subtracting one date from another date works the same way as if you counted on your fingers. Think of a single week. If we start on Sunday and count. Sunday to Monday = 1 day. Monday to Tuesday = 2 days. Tuesday to Wednesday = 3 days. Wednesday to Thursday = 4 days. Thursday to Friday = 5 days. Friday to Saturday = 6 days.

We need to add 1 to ensure we get the total number of days we have touched instead of the number of days that have passed. We can then divide this number by 7 to get the total number of full weeks.

In our example, November 26 minus November 6 gives us 20 days. We add 1 to give us 21 full days, then divide this result by 7 to give us three full weeks. Later, we’ll be able to multiply this by 5 to give us the total number of work days contained in these full weeks.

Step 6: Determine the number of individual days before the first full week:

We need to figure out how many extra days are at the beginning of the month. In other words, how many days at the beginning of the month are work days that are not included in the first full week? We can use the same CASE/WEEKDAY model that we used above. If we figure out what day of the week our month starts on, we can figure out exactly how many days there are until the end of the partial week.

CASE(WEEKDAY(Month_Start__c),
1,0,
2,5,
3,4,
4,3,
5,2,
6,1,
7,0,
0)

In our example, the first day of the month is a Tuesday. In this case, the WEEKDAY function returns a 3, and, as a result, the CASE function will return a 4. This means there are 4 work days in that partial week at the beginning of the month (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday).

Step 7: Determine the number of individual days after the last full week

We can calculate the number of work days after the last full week similarly.

CASE(WEEKDAY(Month_End__c),
1,0,
2,1,
3,2,
4,3,
5,4,
6,5,
7,0,
0)

In our example, the last day of the month is a Wednesday. In this case, the WEEKDAY function with return a 4, and, as a result, the CASE function will return a 3. This means there are 3 work days in the partial week at the end of the month (Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday).

Step 8: Calculate the total number of work days for the month

Our final step is to put it all together. We add the number of days in the partial week at the beginning of the month, the number of work days in the full weeks, and the number of days in the partial week at the end of the month.

Days_before_first_full_week__c

+

(Full_Weeks__c * 5)

+

Days_after_last_full_week__c

In our example, we add 4 days from the partial week at the beginning, the 15 days in the full weeks, and the 3 days from the partial week at the end, to get a total of 22 work days in November 2022.

Step 9: Creating a single field

As we walked through the logic, we created a separate field for each step. While this works, you could also create a single field that includes all the logic from all steps. Starting with the formula from step 8, work your way backward, replacing our field references with the underlying formulas from those fields.

Once you do that, you can remove all extra spaces and line breaks to maximize both awesomeness and job security resulting in our formula in its final form:

CASE(WEEKDAY(DATE(YEAR(ResourceHeroApp__ForecastDate__c), MONTH(ResourceHeroApp__ForecastDate__c), 1)),1,0,2,5,3,4,4,3,5,2,6,1,7,0,0)+((((((ADDMONTHS(DATE(YEAR(ResourceHeroApp__ForecastDate__c), MONTH(ResourceHeroApp__ForecastDate__c), 1), 1) - 1) - CASE(WEEKDAY((ADDMONTHS(DATE(YEAR(ResourceHeroApp__ForecastDate__c), MONTH(ResourceHeroApp__ForecastDate__c), 1), 1) - 1)),1,1,2,2,3,3,4,4,5,5,6,6,7,0,0)) - ((DATE(YEAR(ResourceHeroApp__ForecastDate__c), MONTH(ResourceHeroApp__ForecastDate__c), 1)) + CASE(WEEKDAY((DATE(YEAR(ResourceHeroApp__ForecastDate__c), MONTH(ResourceHeroApp__ForecastDate__c), 1))),1,0,2,6,3,5,4,4,5,3,6,2,7,1,0))) + 1) / 7) * 5)+CASE(WEEKDAY(ADDMONTHS(DATE(YEAR(ResourceHeroApp__ForecastDate__c), MONTH(ResourceHeroApp__ForecastDate__c), 1), 1) - 1),1,0,2,1,3,2,4,3,5,4,6,5,7,0,0)

To use this in your environment, simply replace all references to ResourceHeroApp__ForecastDate__c with the API name of your date field.

Related support posts

About the author

Bill Kuehler , Co-Founder

Bill Kuehler is the co-founder and head of development at Resource Hero, an MVP on Salesforce with 15 years of experience, and a community leader and educator.

Blog

Running a services business or organization is tough!

We know this because we’ve struggled to balance employee workload, project demand, and overall profitability. Resource Hero helps you get past these struggles in a way that’s cost-effective, easy to use, and customizable.

It’s resource planning with workload balance in mind and the application of choice for companies seeking a resource management solution built on Salesforce.com.

Find us on the Salesforce AppExchange to install and start your free trial.

Blog

Resource people vs classrooms

Most of our Resource Hero customers think of resources as people in their company. Usually, these people are the ones allocated to multiple projects and clients.

We’re always pleasantly surprised when we see customers use Resource Hero in different ways. With our app, “Resources” can be anything in your company where time needs to be allocated, forecasted, and tracked. Additionally, “Hours” can be any unit of measurement for resources.

We have a product company who’s resources are people and their hours are “work effort points”. There are also companies that track equipment, where resources are iPads, monitors, cameras and hours equate to an entire day.

Here’s a deeper example of an education company who looked to Resource Hero to manage classroom capacity. For them, it’s important to fill up the classroom as much as possible and without over-booking the space.

In our solution, each “Resource” equates to a classroom and each “Hour” is a seat in the classroom. Each classrooms’ capacity threshold is set using Weekly Target Min and Max hour fields.

Screenshot of resource detail fields: Resource name, Target Min Hours, Target Max Hours

For example, if classroom A can hold up to 40 attendees, the Weekly Target Max Hours field is set to 40. Setting a minimum target capacity to 30 will allow us to see if we have less than 30 attendees registered.

We setup Resource Hero on the Salesforce Contact object because that’s where the company historically has tracked each student. When a student signs up for a class they can be assigned to a specific classroom resource. An enrollment manager, can now begin assigning students to classrooms while visualizing classroom’s capacity in real time.

Screenshoot of Resource Hero forecast matrix using Classroom names instead of people

For example, if Olivia signed up for a course that will be given in classroom A, we can add her as 1 registered student for the days she will be attending.

Our Resource Hero forecast matrix allows the enrollment office to use our color-coded utilization feedback to check whether seats are available without leaving the screen. Grey means the class is under the target capacity, red means the class is over over capacity, and green means it’s within target.

The solution also allows the team to easily generate reports and dashboards to see the “utilization” or class sizes across the entire institution.

Sample report showing forecasted hours per classroom

This is one of many interesting use cases and adaptations of Resource Hero that bring true value to our customers.

Email us at [email protected] if you have any questions, like to discuss solutions, or have unique ways you’ve configured Resource Hero to your situation.

Blog

At Resource Hero, we strive to develop interfaces that save time in data entry and help you gain key insights into your business.

We know the struggles of getting teams to track time, so when we started working on our new Resource Hero: X23 release, we focused on reinventing mobile time tracking.

Drumroll, please…

Mobile-Time-Tracking-Animated3-blog

Our latest Resource Hero update features the fastest mobile interface for tracking time that we’ve ever seen. No typing, no fumbling, no hassle. Within a few taps on the screen, people can track time to projects and get on to what’s really important.

It works directly within Salesforce1 (Apple iTunes and Google Play).

Get the latest version of Resource Hero at the AppExchange to access mobile time tracking.

Learn more about how to use and how to set up mobile time tracking.

Contact us if you have any questions or would like a demo.

 

Blog

Agencies are built from creative and brilliant minds. For creatives to thrive, the environment must encourage employees to push boundaries, think outside of the box and find inspiration in all things. But like all businesses, great ideas need to be executed effectively in order to be profitable.

The creative industry screams innovation and excitement, but there are hidden, dark realities many agencies face.

“What was once one of the most fulfilling and glamorous of industries has become a grim sweatshop for the people who do the work,” explains Michael Farmer, CEO of Farmer & Company in a recent Forbes interview.

From ignorance of agency executives to painfully slow transitions into the digital realm, many client-agency relationships have be severed, leaving agencies struggling to stay afloat. Compared to the traditional 15% commission agencies once received on media buys, current budgets are much tighter and clients are expecting much more. So, how does your agency survive?

Smart Resource Utilization in Creative Agencies

Forecasting and allocating the appropriate resources, specifically team members, to complete client work on time and within budget is a ‘make or break’ factor for creative agencies dealing with strict budgets.

Common struggles agencies face with resource planning include:

Under or Overstaffing

All team members add value to a project, but when you have too few or too many resources, projects become chaotic and unprofitable. If you are short-handed, team members may become frustrated and feel overworked because they have too much on their plate. This can lead to missed deadlines or a decrease in the quality of work that is delivered to the client. Clients then take on that stress and begin to lose confidence in your team.

Likewise, if you have too many team members and not enough work to go around, company time is being underutilized. A great indication of overstaffing is an increase in labor costs but stagnant or decreasing sales. Not only will this hurt your financial statements, but your team will become bored and unmotivated without being challenged in the workplace.

Lack of Visibility and Communication

When project managers do not know their team’s schedule and workload, it becomes difficult to grasp their availability for new tasks and projects. Employees can become bogged down with extra work, especially if they are not willing to speak up. Not only will tasks pile up if workloads are not visible, but the team may also begin to lose sight of progress being made on the project.

Client projects have many moving parts and it’s easy to lose sight of the progression of the project if you do not know where the rest of the team stands. Complete visibility and consistent communication will keep the team working in harmony towards a common goal.

Deliverables are Out of Scope

When expectations are not clear from the start and resources are not allocated correctly, projects become messy…fast. Account directors and project managers must stay disciplined when setting expectations with clients. Nothing will hurt a client-agency relationship more than mismatched expectations midway through the project.

Invest the appropriate amount of time at the start of a campaign to clearly define deliverables and assess any potential risks that may arise to deter the project. Only promise what you can deliver—on time and within budget. If there are unexpected circumstances that arise which affect the scope of work, communicate with clients immediately.

Track Time for Billable Hours

Many agencies know their hourly rates and bill their clients accordingly. Therefore, it’s important to know exactly how much time your team is spending on each client. After all, time is money! Any work for a client should not go unpaid. Keeping accurate records of hours spent on a job is crucial to being profitable.

Without a project management software to consistently and accurately track the time you might struggle with:

  • Consistent forecasting – Overestimating a time frame and budget because of inaccurate reporting can deter potential clients, but underestimating will leave a bad taste in the client’s mouth when it is time to go back to the drawing board and ask for more time or money.
  • Sticking to the plan – If timelines and budgets are unrealistic, team members will not be able to produce quality work according to the original plan.
  • Meeting deadlines – Missed deadlines lead to angry customers and additional money and resources that are not factored into the overall budget.

Tracking your team’s time spent on tasks builds more accurate reporting and allows you to pitch accurate estimates to potential clients from the start. The more consistent your estimates and actuals are, the more organized your project managers will be when distributing tasks to the team. Eventually, you’ll be able to adjust your prices to match your team’s performance and level of accountability.

Blog

Project management is no easy feat. In fact, less than 3 percent of companies seamlessly complete projects with success! But is it any surprise? Each team member has a unique role, deadline, resources, and budget — and trying to balance so many different aspects at once can be overwhelming. It’s no wonder things fall between the cracks. The good news? Many of these challenges can be avoided with good planning.

Foundation is Everything

Laying the right groundwork is critical to a successful project. Make sure you’re not setting your team up for failure before you even begin by avoiding these common mistakes.

1. Poorly Defined Goals

Starting a project without clear goals is like going on a road trip without a GPS. If the goals, deadlines, and benchmarks are not clearly defined, the project is doomed to fail.

Solution: Goals and deadlines should be discussed and solidified before anything else. Expectations should be clear, and everyone should be on the same page before moving forward.

2. Unrealistic Expectations

Expectations should be attainable, not impractical or flighty. When goals are unrealistic, you set your team up for failure and add tension to the project. And if team members are not confident in the work they are performing, the quality of the overall project will suffer.

Solution: Project managers should weigh out the skill sets of their team and the sensible scope of their abilities to get projects done within the allocated time frame and to the appropriate expectations.

3. Misaligned Objectives

The purpose of a project is to tackle one or more business objectives. Most projects start out strong but can lose focus of these overall objectives as time goes on. Without these objectives, the team will not see the value in the project.

Solution: Making sure that project goals align with business objectives in the initial kick-off meeting is key. Maintaining this focus will keep everyone on track and looking at the bigger picture.

4. Insufficient Team Skills

A team is comprised of different people with different personalities, skill sets, and communication styles. When working together, sometimes these differences clash with one another, causing misunderstandings, disagreements, and negative impacts on the project.

Solution: Knowing and respecting the different people on your team is important. Personality tests can help reveal more about team members, which helps determine productive ways to work with one another. When all resources work in harmony, projects flow effortlessly, morale increases, and the business as a whole benefits.

Be Prepared!

Using management software that can help forecast the project overall and keep track of individual tasks is a great way to set forth expectations that everyone can meet accordingly. And by implementing a management system at the outset, every team member knows their individual role, as well as how their work is contributing to the project’s overall success. Remember, as a project manager, you’re the leader. Your team is counting on you to be on the ball and make sure things are running smoothly. Are you ready to step up to the plate?

Challenges in Project Management: Crunch Time Issues

Even the best-laid plans hit a speed bump every now and then. The most effective project managers will be able to foresee some of these inevitable challenges and make game-time decisions that can be the difference between success and failure.

Here are some of the most common challenges projects face during implementation, and how to minimize the impact.

1. Lack of Accountability

When individuals fail to step up, parts of the project can fall apart and may even cause the entire operation to start to derail.

Solution: It is the project manager’s role to oversee the entirety of the project and hold each moving part accountable for their role in the bigger picture. A formal time tracking system can help make sure everyone is moving in sync with one another or make the project manager aware if anyone is starting to fall behind. Having this knowledge allows you to course-correct before it becomes a bigger issue.

2. Poor Communication

Projects require collaboration in order to be successful. Collaboration, in turn, is built on effective communication. Without strong communication, your team is doomed to fail. The most common issues around communication are a total lack of communication, unclear or misaligned expectations, and inconsistency.

Solution: Be consistent and clear, and do not be afraid to ask for feedback. By understanding your individual team members’ communication styles, you can facilitate understanding between the entire team.

3. Resource and Role Conflicts

For teams that take on multiple projects at once, it’s not unusual for roles to overlap and for resources to become scarce. Not only can this lead to frustrated team members, missed deadlines, and wasted time, but it undermines each team member’s progress and compromises the success of the overall projects.

Solution: Accurately tracking roles and time within a resource management software can help cut back on conflicts and confrontation. Take the time to review each project and understand what exactly is needed to accomplish certain goals before allocating the appropriate resources or divvying up tasks. By planning for these potential conflicts ahead of time, your team will be able to course-correct seamlessly.

4. Ambiguous Risk Management

It’s vital for project managers to know which direction to take in various “what-if” situations. If contingencies are not properly identified, the project can become flooded with unexpected issues.

Solution: Success is where preparation and opportunity meet. Together, your team should identify potential problem areas and define how to rectify those situations, should they occur. Planning for these events helps your team to confidently and swiftly transition, if necessary.

Choosing the Right Project Management Software

Implementing proper resource management software can help to eliminate many challenges, but with so many options, it’s important to choose the right one. Every business is different and each project manager has different strengths, weaknesses, and needs that should be met by their resource management software.

With Resource Hero, increasing profit margins has never been easier. Our software is a 100% Salesforce-native resource management and time tracking app that helps you streamline multiple projects to learn from real-time feedback. Is it time to begin looking at your options?

Schedule a Demo With Us

Blog

If you already use Resource Hero, you know it leverages the power of Salesforce to track time and projects. The ultimate goal for most project managers is to then analyze this data, spot trends, and make changes for optimum efficiency. The problem is that it has been difficult to decipher at-a-glance trends within Salesforce’s Lightning Experience.

Many users find themselves switching back and forth between Lightning and Classic just so that they can take advantage of conditional highlighting. It’s not exactly efficient. But thanks to a new beta launch in the Salesforce Spring 19 release, you’ll be able to color code data within Lightning Experience with conditional highlighting — no switching required. In other words, your reports just got a whole lot easier to read and interpret.

Take this report, for example. It’s clear that there is some over-utilization happening here, but you really need to parse through the numbers to uncover any real trends.

report before

Now, with conditional highlighting, you can much more clearly see these trends at a glance. Salesforce allows for up to five formatting rules and up to three bins per rule. Customize the color for each bin to see what you need in minutes.

report after

The best news of all? Resource Hero customers can start taking advantage of this as soon as they are upgraded to the Salesforce Spring 19 release!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blog

You’ve probably heard the phrase “remember to track your time” enough that it’s ingrained in your head and possibly may even cause you stress.

The Bad News: Time Tracking is Essential

Quantifiably knowing where people spend their time is critical for any business. And the benefits far outweigh the perceived challenges.

Essentially, time tracking allows any employee to understand how much time they’re spending on everyday tasks. It helps accurately forecast production workload, and glean insight needed to create efficient business workflows.

The Good News: It Doesn’t Have to be a Time-sucking Chore

Yes, time tracking is necessary, but it doesn’t have to be evil. Here are our top three best practices for getting even the most hesitant team on board:

Take a stand

Every minute wasted on inefficiencies can translate to a customer, patient, or other individual waiting for help. By taking a stance and making tracking mandatory, you’re implementing a level of accountability and focus for your team.

Leverage existing processes

The easier you make time tracking for your team, the more likely it is they will do it. Our app allows you to track time from multiple places: from your Salesforce screens, on the Salesforce mobile app, and on Outlook.

If your time tracking tool doesn’t necessarily gel with your team’s workflow, you can set your own rules, for example, that time tracking must be updated daily. Do what works best for your team. One marketing communications company linked a time tracking system to their beer fridge so the fridge wouldn’t open on Friday until everyone tracked their time!

Find software that makes it easy

Salesforce is a highly customizable tool that we’ve leveraged at Resource Hero to allow you to easily track time from desktop or mobile—anywhere, anytime. Whatever app you choose, you’ll want to find one that’s:

  • Well-designed and easy to use
  • Capable of exporting and compounding time tracking data with other data (such as forecasted hours or profit margin)
  • Able to track both billable (client paid) work as well as non-billable (internal non-paid) work

Be a Time Tracking Advocate

Bringing the idea of time tracking to your manager or project manager is an excellent way to show you’re looking to push your team towards efficiency. Highlight tangible deliverables like:

  • Insights based on historical, personal, and business data (not hunches)
  • Realistic projects schedules based on past data
  • Profitability metrics by project and resource

The bottom line? Time tracking can make the difference between an overworked, stressed-out team, and a well-oiled project machine!

Want to hear more about how Resource Hero can help you track time in a way that works for your team? Schedule a demo with us.

Blog

Do you find your team is always working well beyond business hours and timelines and commitments are not being met? Is there a sense of frustration from all involved in the project?  If this sounds familiar, let’s get comfy and talk about project management.

Successful products, events, campaigns, and services come to fruition when the team moves like a well-oiled machine. How do you get started? Well, let’s begin with the basics.

Methods of Project Management

There are three popular methods for project management. While it’s important that you find the best method for you and your team, these methods have been proven to be extremely effective.

1. Waterfall

The Waterfall methodology is sequential.  Everything has a domino effect—step two can only be completed if step one is completed first. It is heavily requirements-focused and necessitates more documentation because you need to have a very clear idea of what the project demands before proceeding further. The Waterfall method is shown in the diagram below:

Project-Management-Methods-Waterfall

As the diagram depicts, each stage is independent and cannot be worked on until the previous stage is totally finished. The Waterfall methodology for project management works best when applied to short, simple projects that have clear and fixed requirements.

2. Agile

 

This fast and flexible approach is free of top-heavy requirements and is adaptable to requirement changes within the midst of a project. There are no fixed stages in this methodology, thus giving your resources more freedom to experiment and improve when necessary. The Agile methodology can be seen in the diagram on the right:

This approach is best for projects that do not have a finite goal set but instead have ongoing releases over a long period of time.

 

Project-Management-Methods-Agile

3. Hybrid

The Hybrid approach, as the name implies, is a combination of the Waterfall and Agile methodologies. It takes the best parts of both Waterfall and Agile and combines them in a flexible yet structured approach that can be used across different projects.

Project-Management-Methods-Hybrid

Key Aspects of Project Management

There are a number of attributes that comprise successful project management. Here are our top ten:

1. Align Scope, Deliverables, and Requirements

Have you ever gone to the grocery store without a list? If you’re like us, you got a bunch of stuff you didn’t really need (especially if you were hungry when walking in), and you forgot the things that you really did need to purchase! Trying to complete a project without a resource plan, timeline, and scope of deliverables is just like that—every day urges will get in the way of your overarching goal.

Make sure to set expectations with everyone in regards to what is being delivered and when it will be delivered. Continue to restate and realign these expectations often.

2. Communicate a Shared Vision

Have you ever played chess and had an amazing plan of attack, only to find that plan foiled by your opponent’s immediate next move? In chess, you have to quickly adapt, and project management is no different. Except that there are multiple people involved in the project and no one will have a clear picture of everything all the time. Regardless, your team will have to adjust on the fly and you want to make sure those adjustments fall in line with the overall objective.

To help ensure everyone can make good, autonomous decisions, it is important to communicate an overarching objective. To take it one step further, tie that objective to a common benefit of people on the team. When people have a shared purpose, they have more passion as well as confidence in their decisions.

3. Plan Realistic Tasks

The demands of business can be overwhelming and attempt to “do more with less” can backfire with low-quality deliverables, missed timelines, and overworked people. As project managers, it’s easy to write and assign a task, but the actual time and effort it takes to carry out that task by your resource is another story altogether.

As you plan activities and tasks, it’s important to ask yourself and your team questions such as: How long will this task take to complete? Does the person it’s assigned to have enough bandwidth to take on that task? Is the task assigned to the person with the right skill sets?

4. Set Clear Expectations

While the team is accomplishing the project piece by piece, you need to have someone to see the progress as a whole and make sure what’s being built meets the overall objective. How many times have we followed the instruction manual when putting together furniture to find that the final product looks nothing like the picture on the box? The last thing anyone on the project team wants is to re-do their work.

To ensure the team is always moving forward and in the right direction, set clear expectations with your leadership, stakeholders, and clients. Communicate proper expectations around what can and cannot be achieved, by when, by who, and for how much. Allow them to see progress at regular intervals.

5. Identify Risks

Risks are anything that could potentially impact the scope, timeline, budget, or overall performance of a project. While all project managers would love to avoid risk at all costs, projects rarely move according to plan. That’s why it’s important to remain flexible. Your risk management plan shouldn’t only be reactive, but also incorporated into your planning process to determine where issues may arise.

By identifying and analyzing risks, you will be able to adapt quickly and respond effectively to any threats that arise throughout the entirety of the project.

6. Develop Subject Matter Expertise

As project managers, we juggle a lot of responsibilities and therefore need to know “enough to be dangerous” in every aspect of the work our team executes. From the platforms and systems to the risks and possibilities, we must be able to communicate and have intelligent conversations with our team members, clients, and stakeholders. Because project managers oversee the entire project, a certain level of understanding is critical to communicating and efficiently progressing your projects.

As new projects arise, look for opportunities to continue learning and expanding your skillset. Think of yourself as the captain of the ship! From planning your route to manning the wheel and providing for the crew, it is your duty to lead the team ashore safely.

7. Utilize the Right Tools

Successful project management goes beyond just the team members that are involved in completing the project. It also includes utilizing the proper tools as well. All projects require resources and those resources could be in the form of software or people. That’s why you should take your time evaluating the software that is best for your team. A quality project management solution should include:

  • Project Planning
  • Team Collaboration
  • Time Tracking Capabilities
  • Reporting
  • Budgeting & Forecasting
  • Quotes & Invoicing
  • Seamless Integration into CRM

The most successful projects are accomplished when the scope is followed closely and projected deadlines are met through the collaboration of manpower and technology.

8. Maintain Quality Assurance

In the simplest of terms, quality is directly related to meeting certain standards. It’s easy to become frustrated when determining the project isn’t up to par once everything has been completed. Quality assurance is a proactive approach to ensuring the project is produced the right way and in an efficient manner.

In order to deliver high-quality work, teams need to understand project requirements and expectations. By consistently assessing the quality of work, teams can deliver successful projects and avoid unmet requirements and deadlines.

9. Constantly Review and Share Progress

As a project manager, it is your responsibility to ensure the project’s progress is tracked and reported properly. This will allow you to track the execution of the project against its original plan to guarantee the project continues to stay its course.

Be sure to keep all parties in the loop. By delivering status reports that are easy to follow, you will build transparency and establish trust between your team and the project’s stakeholders.

10. Continuing to Improve Process

Every project is a new opportunity to learn and improve, so take it as such. What worked really well to successfully deliver a project? What mistakes did our team make along the way? Is there something we should avoid next time? How can our team be more prepared when things go awry? These are all important questions to ask yourself when a project wraps up. Hindsight is usually 20/20.

Failure is a stepping stone. While it is necessary, it is crucial that your team does not make the same mistake twice. With each project, your team should become stronger and identify new ways to continue improving your process.

Project management is essential when moving initiatives that involve multiple people and multiple projects forward. If it’s not managed properly, you have the potential of needlessly spending more time and money than anticipated. Resource Hero is an app built for project managers to better forecast for their people on projects. If you’d like to learn more about how Resource Hero can help you manage your projects, call us.