As an Alliance Partner grows and takes on more projects, the ability to reliably track project status and control project progress is critical to your success. To consistently meet customer expectations and stay profitable, your team must be able complete projects on time – or better yet early!
Simply tracking billed time towards a project is a crude metric at best. Percent Complete is a better metric. Note that isn’t simply a calculation of billable time vs. budgeted time or the amount of Work-in-Progress (WIP), but an estimation of the percent of the total work that has been completed. For instance, knowing that you have 60 hours into a project task that was budgeted for 80 hours may be deceiving if only 50% of that project task has been completed. Get your team to estimate the Work-to-Complete (WTC) and hold them accountable for that number.
Death by Small Cuts
In addition to identifying projects that are behind schedule, this strategy also helps reduce the inevitable project creep. If you developers are running ahead of schedule, there is a tendency to fill the available time – slowing down to make unnecessary changes or improvements rather than simply completing the tasks to the stated requirements. So, project tracking requires constant management of the baseline.
Here’s an idea. What if you paid your developers to complete tasks rather than simply bill hours? Maybe, that’s too extreme, but what visibility and incentives can your create to motivate your developers to stay on task?