This was our first training session on PJC and involved our Head of Project Management and two Directors.
The aim of the session was to outline what we are hoping to gain from using PJC, how we currently manage our projects and how we can match this to the PJC software.
We began with a discussion around the main ‘pain points’ that we are hoping PJC will solve for us as a business. As a services company analysing the financial margins of our projects is very important and it can be difficult to achieve when not using an integrated project management solution. The complexity arises from multiple projects containing a blend of software and implementation services being delivered over many months with complex billing arrangements.
There are three key areas to our projects that PJC will manage. There is the initial sales cycle and creation of a project. Then the project moves onto operations and the delivery of professional services. Finally, the software includes the project finances, with budgets, billing and costs needing to be managed throughout the whole process. By integrating these three areas into one solution PJC will enable seamless collaboration between departments across the whole project lifecycle.
A typical project plan within PJC (click on the image to zoom in):
We then defined the four different project based services that we deliver as a company; these being implementations, software development, R & D and adhoc professional services. These four will form the core elements of how we tailor PJC to our business. Each project will typically be made up of many categories of service.
The structure of PJC allows projects to be viewed and analysed at various levels. On a global view you can see how all projects are running and if they are scheduled to be completed on time and to budget. This is useful when, for example, you need to update senior management or the board on the progress of all projects. You then have a level of detail for your customers which can be used for invoicing and a further level of detail for your finance department which can include a cost and profit analyse. These levels are all tailorable to your business and can be personalised to function exactly how your company needs them to.
Finally, we discussed how the system will optimise our billing processes. PJC can automatically produce customer invoices when they are required, taking into account deposits and stage payments. With PJC our consultants and developers will be able to log time against projects straight into the solution. PJC knows automatically when a new invoice is needed and this is sent straight to the customer. This will save our project managers a considerable amount of administration time. It will also benefit our customers as their invoices will always be created from the PJC system with the services they have consumed clearly detailed line by line.
The time logging web portal in PJC (click on the image to zoom in):
This was a really productive session as we delved into how our projects worked and how we will structure our finances and billing within PJC. The system is very flexible and it was clear once set up and tailored to our requirements it will enable us to have much greater financial visibility and make the process of setting up, managing and reporting on projects more efficient.
Find out more about the key benefits of PJC here.
View the PJC solution description here.