Rise of the Project Workforce, Chapter 2: Managing the Project/Service Delivery Life Cycle

For more details about the project/service delivery life cycle, see Rise of the Project Workforce.

Agile organizations maximize internal efficiency by investing only in high-performing and strategic initiatives. However, silo thinking often prevents organizations from having the visibility, across departments, to implement imperative initiatives such as project selection, ROI analysis, risk mitigation, and continuous business process improvements.

Understanding the project/service delivery life cycle helps organizations to break down these silos and build a shared long-term vision for managing people and projects across the organization in today’s dynamic world. The project/service delivery life cycle consists of these five steps:

  1. Initiate. First, managers define the objectives and scope of the work to be performed.
  2. Plan. Plan the work, the resources to deliver it, and the milestones to track progress.
  3. Track. Review time, expenses, and budgets for each milestone; account for costs and revenue by group, project and task; proactively handle requests, risks, and issues.
  4. Charge. Create accurate and timely chargebacks or invoices; integrate data with billing, finance, accounting, HR, CRM and other core information systems.
  5. Analyze. Through executive dashboards and reports, present high-level metrics that assist with project tracking, compliance, process improvement, and decision making.

Project Workforce Management allows organizations to automate this life cycle, and break down departmental barriers throughout the cycle. It offers direct benefits to the various communities both inside and outside the enterprise, by addressing their specific needs and challenges.

Account Executives: Enables them to check the status of their customers’ projects at every phase, and look for new business opportunities that they can turn into new projects.

Customers: By tracking both external customers and internal ones (as interdepartmental chargebacks), the company gains considerable insight into enterprise-wide execution and utilization metrics.

  • External Customers: Provide them with online billing and invoicing, and issue reporting and resolution.
  • Internal Customers: Provide them with business intelligence and reports on chargebacks, progress, and project status.

General Administrative Staff: Relieve them from repetitive manual labor with automated workflows for time and expense entry, purchasing, and support for project and resource management.

Project/Service Delivery Teams: For the resources assigned to projects, automate time and expense and project status reporting, with support for input via web browsers and PDAs. Automation is especially beneficial when resources are assigned to multiple projects and tasks at one time.

Finance Team:

  • Accounts Receivable (Billing): Automate billing to external customers according to approved project milestones and billable work completed.
  • Accounts Payable: Automate the workflows of matching invoices to purchase orders and charging billable expenses.
  • Payroll: Automate the workflows associated with employee timesheets and applying pay rules such as exempt/non-exempt status and overtime.

Project Managers: Provide a platform for creation of work breakdown structures and overall management of project delivery teams; track time, expenses, issues, change requests, and purchases. Gain visibility into the project pipeline.

Resource Managers: Provide a platform for fine-tuning the organization’s capacity in response to demand, with project calendars and plans, skills repository, resource request workflows, and skill matching.

IT Department: As a large and highly visible cost center, IT benefits by managing and controlling project costs and justifying spending.

Product Development Teams: By treating product development as a project, the organization can track effort and expenses for informed cost-benefit analysis.

C-Level Executives: From the various data collected across the organization, generate accurate reports and dashboards showing trends, financial indicators, customer satisfaction, project pipeline, billing, revenue, cash flow, overhead, and margins. Reports and real-time information executives can rely on.

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