Workamajig® has been making great strides in getting their new, HTML5-based Platinum version up and running for Time Entry, Project Management, Expense Reports, Purchase Orders, Billing and Sales/CRM (some of the Accounting functionalities are still being beta tested). We know that lots of people are excited to make the transition from Workamajig Classic to Platinum, but we also know that you won’t just wake up one morning and start using Platinum, so we created a checklist to help you make the transition as smooth and successful as possible!
First of all, we highly recommend using this transition as an opportunity to audit your current agency processes and implement the industry best practices you’ve always considered. We know there are probably 900 reasons you haven’t implemented these yet, but, since you’re already going to be making changes, why not use this momentum to better your agency?!
Here are a few CPI Best Practices you can implement with this transition:
- Create a Rate-Based Estimating vs. Value-Based Pricing culture
- Document and implement a Principal/Executive Investment policy for scoping
- Define your agency’s workflows + translate into appropriate phased-based project architectures
- Create a culture of daily, accurate time entry across organization
- Institute Billing + Revenue Recognition meetings as a method of monthly accountability
- Utilize transactions to drive General Ledger data for more accurate financials + increased reporting insight
- Implement a dedicated, proactive Project Management discipline
(If you haven’t yet, we’ve got a series of White Papers dealing with the Top 10 Broken Agency Processes and the Project Management discipline that you should read to learn more about each of these best practices.)
As you prepare to make the transition to Platinum, these are the steps we recommend taking in order to be more successful.
- Create a Platinum rollout schedule.
- Analyze level of effort to get you through the items in this checklist and dedicate a cross-functional team to making it happen. Have a Project Manager create a realistic schedule and set a final date for a Time Entry and PM relaunch in Platinum. Your PM Rock Stars and early adopters can start working in Platinum with your current processes, however your relaunch date needs to be your drop-dead, burn the ships, there’s no turning back date for everyone else! 😉
- Recognize that not all workflows are the same; determine how many different workflows your agency truly has, e.g. AOR vs. Campaign-based vs. one-off Projects.
- Pull together an integrated, cross-agency team to define these workflows, including the critical checks and balances as well as integration points that make you successful as an agency. Create a visual language to document these workflows and rollout agency-wide.
- Determine if your agency has the right organizational structure to get the most value from Workamajig Platinum’s robust project management functionality.
- Agencies with a proactive Project Management discipline can gain significantly more out of WMJ’s PM functionalities than those with project management split across many departments.
- Translate your updated agency workflows into new Campaign Architecture and subsequent Project Architectures.
- When defining these new architectures, ensure the checks and balances, as well as all integration points, are properly documented within your phase-based Project Architectures. Don’t forget to identify milestones so you can easily determine hard and soft dates for more effective schedule management.
- Track Principal/Executive Investment instead of scoping into a budget.
- When a value-based price is lower than your rate-based estimate, use a Project Custom Field to track the approved Principal/Executive Investment. Create and approve your Project Estimate at the rate-based amount and write off PI evenly over the course of the project to clearly track the planned investment being made.
- Create new templates based on newly defined Project Architectures.
- Now that you have your beautiful workflow-based Project Architectures, turn these into your new Workamajig templates; don’t forget to include durations and predecessors to make future project setup a breeze!
- NOTE: Any templates you created in Classic will automatically carry over to Platinum and be available for project creation BUT new templates you create in Platinum will NOT be available for project creation in Classic. Use this as a way to encourage PMs to use Platinum. 🙂
- Ensure all templates have low + high Task and Service Estimates.
- Now that your new templates are built, you should create low and high level of effort estimates by Task and Service within each template. This will save you time when creating new projects as you won’t have to estimate each one from scratch, but you’ll still be able to customize the estimate as needed; additionally, your customized estimate can then be easily auto-allocated to services and employees once the team is determined.
- Create new non-billable Agency Admin projects and services to differentiate between different types of non-billable time.
- Remember, not all non-billable time is created equal! To effectively manage agency utilization, it’s critical to know where non-billable time is going, e.g. Training/Shadowing, Gen/Admin, Management, etc. As we all know, this time can get out of hand and it’s great to be able to easily identify what could be dragging down utilizations.
- Clean up + close any old/inactive Projects and Campaigns.
- We know how messy Workamajig can get over time. Reduce the clutter in Platinum; this is a great opportunity to clean things up, manage transactions and close old Projects and Campaigns.
- Customize Budget Columns by Security Group.
- Within Platinum, you now have the ability to predefine and set Budget Column views for the entire agency or by Security Group; this allows you to determine the best practice columns each team member should be looking at to most effectively manage Project Budgets and eliminate confusion.
- Train your Project Management team on new Platinum UI and additional functionalities.
- Don’t just push your Project Managers into Platinum; most PMs don’t love change! 🙂 Take the time to train on the new UI and additional key features, including the Today-PM dashboard, to increase PM adoption rates. Consider attending CPI’s Workamajig Platinum Project Management University to discover everything a PM needs to know about industry best practices and Workamajig Platinum!
- Train your team on the new Platinum time entry.
- This is the time to reset expectations for both daily and accurate time tracking. We’ll never get better as an agency if we don’t know what actually happened on a project. Show your team the benefit of using the Platinum weekly grid to easily log time but still be able to submit timesheets daily.
- Analyze Billing Worksheet Reports + use Electronic Billing Worksheets to facilitate monthly Billing/Revenue Recognition meetings.
- Every month, PMs should conduct transaction management and project analysis prior to attending a Billing/Revenue Recognition meeting to determine if any transactions should be updated, transferred, written off, or put on hold. Accounting + Operations should facilitate monthly meetings by client to analyze the PMs recommendations and make final decisions on billing, revenue recognition and write offs.
Once you’ve successfully launched Platinum PM and Time Entry, it will be time to turn your sights towards Platinum Accounting! Just like above, this will be another great opportunity to implement accounting and finance best practices, allowing your data to be exported and visualized for actionable insights.