Your CRM can help you manage your projects. As a project progresses, your project manager reports on how the project is doing. It’s important to watch the right metrics, so your management understands the health of the project without getting bogged down in details.

Tracking resource utilization

Resource utilization is a measure of how well your labor force is being used. The calculation for this rate is simple: billable hours divided by the total amount of hours you pay your employees. The higher that ratio, the more fully utilized your labor is, and less time employees aren’t getting reimbursed by clients.

The image below demonstrates how you can easily see how full someone’s schedule is, and how much time he’s spending in management versus working on billable projects. As a manager, you want to see how much overhead is spent in management and if your people are overloaded or underutilized.

Tracking resources in CRM
Tracking resource utilization for a developer.

If people on your projects allocate less than 60 percent of their time to billable projects, you may have too much labor on hand. It may also indicate too much overhead spent on managing, as opposed to doing. Every company has a target number for resource utilization; if you aren’t meeting that target, review project updates and notes to find out why.

If your project manager tracks everything your employees do internally, you can see what is taking people’s time. You can then change priorities and processes.

Viewing overdue tasks in CRM

Every project management system shows overdue tasks. If these overdue tasks are on the critical path, they directly affect everyone else associated with the project. There may be an ineffective project manager, poor budgeting or forecasting, or changing requirements. The project manager should be able to articulate the reasons for tasks being overdue and take steps to alleviate the problem immediately.

Budgeting projects and tasks in CRM

Budgeting can be a bit of an art form, particularly when it comes to technology. Oftentimes, people are overly optimistic on how long a task or project should take, and the budget may not allocate enough time for testing and getting a product ready for the client/consumer. To be on the safe side, if you’re starting a new project and you’re not sure how much time it will take, double or triple any estimate.

The better you can break down requirements, the easier you can estimate the amount of work required. Each piece adds up, as you design tasks and connect them together.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Lars Helgeson is a pioneer in sales and marketing technology. His CRM platform for small to mid-size businesses, GreenRope, was built from scratch and has grown to include over 3,000 clients in more than 40 countries since its inception in 2011. He is a frequent speaker for small membership organizations and conferences.

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