According to Ad Age, 2019 has proved to be the “weakest year for agency growth since the Great Recession.” And then things took a turn for the worse. 2020 has surprised digital agencies with many challenges and...
A lot of planning goes into creating a solid project’s budget, yet very often it is not enough. According to Project Management Institute’s survey, less than 60% of projects are completed within their original budgets. In order to see where your project is headed, you need to keep track of its progress and check whether your estimates match the actual data.
Teamdeck allows you to stay on top of your project’s current budget, your company’s profit and potential risks. You can also share these insights with your team or clients.
Ready to become a more data-driven project manager?
First off, you haven’t set up your teamdeck account yet, sign up now. The features described in this article are available in the reports section.
You can create a new report from scratch (by clicking create custom) but I suggest using a template called “Project Budget”. Name your report and select an appropriate date range.
Compare your estimates with actuals
Looking at the first chart, called Bookings vs Timesheets, you can see how your estimates (bookings) compare with the actual time spent working on a given project. Click on settings -> group by and switch between projects and people to see the same comparison from different perspectives.
Such a chart can help you identify risks and improvement areas if you want to get back on track with your project.
Monitor your project’s current budget and the overall profit
If you’re using our template report “Project Budget”, you can see a table called Budgets. This is where you can calculate your company’s profit and see what the costs of each project are.
If you’re creating your report from scratch, read on. You will use the same metrics and formulas as described below but you’ll have to define them first or import from other reports. This is how to create custom metrics for your reports.
This table by default is created for projects with a fixed budget. If you’re on a time & materials contract, you’ll find an appropriate instruction in the section below.
First thing you have to do with your Budgets table is fill it out. There are two columns that need your input: Project budget and Internal rate USD. The first one represents your project’s budget: the amount your client will pay you for the job done. The second one is the average hourly rate you’re paying your employees. Make sure you enter internal rates separately for each person working on the project.
Two custom metrics will be then calculated for your projects: Profit and Costs. Your costs consist of the money you spend to compensate your employees working on a given project. Profit equals the amount of money you have left when you subtract the aforementioned costs from your project’s budget.
Calculate your project’s budget based on your team’s timesheets
Are you billing your clients based on a time & materials contract? In this case you’re not able to specify a fixed budget of your project but you can calculate it based on your team’s timesheets.
Use the Budgets table (you can remove the Project budget column from it) and add a custom values column called e.g. “External rate”.
Once the column is in your table, fill it out according to how much you charge your client per hour.
Let’s create another column that will specify how much your client should pay you for a given period. Click on metrics in the upper right menu of your table and pick add custom -> add custom calculation field.
Create a calculation called “revenue” or “income” with currency as your data format. Now, type in the formula:
(Timesheets: Time / 60) * Custom values: External Rate
Note that if you specify different rates for different people, your costs and revenue will be calculated separately for each row that is filled out:
Now that you have your revenue calculated, you also need to edit the formula of Profit. Change it from:
Custom values: Project budget – sum(nested(Group:People, Custom formulas: Costs USD))
sum(nested(Group: People, Custom formulas: Revenue)) – sum(nested(Group:People, Custom formulas: Costs USD))
There you go! Your overall profit is ready.
Get more insights into your team’s timesheet data
With Teamdeck’s reports, you can list your team’s tracked time but also dig deeper into the timesheets. Each time entry logged by your employees can be accompanied by a “description”—team member’s comment about a given entry. You can import these descriptions into your project budget report. Simply add a “timesheet description” column to any of the tables in your report:
You can also see your team’s booking descriptions and compare them with timesheet comments:
Such an analysis could help you identify differences between planned and actual work and better understand how the project budget is being spent.
Visualize the burn rate
You can add a line chart to your report in order to analyze your project’s burn rate.
Pick Bookings: Time and Timesheets: Time as the metrics you want to visualize and use filter to pick the relevant projects.
Such a chart will help you understand where’s your project headed. Have the actuals exceeded the estimates? Is your project’s budget at risk because of that? Identify the alarming patterns as soon as they emerge.
Let others know about your project’s progress
Teamdeck allows you to share reports with your team members or external stakeholders. All you have to do is click share and decide whom you want to share your report with. People who have teamdeck accounts can receive editing rights to your report, while others can view it.
Create your own report
Are you a data-driven project manager? Analyzing the insights can help you make better business decisions so you can manage projects more effectively. If you’re using Teamdeck, the real-time information about your team’s performance is at your fingertips: get started now!