3 Common Project Management Problems and How To Avoid Them

If you’re a small business that manages projects or jobs, a good cloud-based job management system is an essential part of your business toolkit. It can not only help you track time and manage projects more effectively, but will also give you good visibility over your business profitability.

Here are three common scenarios that are often seen in businesses that work on a project basis, and some advice from Xero Projects and WorkflowMax customers on how they address them with cloud-based job management tools.

1. Missing out on billable hours and revenue

While spreadsheets can be useful for starting cost estimates, they’re not a great tool for managing projects with many moving parts.

If your project’s deadlines, costs, or scope change, it can be time-consuming to update multiple spreadsheets. You can also lose information if team members inadvertently work off old versions. Most importantly, you can miss out on billable hours and revenue, because spreadsheets don’t record how much time each employee is spending on specific tasks.

Jeff Manson, Director at Studio LBA, helped his architecture firm uncover billable time that they weren’t sufficiently tracking and charging to their clients.

“We used to manage everything in spreadsheets and missed out on a lot of additional services,” says Jeff. “For example, if a client changed their mind and we had to resubmit planning, the additional work might have been missed on the invoice. Now with WorkflowMax, our team better understands the value of accurately recording time on the right tasks, to make sure we’re charging our clients for all of the work that we do.”

2. No visibility of job profitability and performance

Creating reports from spreadsheets makes it hard to get a good grasp on key information like profitability, write-offs, recoverability, productivity, labor costs, and resource management. It can be difficult to compare apples to apples across different jobs, in order to see areas for improvement and complete jobs more efficiently in the future.