If I’ve learned anything in the past weeks of training to cycle 100 miles it is that you really need to know which metrics to measure and you need to do it! With the new Garmin tool, I had so much information at my disposal that I really needed to figure out what to focus on – the cadence, the miles per hour, the heat of the pavement, etc. I know that all of the information is important and there are times that each metric has its’ purpose but after a lot of research and reading, I decided which numbers were most important to me and I’ve used this information to help me be more successful in my rides.
As Architects and Engineers, if you have a project management system in place, you will also have a lot of information available to you at your fingertips. Just as with the information the Garmin provides me, this is all good information to have — but really, what is the most important?
You have information (or should with the right system) on project profitability, you can see if your projects are over or under budget and on target for schedule or if you are going to be behind. You can analyze your fees, earned values and ratios. But what is most important? As an Architectural or Engineering firm you are selling time, you are selling the skills of your team. So isn’t it critical to measure how that time is spent?
At a minimum, by project you should be able to graphically measure time spent by:
- Billing Rate (Staff Type)
- Staff (specific employee)
- Activity (Task)
If you can monitor where you time is being spent on your projects, you can make your staff more efficient so billable hours are maximized. You will also want good reports that will break down direct vs. indirect and take a profitability factor into account and show you potential billings from each employee.
For my cycling, I am choosing to measure miles per hour. There is a lot of good information available to me but when I can look right down at the monitor and know that I need to kick it up a notch so that I can meet my scheduled time — well, that is the number I want at my fingertips. I might need to know my cadence in order to pick up the speed, but ultimately it is staying on schedule that matters to me.If you could look right at your monitor and see if your time is being spent appropriately (on the right phases, tasks, etc.) – wouldn’t that be the most important numbers you would want to monitor? In the end it might be most important to measure profitability but you can’t be profitable if you are not appropriately selling your time.
Visit www.basebuilders.com to learn more about time tracking for Architects/Engineers.