Meet Peter, a Program Manager with Dalt Engineering – a provider of engineering services to large utility companies. In his previous role Project Financial Management caused Peter a constant headache but thanks to Cora PPM that task is much simpler. Here’s his story:
Peter joined Dalt as a Program Manager. Dalt provides engineering services to large utility companies. They have a broad set of services and are constantly delivering new projects. Peter is delighted he landed this job. They have a different way of working.
In his previous company, Peter had to manage financials from each project on Microsoft Excel. A lot of times, too numerous to mention, figures got overwritten as there were no security controls on who could access files or someone over-wrote current versions, or quite simply no one knew who had the latest version. This created headaches. Profitability was impossible to measure. Often the company worked on unprofitable projects yet no one realized they would be unprofitable!
Luckily for Peter, in his new job at Dalt Engineering, they use Cora PPM. It brings clarity to his work. When a project is quoted to a customer, Peter takes a pre-prepared template and copies it for the new project. Skills requirements are pre-populated. Peter simply adds and removes for specifics of his particular project. It also surfaces materials needed for each task. Both labor and materials are cost-coded so they can be linked to the financial system, and, crucially, project profitability can be monitored. This cost coding also allows Supply Chain staff in Dalt to examine where economies of scale can be found with certain suppliers.
Once the Initial Cost Estimate is created and agreed with the client, it can be baselined. This shows expected margins for projects so the Bid Team can decide if the margin is enough to make a project worthwhile. Once a bid decision is made, the payment scheduler allows the project manager to create one-off and recurring invoice payment milestones on the Gantt chart. These can be linked to deliverables on the Gantt chart and allow Finance staff to see what needs to be done without chasing Peter, freeing up Peter’s time to focus on what he does best – program and project management.
When the project is up and running, all changes that occur are recorded in the Change Register. It tracks time and cost changes – if incurred – and those change costs are automatically brought into the financials.
Once a week, all Dalt’s project managers need to re-forecast their projects. This is done simply by looking at existing plans and tweaking forecasts of labor and materials based on their knowledge of projects. Peter runs a 15-minute stand-up every second morning, with a laptop and projector. The team sees their parts in the plan right there on the screen and, for his part, Peter sees at an early stage any potential changes, risks, and issues coming down the line.
The revised forecast by the project gives an EAC or Estimate At Completion number for costs, revenue, and margin. Now, Peter really is in control. Thanks to Cora PPM, projects are invariably profitable and well managed and Peter’s new boss has already mentioned early payment of a first bonus.