Fine Tuning Timecard Collection
It can be argued that the most tactical of all is how we hit our revenue targets. So let's dive into how we actually do that.
In a PS business, the sale and delivery of people's time in order to generate revenue means that we are reliant on using relevant and fresh data. Being slow to react to our timecard data means we miss out on the opportunity to adjust and positively impact our use of time, which to us, is money. To hit our numbers, we must have a strong operational cadence that focuses on the use of fresh data to determine if we have our resources adequately assigned.
In a nutshell, the quarterly number needs to be crafted and forged from the backlog each quarter. It is rarely a layup that will be achieved simply because we turned up. It needs to be planned, fought for and then delivered. As such, we want a process that keeps us in tune with how the forecast becomes the actual and in a way that allows us to react in a timely manner when necessary. That process should look something, but not necessarily exactly, like this...
- Team Revenue Forecast resulting in Next Week's Assignments
- Distribution and Adjustment of Assignments with the Consultants
- Collection (but not analysis) of This Week's Timecard Data
- Revenue Forecast for Next Week
NOTE: This Week is now Last Week and Next Week is now This Week
- Analysis of Last Week's Timecard Data
- Identification of Last Week's Leaked Revenue
- Immediate Adjustments as a Result of Revenue Leak Data
Tuesday & Wednesday:
- Monitor Assignments and Adjust as Necessary
The general idea with this cadence is to twofold. The first is to ensure that resources know where they will be next week. Those needing to confirm travel will probably need to know earlier than the Thursday before, but in some businesses, that is about as much notice as you get. The second is to ensure that management can respond to the previous week's attainment of revenue. If the revenue was as expected, then carry on as usual, however, if the revenue exceeded or fell short of expectation then maybe we need to make some adjustments.
Some people I've worked with also promote the idea that Timecard Data should be entered at the close of business on Thursday. I kind of like this idea if you think your team can do it. How wrong can you be about tomorrow's billable time?
Regardless of the specifics, PS Managers need to think carefully about how they run their timecard data collection and resource assignments so that they remain nimble and dependent upon each other. Just like a sales professional, our ability to hit this quarter's number depends on us hitting this month's number, which depends on us hitting this week's number, which relies on us hitting today's number. When we take this approach, we tend to deal with missteps faster and in a way that helps us reach the number rather than miss it.