Monday, October 14, 2013

Problem 1- Capturing Time and Invoicing in Project-Based Organisation

Large and small organisations the world over battle with the ability to unite on-the-job effort with value created. Usually, recording systems used are completely disassociated from the accounting and contracting functions that are used to quote, invoice and track delivery progress. Depending on this disparity and the efficiency of the manual processes, it can take between 3 and 15 days for organisations to get to the point where they are set to raise invoices. With more time, comes more effort, and the amount of effort involved in this possible 15 days can increase the total work to over one full-time person per month.

A case study has been used to aid in illustrating this point. One client was using a web-based timesheet system and when it came to invoicing, analysis had to occur via comments in the timesheets and invoices raised to the client via Excel. The invoices raised in Excel would frequently contain errors in calculations which would clearly add to the increase in total work. Senior staff who were originally involved in the quote process would then become engaged in the invoice process as they were the only ones who could reconcile the timesheet entries to the value created on the job. The same senior staff were also left with comparing the reconciled timesheet entries and on- the- job value created to the spreadsheet effort estimate in the original quote.

The company had 500 employees and it would take 15 senior managers, on average, two days per month to complete their component invoicing. Administrators would then type up the Excel invoices and email or print and send to the client. Accounts would then key in the invoices to the accounting system. This disjointed system meant that on-the-job project- based staff had no feedback as to how they were performing throughout this process.

UniPhi’s software erases the disjoint within these processes. The software communicates to the project-based staff what the deliverable is that they need to complete, how long they’ve got to do it AND how much effort is required. The staff member is then able to amend the remaining effort when submitting the timesheet. This information is then used by the senior manager (or delegated to the project manager) to analyse the percentage completed, update the progress claim and generate the invoice document all within the one screen. The signed off invoice then exports to the relevant accounting system overnight via a batch process. UniPhi ‘s software employs portfolio aspects in order to identify which projects need invoicing so that no work is missed and working capital is kept to a minimum. The end result is that less senior staff are used and work is completed in less than half a day with no involvement from administration or accounts staff. Time saving for this particular problem was 25 days per month (i.e. 1.25 FTEs).

A short demonstration of this funtionality can be found on our website.

AECOM Award Nomination

AECOM continuously strives for a certain degree of excellence in all of their endeavours. This desire for such brilliance is key in the company’s distribution of excellence awards. In May of this year, a PCC Global Initiative, Global Unite was submitted for consideration for the excellence award for best innovation of the year.

The purpose of Global Unite is to provide unparalleled amounts of project cost information to decision makers around the globe in order to drive evidence-based decisions within the project environment. At the heart of Global Unite’s ability to provide this information is UniPhi’s project management software. UniPhi’s software was adapted specifically to Global Unite’s complex project goals in order to assemble, present and verify project cost information.

As the software was tailored for Global Unite’s specific needs and is a truly massive, global, collaborative effort (every continent bar Antarctica), the fact it is being considered  AECOM’s best innovation of the year is a true testament to the hard work that went into it and the pioneering nature of the project itself.  

Thursday, October 10, 2013

UniPhi 50 Problems Series

UniPhi aims to challenge clients to improve their productivity by 10 percent across all project-based staff they employ. This is done through the deployment of UniPhi’s project portfolio software and associated process changes. Over the next 25 weeks, at two per week, we will highlight 50 problems solved by UniPhi. The solutions presented will aid in progressing an organisation towards achieving the 10 percent productivity increase, as well as improve the effectiveness of decision making at all levels of the organisation. Each problem to be presented over the next 25 weeks will identify time estimates or issues relating to clouded decision making and will then go on to explain how UniPhi’s project management software solves this problem.

Through this series, the positive return in purchasing and rolling out the relevant UniPhi software for your organisation becomes evidently significant. For example, if you currently have 50 people working within a project environment with each of them having a total employment cost of $100,000, UniPhi’s software will produce a $500,000 per annum saving over a without investing or status quo scenario. This would work out to be five times the total cost of ownership for the application and would pay back inside a six month period. 

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

UniPhi Managing Director to present at Project Challenge Expo in the UK on the delusion of control

Last year, UniPhi’s managing director, Mark Heath wrote a paper for the Australian Institute of Project Management entitled, ‘The Delusion of Control’. As life so often does, it threw a curve-ball his way- and his son into hospital- and sadly, he was not able to present. At the last minute, +Sarah Quinton stepped up to the plate with a fantastic, last minute presentation.

The presentation, rather than focusing on proving that most project managers and the PMBoK itself delude themselves into thinking that a project environment can be controlled, used a case study that concentrated on a real-life example to get its point across. This real-life example centred itself greatly on not trying too much to control, rather focusing on fostering a complex adaptive environment.

This year, in order to assist in the launch of UniPhi’s project management software in the UK, and to demonstrate his belief in the ability of complex adaptive systems to achieve greater results than those achieved through control-based systems, +Mark Heath will be presenting at the exhibition on the delusion of control.

The presentation will case study experiences had in rolling out UniPhi for the enterprise on a global scale to in excess of 1,500 users located on every continent bar Antarctica. In true eat your own dog food style, Uniphi for major projects was utilised to deploy five Enterprise applications. It was also used to manage the key global unite piece of technology custom built for AECOM by UniPhi’s software development team.

You can find the blurb of the presentation, as well as the time slot at the project challenge website.

Project Services Associates presents UniPhi at Project Challenge Expo 2013

UniPhi’s project management software will be launched in the UK at the 2013 Project Challenge Expo. Project Services Associates (PSA) will be exhibiting at the expo with UniPhi’s software being the key promotional product at their booth. PSA will be located near the case studies and expertise presentation area which will see, on Tuesday October 16, UniPhi’s managing director, +Mark Heath present. Come along to the expo and meet the PSA team.