What’s In Your Project Log?
In this issue…
1) A project log can tell you a lot.
2) 367 words, total reading time about 2 minutes
We have worked with almost 600 different Ci companies. And, what we have learned is that it is truly a project business. So, how many companies keep a project log that moves as work is performed?
Well we might be speaking a different language, but a project log is as simple as it sounds. It is the list of active projects (work) that needs to be performed in the near term. Some of you have project boards, others have scheduling software, others keep it in their heads. But in the end, knowing what work has to be done and when is critical to efficiency. Many are experiencing work shortage in the pandemic. But even in normal times, having a full plate 90 days in front of you is the strongest asset you can have. It allows you to maximize the use of your technical resources. Here is a simple measure. If your project log (unbilled work) for the next 90 days is 2.5 to 3.0 times your trailing 12-month (TTM) revenue; then you are in a healthy position. Below 2.5 means you have to find work to fill in.
What we find is true: high growth companies will always be improving their near-term project ratio. We recommend you take your pulse (project ratio) ever first day of a new month. Project what your scheduled work for month-1, month-2 and month-3 is. The total dollars divided by your TTM is the strength of your backlog. How simple can the project log be? Keep the client name, if there is more than one project on a client (add a unique description), the original contract value, dollars remaining to complete, hours remaining to complete can be useful too. Some like to spread it between weeks in the month; a best practice is to do that for at least for the current month.
A place for notes is always helpful. Oh, and don’t forget to add change orders as well. Where to keep it?
If you use a shared document system; this can be an excel spreadsheet that multiple people can view and access, is one simple way. Your ops manager or project managers should alter the log as weekly production happens. In reality this is your money machine, the better you manage it, the better your company’s results will be.
Try it it might surprise you.