Implementing software for a creative team can be a daunting task. The secret is to get organized, involve the team, and plan in advance. At TrackIT we provide our customers with a template they can use to plan for the implementation. Once the template is filled out, we help customers set that information up in the JobSuite application. The step-by-step guide to organizing your workflow has been working well for 20 years, so we thought we would share it with you.
Before you start using software, put some thought into your workflow.
Start with some simple questions to help prioritize your efforts:
- What types of data are you going to capture; tasks, costs, client invoices, time, budgets, etc.?
- What Reports do you need on a regular basis?
- What metrics do you monitor in the department?
- Who are the key team members and what role do they play?
- How micro do you want to get with schedule tasks?
Answering these questions will help you think about how to enter job data in software to get the output you need. Once you've brainstormed the answers to these questions and determined what key elements your workflow needs, follow these 4 steps and begin to create your workflow outline:
1. List 3 Reports you need on a regular basis. Think about the output.
What information do you want to get out of your software? Think about the reports you expect to run on a daily basis. This will help you figure out how to structure your data in the application. Think about how information is sorted and the columns you expect in the report. I always like to start out with a sample of the good old Status Report. We can learn a lot about your workflow by looking at the data you need to see on your Status Report. It tells us who your clients are, what types of jobs you create, key milestones, and roles of team members.
- List of Active Jobs by Client
- List of Jobs Completed this year, sorted by Client with columns for Due Date and Completion Date
- List of how much we Invoiced this month, sorted by Client
2. What metrics do you need to provide to management?
Management is always looking to see that your team is well managed. Every management team has metrics they use to monitor performance and success. You can monitor workloads, costs, billing, time, and more in JobSuite. If you define the key metrics needed up front, you can then enter data in a manner that provides charts and graphs needed to get a snapshot of those metrics.
3. Identify “Top Level” steps in your workflow by Job Type.
JobSuite uses templates to create schedules. Most creative teams have a handful of job types they normally use. Maybe your department is focused on digital marketing and you create Banner Ads, Web Pages, and Emails. Each time you create a new banner ad, the steps are probably similar. Use a template to quickly create the schedule, then tweak it as needed. Templates save time.
4. Fill out the attached Implementation Templates.
We use an excel spreadsheet to summarize some of the key data that is needed for implementation. Filling out the doc helps you think through your process and communicate your needs to the vendor. Download our template here.
Implementing project management software does not have to be a dreadful experience. Get organized by following the steps above.
Feel free to call us for help (858-759-2558) or contact us with any further questions. Sometimes a trial will also help force you to get organized. Get started today!