Workamajig: Where to begin? Timesheets.

Workamajig implementation can be a daunting task. Not only do you have to configure a new software system, but ideally, you have to evaluate your current practices and identify opportunities to streamline them. Oh yeah, and you have to learn how actually use Workamajig. This process begs the question: where do I begin? The answer is timesheets.

Timesheets are a predictor of your company’s ability to streamline operations and use Workamajig to its full potential in the same way that a child’s reading level by the second grade is a predictor of their success in education. You need to have a time entry policy clearly defined before going live with this system. More importantly, you must have controls in place to manage this process, and make sure they are being adhered to. Many companies look for creative incentives to encourage proper time entry. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing, but ultimate success will come from the top of your organization.

It is easy for a president or manager to say they think time entry is important, but actions speak louder than words. I am not advocating a system for punishment. Rather, top management must create a chain of accountability for adhering to this process. That means they must buy-in, and hold their staff accountable to this ideal. No employee wants to sit in a closed door meeting with their boss to discuss time entry. Better yet, managers don’t want to sit in a closed door session with their company president and be held responsible for staff not adhering to a time policy. The motivation becomes clear and you will discover that we may be talking about your organization’s ability to execute more than we are talking about time entry.

So why are timesheets so important anyway? Workamajig is a comprehensive system. All members of your team log in to a system and rely on the information they need to be accurate. Time entry forms the basis for most information in your system. If your team cannot rely on its accuracy, then they will not rely on Workamajig for information. Your efforts for Workamajig success begin to erode at this early stage of acceptance, and your investment just became a machine your employees feel obligated to feed — rather than a tool to align multiple departments managing complicated information towards a common goal.

Daily time entry also tends to drive data and process in well-managed Workamajig systems. Time entry can be utilized to evaluate progress on a project, communicate task workload to other employees, and keep real-time monitoring of project budgets. This marvel of efficiency and communication will be as effective as your teams time entry.

Workamajig does not solve your business’s problems. It does not make your company run more effectively. Workamajig is the most effective tool you have, however, to manage a complicated business. It is a tool, best capable of mirroring the discipline and process your are willing to manage in your organization. Maybe your team isn’t “there” yet. For those groups, Workamajig proves it value and creates a bridge to take your organization to a higher standard of operation.

Workamajig is a powerful tool and will require an investment of your time to learn and manage it properly. You will find it to be a continuing education, one that can help you establish and refine your company’s most precious intangible asset: information. Proceed cautiously and don’t expose your team to the growing pains of learning a new system if you do not feel confident in your time entry policy and your ability to execute it effectively.

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Tony Mikes – Financial Analysis and Management Reporting

Tony Mikes is from Second Wind Network — his Second Life! Tony has been an agency principal, running an agency outside Philadelphia consisting of about 50 employees. Tony spent 8 years out of college as a copywriter, out of sheer chance.

Tony created Second Wind as a Second Life to help smaller agencies, and brings classically-trained advertising expertise into your ad agency. Tony will talk to us today about ‘How do we run this business?’. Continue reading

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The Way: Workamajig Project Communication and Collaboration – Mike Wang

Communication and collaboration enter Workamajig in a couple of forms. We begin by looking at the Diary. The diary began as a notes section for the Project. It continues to do so, but now we have embellished the Activity feature so that it is grouped within a Project. This can manage Project communications, such as the client wanting to update their color scheme to Blue. When the Traffic Manager, for example, adds this note, they can then locate and click on any of the Envelope icons to add relevant parties (as indicated by the related section where the icon resides) to an email list Continue reading

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The Project Way: Workamajig Traffic Schedules and Assignments – Mike Wang and Ron Ause

Assigning placeholder employees in your template can help you reduce the level of work entailed in creating a new project. This does mean that you will need to reassign the task to a live employee at some point. How we will execute this reassignment. Open the Traffic – Staff Schedule view (Menu/Projects/Traffic/Staff Schedules). Remember you can add this option to your jiggy bar. The left side of the menu gives you filtering options to make it easier to access the data relevant to what you are trying to accomplish. This will help you isolate the various departments, people, services, etc. to determine who has available workload to transfer the assignment to. NOTE: Remember that the placeholder staff cannot have login data or you will be charged for their account. But do keep them Active. Continue reading

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Workamajig Project Management: The Project Way and Project Templates- Ron Ause

Project Templates – when you create a new project you can elect to copy the project setup from a project template. The idea is that you are wanting to copy similar work instead of rebuilding a project from scratch each time. They become the gatekeepers of your standards, which are housed within your templates. We have added a new project in our example by using the brochure template. The new project is opened; keep in mind that the command options for Projects can be collapsed to enable easier viewing. This is available on an individual basis. So, the project has been opened.

We proceed to the estimating screen Continue reading

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Catherine McIntyre-Velky: The Principles Project Management

Project Management – Why do we NOT have time to do it right, but we always have time to do it over?

What is Project Management anyway? Tasks may vary but the principles are the same across all agencies. It doesn’t matter the medium; you have a strategy and objective; you have estimates and approvals; creative development and execution. They are the same steps in the larger picture. Project Management is a discipline that brings multiple disciplines together. A Project Manager is making sure people are doing what they should be doing when they should be doing it, and addressing issues along the way. Continue reading

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The Way: Project Intake – Mike Wang

The Way: Project Intake – Mike Wang

Mike begins by telling us about Workamajig Labs, available to Conference Attendees May 1. It will be added to System Setup. You will view new features and can opt to deploy these features or not. Each user, who has the security rights, can turn on their lab items at the user level if the Company decides not to at a Company level.

There are two ways you can intake a project based on how projects come into an agency. Continue reading

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Workology 2.0 – WWP with Blair Enns

Blair teaches creative firms to win new business without giving away your thinking for free. New book coming out. Describes the sales pitch as a flaw in the business process. It is fundamentally flawed. What Blair doesn’t like about New Business Development:

It’s expensive. It causes agencies to sacrifice respect. Self-respect and Client respect. Sacrificing the position of the firm. You should be able to position yourself as experts. Continue reading

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Workology 2.0 Introduction

This is the first in a series of posts covering the Workology Conference. Content is typed quickly, so bear with any grammar usage or spelling errors. As always please feel free to comment:

Morning Session

Team Intro.

The State of Workamajig. Workamajig is growing. 20,000 users. 1300 clients. 35 employees.

Workamajig Labs

New features, after beta-tested will be installed into Labs. Users or Companies can turn these features on. If they are popular, and gain acceptance, they will be pushed to the entire to the general application as a whole.

Coming to Labs (May 1, 2010)

Preview will be for conference attendees only.
New Estimating will be added to Opportunities
Campaign Level Estimating (applause)
Journal Entries in Flash
Receipts in Flash
Payments in Flash
WYSWIG Form Layout

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Do you have a Closing Process for Closing Projects in Workamajig?

Many Workamajig users overlook the process of closing a project in Workamajig. Oftentimes, they feel as if changing the status, or addressing all open transactions is enough to “close” a project from their system. This is not true! Your company needs to define a systematic process for closing Workamajig projects. Continue reading

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