For several managers it’s a real challenge (sometimes a nightmare) to deal with multiple service contracts and turn every working hour into a billable hour. This is crucial to make projects and service contracts profitable and, as a consequence, build a profitable business.
This is specially hard when you need to understand, at the same time, how the services are being consumed and how the teams that are working on these tasks are spending their time. If you use Jira in particular to get these information, there is another challenge involved: finding an app that puts this together. Many people choose a Tempo app to manage timesheets and accounts (i.e. Tempo Timesheets) to classify and distribute team’s work.
However, we know companies usually work with contracts to sell and plan services and it is common that these contracts demand more than one account for the same customer to better classify the services. In addition to that, projects normally require more than one team involved on the execution of the tasks and team leaders and managers need somehow a solution to link teams to accounts.
We manage teams all the time using Tempo accounts and we know the tool is great but it does not offer a way to track the workflow of services and billing in an end-to-end manner (from the contract to the person’s worklog). Not rare you have to create different accounts related to the same customer and track each one individually. Also, there is no clear way to separate what is billable and what is non-billable. The problem? You may miss productivity (of teams) and profitability (of contracts).
Another common situation is when you have many teams logging time in an issue for the same account. It’s impossible to know in a clear way how they are contributing in terms of effort for the service execution.
Now, think about in a tool that could fill all these gaps… Certainly you thought in a bunch of different apps, right?
This is exactly what we had in mind when started developing ContractsPro. As real Jira and Tempo Timesheets heavy users, we saw ourselves facing the same pain points mentioned above when needed to manage services and teams efficiently. We needed to find an alternative to do more with our Tempo accounts and, at the same time, obtain information to better take decisions. Consequently, we would be able to improve team productivity and grow billable hours amount.
Looks like a rocket science, but in fact the idea behind the app is simple: reproduce the real-life process followed by leaders who deal with contracts and plan/measure the service progress via teams’ worklogs.
The app uses Tempo accounts and introduces the concept of Contracts, entities that group these accounts to manage services from a single place. The contracts work unplugged from Jira’s issue structure, what gives more independence to the app and makes the introduction of new features easier.
The contracts are tied to customers and allow users to add accounts to them. The accounts can be billable or non-billable and each of them can have its hours distributed/planned among different teams. So, when the respective team members log their time in Jira, the system understands how to distribute the work and inform this on the Reports.
Sounds good, right? This will make much easier to track the contract progress in real time as the users log their hours. And it is simple to create “slices” to plan teams’ work:
You can see all this information in a graphical way using the Delivery Report:
These features will help you avoid missing deadlines and also to understand where the teams are putting their efforts. You will have a better visibility of how much of your work is actually billable and take better decisions about project margins and team’s productivity.
But there are more possibilities: remember, when working with Tempo accounts you cannot create services that can be consumed recurrently. To resolve this issue, ContractsPro creates recurring contracts that can be followed monthly, helping on planning team allocation and forecasting your services.
In summary, since we developed ContractsPro we were able to highly improve our planning and decision-making processes, from the contract creation to the team’s management. The distance between Financial/Legal team and Delivery team practically disappeared. They are working together now. Barriers were broken and silos eliminated since the app connected the two extremes of the workflow.
The app is evolving constantly and more features and platforms will be added in the future. We are planning some exciting news for the upcoming releases, related to active custom notifications for contract deadlines, new reports, new permission matrix, transactions between contracts/accounts and an allocation module to better execute the team and project management.
Stay tuned fo the upcoming releases!
Missing deadlines is one of the biggest problems every team lead wants to avoid when dealing with managed services. When the customer contracts your company to help with IT services it is expected th...
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