claireb

About Claire Beckham

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So far Claire Beckham has created 2 blog entries.

Good Cost Code Planning can Save You from a Project Disaster

A few weeks ago, a peer of mine and I had a working lunch with another colleague. A highly experienced cost engineer professional, well-versed in the challenges of project cost control, and well-respected in her industry. With the three of us all having our feet in the project cost management world – our colleague from a practical perspective and we from the technology perspective – the discussion inevitably turned to the challenges of effective project cost control.  For us on the “solutions” side, we wanted to hear her take on the golden question - “What is essential for managing and controlling project costs effectively?  Is it accurate estimating?  Is it complete and timely capture of actual cost data?  What about proactive change management?  And what about the effective use of earned value management in project controls?” Now, obviously all of these are vital to controlling construction project costs and providing insight into just how well a project is really performing; so we were very interested in her perspective.  So, imagine our surprise when our esteemed colleague put down her fork, turned to us and said, with absolute conviction – “It starts with the project cost codes.” Cost codes are essential to providing the correct aggregation of actual project cost information to its correct place in the budget; which then provides project management and cost engineers with accurate budget vs. actual reporting required to run a project to a successful conclusion.  Makes total sense.  And with the provision of codes just about everywhere in most construction project management software solutions, using cost codes effectively in a project shouldn’t be much of an issue.  Right? But, as she went on to elaborate, it became

Top 3 Labor KPI Metrics for Services Organizations

What’s Up with Labor Utilization? Utilization is a critical metric to assess just how you’re doing as an organization – and a great way to benchmark yourself against your corporate objectives and your peers. If you’re a Services organization, you definitely want to know what’s “up” with utilization.  To be more specific – how is your staff being utilized?  How “billable” are your personnel? And of the billable hours that your people are putting in – are you managing to capture enough of those hours in billing, without excessive discounting or “removal” of hours? Let’s take a look at some of the metrics Services organizations need to be aware of. Resource Utilization Pretty much all Services organizations are aware of this key metric.  Of the total hours worked by your staff, how many of those hours are being used to generate revenue, or on tasks that are considered to be critical to generating revenue?  Say Anne is working a 50 hour work week, had an 8 hour sick day and 7 hours in non-billable, or idle, time.  Anne’s total time spent on “revenue-generating” tasks was 35 hours – her resource utilization is 70%.  If your corporate objective is to keep billable staff at 75% utilized on activities contributing to revenue – Anne is below the threshold.  Perhaps time to take a closer look at the 7 hours of idle time and find opportunities to turn those hours into revenue, or at the least, into hours that contribute to generating revenue. Next, let’s look at Billable Utilization as an additional way to view billable time. Billable Utilization A close relation to Resource Utilization, Billable Utilization looks at how “billable” staff is,