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Posts by Curran Boomer:

How an Agency Used Forecast to Improve Resource Scheduling

Forecast makes it easy to schedule your team on multiple projects and plan out what you’re working on over the next few months. But it’s much more than a visual team calendar. It provides you with the insight to answer critical questions about your business: What is the team working on right now? Who’s under water? Do you have the capacity to take on new work? How secure is the future of the business?

In this post, Holly Davis, a project manager at White October, describes how her digital agency implemented Forecast and used it to help manage their business.

Resourcing for a growing agency is a big challenge. Things change from minute to minute and everyone has different information they need access to:

  • The whole team needs to know what they’re supposed to be working on.
  • Project managers need to ensure that resourcing forecasts mirror the needs of their upcoming project work.
  • Account managers need long-term forecasting so they know what new business they should pursue.

A year ago we were struggling to fulfill these needs, mainly due to the fact that we had little confidence that the data we were putting in was an accurate reflection of ‘reality.’

One of our project managers, Sarah Clarke, decided to take on the challenge of improving resourcing at White October. She chose Harvest Forecast, integrated with our main Harvest account, as the management tool.

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How a Digital Agency Used Harvest to Re-Examine Its Business

In this guest post we learn how Shareef Defrawi, President and Founder of digital marketing agency Bonafide, used data gleaned from Harvest to make three vital improvements to his business. 

I resisted time tracking for a long time—way longer than I should have as an agency owner. I had a checklist of fears in my head: Wouldn’t time tracking impede creativity? Wouldn’t it come across as a little 1984—“Big Brother is watching you?” And wouldn’t monitoring time actually take time, maybe more than it saved?

Then there’s the comfort of the status quo: business is good, our clients are happy. What can time tracking possibly contribute when things are already running smoothly?

The answer, as it turns out, is quite a bit.

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Using Harvest to Automate Tasks & Improve Work Happiness

Here at Harvest we’re always interested in hearing how customers use our software. A few weeks ago Stephen Thomas gave a talk at the Digital PM Summit that mentioned Harvest as a way to help bring some creativity, flexibility, and innovation to your projects and work life. He’s been kind enough to share his tips and insights with the Harvest community.

How long before the robots attack?

While getting drinks one Friday after work, some friends and I got round to discussing whether it would be such a bad thing if robots took over the world. We didn’t come up with any answers, but the discussion did leave an impression on me. It got me wondering whether my job as a project manager at White October could eventually be fully automated.

I wanted to go a bit deeper than just speculation and really try to find out whether a robot could do my job. To do this I needed to understand what it was I actually did every day and whether any of these tasks could be automated or at the very least delegated. Laboriously logging all this information felt like it would be a step too far for such an idle fancy until I realized that I was already doing this very thing as part of my job.

Timesheets are often seen as a chore, a necessity for agencies, freelancers, and professionals, something we have to do in order to get paid but not a part of our job in which we enthusiastically engage.

However, timesheets give you a minute-by-minute account of your day. There is so much potentially rich metadata and knowledge that we overlook, focussing instead on what we bill. Timesheets can give us insight into what we do.

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