Seeing, moving, and supporting virtual firm work can be challenging. This can become harder when you don’t use other tools to see work move (like time tracking). Our firm hasn’t tracked time for about 7 years so we can’t rely on time sheets, and the reporting that goes along with time tracking, to see and support the movement of virtual work.
We don’t believe in using time as a measure of creating prices, because we don’t believe that time accurately reflects value. But one thing tracking time can bring to an agency is a view into capacity management, sometimes called resource planning. We don’t price based on time, but we do need to measure our team’s workload, capacity to take on more work, or their own assessment of feeling overwhelmed with work. Time is not a resource that can be created, meaning there is a set amount of time for everyone. Time is a limiting factor for every human, and you need some way to measure it if you want to make healthy growth choices to take on more work.
We use a few creative ways to manage the capacity of time in our firm, but Calendar Work Blocking is a practice we have started rolling out to our whole team lately. My partner and I have been using calendar work blocking as our own way of managing our work and it’s been so invaluable we can’t even imagine not doing it now.
This is what Calendar Work Blocking looks like in practice. The team looks at their upcoming week and places work blocks on our firm’s shared calendar that represent the number of hours each team member expects to work that week. Some put more specifics in the calendar work blocks, while others just leave them as general blocks of time. With this consistent practice, a team member can begin to learn more about the process and flow of their own work, when they work best, and how many hours their work actually takes. Remember, we have no tools that accumulate or display time to the owners of the firm. Calendar work blocking provides detailed insight into what it takes each team member to do their jobs, thus giving insight to the owners as to how much capacity each team member has. The calendar work blocks can also be freely moved as the personal schedules of the team change. Our team is virtual, so calendar work blocking allows them the freedom to schedule the work blocks that best suit how they work as long as the priority of service to the client is maintained.
We still need project management tools to display all of the work that each team member is responsible for, but calendar work blocking allows us to know how long it takes them to complete their work, and the flexibility of when they can do their work.
If you need help with creative project management ideas for your agency, reach out to us at email@example.com and we can help you too.comments powered by Disqus