Monograph—a practice operations platform designed to help architects and engineers oversee projects, timesheets, and forecasts in one integrated interface—recently introduced Resource. This new set of tools helps provide a better path for firms to manage their most valuable resources: time and talent. With Resource, users can build their team’s schedule in a click and distribute allocations on a weekly basis while being able to see the real-time impact of that decision on a project budget.
Resource is expected to minimize the amount of time it takes to plan for the week across several team members and various projects by up to 50%.
Formalized Monday morning meetings are widely used among AEC firms as an opportunity for project managers and firm leaders to sync with team members, discuss upcoming priorities, and reevaluate project schedules and deliverables. Although necessary, these project teams are directly impacted by the amount of time it takes to review and plan for each week’s schedule. In addition, these meetings are largely fragmented with some firms relying on vocal updates lacking visual feedback versus others who congregate around a screen with a project manager manipulating multiple spreadsheets that track progress.
“Based on our research, we estimate that between $37,500 and $165,000 or more of billable time is spent annually on these Monday morning meetings among firms with five or more employees,” said Robert Yuen, CEO of Monograph. “Through Resource, we’re giving firms the ability to ditch the spreadsheets and instead leverage a digital tool that simplifies, streamlines, and optimizes these weekly planning meetings.”
Resource replaces all of the spreadsheets users were previously dealing with when preparing for weekly staffing meetings, and it anticipates the upcoming task of tracking individual time by synching up with each user’s Monograph account and pre-filling their timesheets for the coming week.
Resource will allow project teams to get an overall view of the week’s work, as well as manipulate units of time in a bottom-up fashion so they can understand the impact of that decision in real-time on the allocated budget, in terms of being on-track, over, or under. This ability to host augmented meetings that measure the impact of what has been discussed ensures that no employee is spread too thin, or that one project is behind on progress whereas another is ahead. The technology also keeps the team organized and aligned on all efforts. Resource is viewed in one user-friendly interface, which adds a visual component that is key to communication among architecture and design professionals.
Users can build their schedule three different ways, as well as toggle between a column-view or row-view to organize calendars by team member or by project.
- “Create Schedule” – users are populating the week’s schedule based on a previous week’s scheduled allocations and assignments. This option requires that users have already used Resource for at least one week of planning.
- “Past Timesheets” – populates schedule based on a team’s timesheets from the previous week. Resource is connected with the timesheets feature so that once users start building out weekly schedules on the Monograph app, the team’s individual timesheets will also get pre-filled. All that’s left to do is to audit time at the end of the week and cross-reference any task that may have taken more or less time than originally assigned.
- “Project Assignments” – calculates schedule based on role assignments, budget, and time remaining, as outlined in the original project plan.
In all three cases, once a schedule is automatically filled out, users can manually edit specific time allocations to ensure that each team member is working a reasonable number of hours and that each project is properly staffed to meet upcoming deadlines and budget milestones.
“We believe Resource provides a streamlined solution that will help firms improve project outcomes and minimize the amount of lag time inherent in manipulating schedules for individuals during these meetings,” adds Alex Dixon, Head of Product of Monograph. “We can either shrink the amount of time spent in these meetings, open up this time to discuss higher-level strategic alignment across team members, or in some instances remove the need for this meeting entirely! The best talent-based outcome would be that team members get to discuss blockers and where improvement could be made from the previous week’s work.”