We know it can be daunting to adopt a new tool, so to help map out the process, we created a suggested Flight Plan for rollout. Below are four stages of adoption that will help guide you through the process of building out your account and introducing 10,000ft to your team.
If you need more customized onboarding help, we also offer a paid implementation support package called Launch 10 by Smartsheet, which includes ten hours of one-on-one consultation to help configure, build, and optimize your unique 10,000ft implementation. Contact us for details.
Stage 1: Preflight
Weeks 1-2 after subscribing to 10,000ft
- Discuss implementation questions. Now that your team is ready to leverage 10,000ft as your resource and project management tool, revisit this list of implementation questions. These questions will help initiate or further internal discussions on how best to set up the tool for what your team requires.
- Develop an onboarding plan. In addition to account and project set up, establishing a rollout plan and officially introducing 10,000ft to the team are essential to successful adoption.
- Review employee roster. Ensure all people who will log into the tool (or need a profile for resourcing purposes) are added via Account Settings > People. Before inviting additional people to the account, double-check their permission level.
- Audit projects. We recommend performing a quick audit of projects already entered in 10,000ft. Are there any test projects that need to be archived? What additional, active projects need to be added to the tool? At this stage, you should also focus on adding projects.
- Project set up. Consider what you’d like to learn about your projects’ progress. Many teams find it helpful to break up their overall project into smaller components by using phases and work items. Phases have their own duration, budget, and bill rates, and can help you hone in on what aspect of a project you tend to go over or under budget, or when things are going according to the plan. Use work items to define an outline of major deliverables within a project or phase.
- Fully resourced projects. With all projects entered into 10,000ft, we highly recommend fully scheduling projects, e.g. creating assignments on the Project Page (Schedule or Worklist) )or on the Schedule, so it reflects all effort required to complete the work. Doing so will provide better insight into availability of your team, and enable you to evaluate project health.
Stage 2: Takeoff
- Invite additional people. Now that the heart of your account has been established and you fully resourced some projects, it’s time to invite the rest of the team to view the Schedule and track time. If you haven’t already, now is a good time to invite your team to your account, so everyone can see the full setup and understand how your company will be using 10,000ft.
- Track project progress. To track the progress of your entire project portfolio, double check that you entered project budgets. You can establish budgets in time and/or fee, and define phase budgets to evaluate project health. Phase budgets also provide the opportunity to adjust the project plan based on the real-time burn.
- Introduction to analytics. Throughout this phase, producers and project managers should familiarize themselves with key reports to help assess project health and to help solidify a timesheet workflow. In the Analytics section of 10,000ft, you’ll find a handful of saved reports to get you started, including reports that answer, “Who has unconfirmed time for this week?” and “What are the forecasted project hours per week?” We also recommend reviewing our reference page outlining some useful report examples.
Stage 3: Climbing
- Create additional saved reports. As your team becomes more comfortable navigating 10,000ft and you have more data in the account, you should begin creating your own saved reports. Reports may be specific to certain departments (How many hours did each department work last month? Which designers are overbooked? ), projects (Which projects are running over/under budget? How many hours have people on my project been working?), individuals (When can I take a vacation? How much time have I logged this week?), or company-wide (If we land this tentative project, how would we staff it? When do we need to bring in new projects and by how much to maintain profitability?). It may be helpful to revisit our report examples for additional inspiration.
- Establish weekly resourcing meetings. As you progress through projects, your original scheduled plan may require some refinement. We recommend sharing the Schedule in weekly resourcing meetings with your core team and adjusting assignments to reflect the true effort required to complete the work and reconcile any conflicts. The Schedule acts as your plan of record and should be up-to-date so you can continue to weigh actuals (from time sheets) against the plan (assignments).
Stage 4: Cruising
Week 7 and beyond!
- Improve estimations. As projects come to a close, use 10,000ft analytics to see how to improve your process when you create contracts again. For example, there may be opportunity to tighten up estimations for a particular type of project or client. Using reports, you can illustrate the hours and fees required to complete the work. You can also use 10,000ft to facilitate retrospectives where you evaluate the team’s project planning accuracy and efficiency. As you continue to use it, 10,000ft equips you with the information needed to make accurate, data-driven decisions and ultimately make your resourcing life much easier!