4 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) For Government Contractor Project Managers

KPI Project ManagersFor the past 16 years, 5000fish’s CEO, David Ferguson, served as CEO and President of OakTree Solutions, a Federal services contractor. He knows firsthand that project managers for government contractors have their work cut out for them. In fact, Ferguson’s desire to build a business-friendly BI solution like Yurbi came in part from the struggle of trying to optimize processes and improve communication between on-site federal projects managers and the corporate project management office (PMO).

Project managers working for small, medium and even large federal contractors face many of the same hurdles. For starters, it’s exceedingly complex for project managers to extract the information they need from the various systems they are using. Sharing the right information with the right people is equally challenging. Moreover, compiling the data into timely reports that give project managers insight into the real-time overall status of their federal projects is nearly impossible. That’s why most federal contractors employ multiple Project Support Analysts (PSA)- simply to help the Project Managers wrangle with all the project data to track project health. As if that weren’t enough, project managers are facing increased pressure to control costs and improve operational efficiency.

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Using the right business intelligence (BI) tool to automate key performance indicators (KPIs) can enable project managers to overcome these and other obstacles while helping them effectively manage the health of their federal contracts.

Leveraging Key Performance Indicators to Improve Project Health

Regardless of whether they choose to leverage a BI solution or not, here are four key KPIs that federal project managers should track.

  1. Billable utilization
    A BI tool can help a project manager gain valuable insight into their billable utilization. With just a few clicks they’ll know the percentage of time a worker spends doing billable work as well as the percentage of total working hours that can be billed. Also, keeping billable utilization at the required threshold is easier because the data is real-time. Necessary adjustments can be made immediately, not a week or month later (as is often the case) when nothing can be done about it.
  2. Total time charges
    Leveraging a BI solution can help a project manager gain a better understanding of their total time charges. A drill down of sorts from billable utilization, the report not only shows the project manager who charged on their project codes and how much time they charged but also lets the project manager quickly spot errors, such as someone charging to their project code incorrectly. Plus, the report allows a project manager to easily identify under and overutilization and make adjustments promptly.
  3. Project budget verses actual
    A project manager should have a clear understanding of the overall project budget and actuals, and have the power to look at the budget and actuals from a trend perspective to identify fluctuations and abnormalities. A BI tool can aid the project manager in monitoring budget items he or she can control, such as projected billable hours versus actual billable hours, expenses, overtime, and Other Direct Costs (ODC) purchases. As a result, he or she can make changes that help the project stay on budget.
  4. Status reporting
    Status reporting is critical for invoice justification. Unfortunately, for most government contractors status reporting is an inefficient and arduous task because it’s done manually. Even when contractors have the ability for their employees to report their time online and add the status associated with that time (for example as with Deltek T&E) they don’t. That’s because it’s so difficult to extract that information and put it into a format that’s suitable for the client. As a result, the project manager relies on a PSA to pull the information once the cycle has ended.

Leveraging a BI tool that connects in real-time to data sources, the project manager can pull current status reports without involvement from a PSA. This gives the project manager an up to the minute view of billable utilization- which not only allows the manager to find issues sooner, it also helps them be proactive when it comes to approving scheduled leave, overtime, training classes and more.

The Bottom Line: Using a BI tool to Automate Government Contractor KPIs

We aren’t sure if Yurbi is the ideal BI tool for your organization. But, we’re confident that the right BI solution can help your organization automate KPIs- improving communication across teams and giving project managers the real-time information they need to better control their federal contracts.

Business Intelligence can Benefit Government Contractor Project Managers

It’s one thing to talk about how the right BI tool can benefit you as a government contractor project manager, it’s another to experience the difference Yurbi can make. If you’re a project manager in a government contracting firm, we invite you to explore Yurbi. See what a dashboard looks like, get a feel for what’s possible, and discover how Yurbi gives you real-time access to your unique KPIs.

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