Work in Progress reports are designed to help managers balance the workload across teams and team members. These reports are designed to answer questions about today and the immediate future:
- Which designer has the most time to work on a new project today?
- Which copywriter has projected availability next week?
- Is the creative agency busy enough today to justify the retainer? What about next month?
- Are we keeping the new offshore production team busy?
- If a rush job is assigned to a team, what other project will be impacted?
In order to use a DAM to answer these kinds of questions, proper configuration of workflow is essential. Assignment of responsibility for particular projects or project steps must be clear. Projects and project steps should be clearly labeled with information that can be displayed within the report. For example, “Fall 2015 Catalog” and “Fall 2015 Catalog – Japan Localization” are a project and project step that are clear for a report; “Job 9245” and “Job 9245 - Production” are less clear.
To enable forward-looking resource availability, future projects should be allocated as they come on off the marketing or production calendar—at least as far in advance as management would like visibility into allocation.
In order to compare productivity and allocation across different sized tasks, it can be helpful to assign an estimated level of effort to each project step. Without this information, a summary report can only report on total number of projects or tasks assigned, which could be very misleading if Laura’s one task is to organize and execute a photoshoot and Jim’s ten tasks are resizing images for Twitter.
Beyond workflow considerations, in order to consider allocation by team or by individual , the DAM should be configured with an easy-to-maintain method of tracking team membership and job title. From a policy perspective, DAM administrators should consider reporting needs for freelancers or external approvers who do not have access to the DAM. In some cases, the reporting benefits may justify the extra complexity of granting those users access to the DAM; in other cases, project managers may be able to capture and track the activities of external users within DAM workflow steps without too much trouble.
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