Help me focus on the hourly details of agency work
February 9, 2014 7:41 AM Subscribe
My company is becoming more focused on billable hours and resource allocation and I an sinking.
Please help me stay afloat.
My company has been expanding and restructuring. As part of this change, about six months ago, I got a new boss. While I had previously mostly been left to my own devices on projects and received very positive feedback, it feels like everything I do now is incorrect. I work as a project manager at a design agency and there is an increased focus on billable hours, invoicing, and making sure that each employee is correctly allocated and spending their 40 hours a week appropriately. While I am good at the actual work we do (design, strategy, etc.), I have never been perfect at the small details of accounting for my time. I can't seem to stop making small mistakes like billing 15 minutes to the wrong sub-project.
I've mentioned to my new boss that it would be helpful to manage fewer projects so that I can better adapt to the increased focus on hours, etc. Currently, I manage a disproportionately large share of the company's work. However, it doesn't look like any changes are coming in the near future due to other issues being a higher priority.
Given this, I would love some advice from others who are successful in these types of environments:
1) Are there tricks you use to make sure that your hours and the hours of those you supervise are on target? Similarly, are there any tricks to becoming a more details-oriented person when you aren't particularly interested in the details? The funny thing is that I'm great at noticing design details.
2) How should I respond when mistakes are pointed out? Right now, I'm extremely apologetic, but I almost think that this is making things worse.
3) How do I stop driving myself crazy? Right now, each time a mistake is pointed out, I get stressed out and then have trouble focusing that day and often have trouble sleeping at night. This of course makes things worse the next day because I'm tired and less productive. By Friday, I'm a basket case.