How Primetric helped Future Mind to reduce bench time by 3,500 h

Future Mind was using Harvest Forecast for planning and assigning specialists to projects. However, the solution was too simple and lacked key functionalities like financial forecasting, checking forecasts against actual outcomes, and advanced permission settings.

Resource Planning
industry
Software development company
Resource Planning
Location
Poland
Resource Planning
company size
51-200
Resource Planning
type of projects
Time & Material
Resource Planning
used software
Jira, Harvest, Pipedrive
“Primetric is a solution that addresses the unique problems facing IT companies and software development agencies like us. We configured it to match our processes perfectly and implemented many extra features. The Primetric team was ready to help us at every stage of the implementation.”

Paul Josiek

Chief Operating Officer

Introduction

Future Mind is a software development company that specializes in mobile development, web development, IoT, and IT consulting. Operating since 2008, Future Mind delivered over 150 mobile apps, among them award-winning applications such as Frappka and Żappka (Main Prize and 1st place in the Commerce/M-commerce category, Mobile Trends Awards 2019). 

The company has been included in the Forbes Diamonds 2020 list of the most rapidly expanding companies in Poland and the annual Financial Times 1000 ranking listing Europe’s fastest-growing businesses.

Future Mind was using Harvest Forecast for planning and assigning specialists to projects. However, the solution was too simple and lacked key functionalities like financial forecasting, checking forecasts against actual outcomes, and advanced permission settings. 

After switching to Primetric, Future Mind can now assign specialists to projects, generate forecasts, and then check how they compare to reality. All the data is kept in one place and available to team members at different levels of permission. Moreover, it provides the company executives with controlling tools.

“Comparing to other tools, Primetric allows us to be fully proactive in all the resource allocation, planning, forecasting activities.”
Paul Josiek - Chief operating officer at Future Mind

Future Mind's structure in a nutshell

Future Mind counts around seventy specialists specializing in both business and technical areas. As a software development company, Future Mind stands out due to its emphasis on the process of product development, complemented by the team’s technical expertise. 

To manage resource allocation, Future Mind introduced three allocation types:

  • Draft allocations - drafts are projects created by the sales team that works like initial placeholders. 
  • Reservations- this category is for projects that are running. While there’s no formal confirmation for future resource engagement, it’s likely that particular specialists will be needed for a longer timeframe.
  • Active allocations - bookings that have been officially confirmed.
Creating reservation (soft booking) in Primetric for Joan

Planning process

When the sales team makes an initial agreement about a project and its schedule, the lead advisor adds the project phases in the project file and shares this knowledge during the weekly planning meeting. This early draft includes the potential project’s pricing model, rate, and deadlines.

During the planning session, the sales team, PMO, and mobile and web development team leaders discuss the upcoming opportunities, go over the list of running projects, and resolve any arising conflicts.

Estimating uncertain project with different currency and many project's phases in Primetric

Problem: Lack of the solution that could cover crucial aspects of the Future Mind's processes and provide comprehensive reports for departments

To plan and allocate resources, Future Mind used the combination of:

  • Jira,
  • Confluence,
  • and Harvest Forecast.

The team booking process took place in the latter solution. It helped to avoid overbooking, manage conflicts, and minimize bench time.

However, the formerly used software lacked several features the company needed for efficient resource allocation. For starters, it didn’t include any advanced permissions setting to enable more control over the level of information available to different team members.

Moreover, the solution was problematic in terms of project assignment - the tool was just too simple and didn’t differentiate between different types of projects such as draft booking, reservation, and active booking. This use case is typical of software development companies, while Future Mind used a generic solution for any kind of business.

Future Mind also lacked access to advanced financial forecasts and reporting. As a result, the team couldn't compare their forecasts against the actual outcomes of their projects. 

The lack of appropriate features was a problem that became even more serious due to the company’s rapid growth. Future Mind was expanding its team by at least a dozen full-time workers each year, and allocating them accurately to projects was becoming increasingly difficult.

As a result, the company lacked a single source of truth that would support its processes and allow different departments access to important data. Communication and knowledge sharing were increasingly challenging. And managers couldn’t see the effects of their agreements, take advantage of forecasts, or compare them to outcomes.

Solution: Implementation of Primetric

Future Mind turned to us in their search for the right combination of functionalities. 

Here are the features that made Primetric a top pick for the company:

  • Better budgeting cut out for the IT industry - Forecast doesn’t include budgeting features adjusted to the specific demands of IT projects. Primetric allows the company to finally budget projects following industry practices.
  • Financial forecasts - the team can instantly see the hourly rates of specialists and analyze the margin per project or its phase. This helps to assign the right people to the right projects.
  • Easier team allocation - this made a difference in a larger team thanks to smart filters. For example, it’s easy to find a Senior Python developer with good command of English and analytical skills. 
  • Permissions that make sense - data is accessible in line with the permissions system matching the actual roles in the company (HR, sales, PM).
  • Advanced reports - these reports allow the sales team to check if there are any free resources. Project managers can use them to optimize resource utilization and move specialists across various to help them train new skills and ensure their professional development.


Future Mind decided to test Primetric because it:

  • Provides clear and understandable data about resource utilization,
  • Allows planning projects and booking teams for them in one place,
  • Offers in-depth financial forecasts,
  • is smoothly integrated with Harvest.

The move from Harvest Forecast to Primetric was straightforward and took only one day.

All the project managers added their projects into the new solution during just one meeting. The Product Champion then trained the team using the Primetric knowledge base. Combined with our ongoing support, Future Mind achieved a full implementation within one month.

“When compared to Jira, the implementation of Primetric was a piece of cake. The team behind Primetric was very proactive and helped us a lot during the onboarding process. Their outstanding support to quickly solve all the bumps on the road. We also had an open communication channel with Zbyszek, Primetric’s co-founder. He replied to my messages at any time of the day - that was really impressive!”
Paul Josiek - Chief Operating Officer at Future Mind

How Future Mind uses Primetric

Today, 16 people at Future Mind use Primetric to assign specialists to projects, generate forecasts, and then check how they compare to the actual outcomes. 

All the planning can now happen from the bottom-up. Teams can generate forecasts with data that matters most thanks to the system of permissions. And the business and production teams are finally on the same page.

Forecasts and comparison between plans and reality thanks to advanced reports

Compared to the year prior to the implementation of Primetric, Future Mind reduced its bench time by 4% year to year, which amounts to 3,500 billable hours.

This change resulted from a number of improvements in the production and sales processes, as well as the beneficial arrangement of long-term projects. Primetric has become a critical source of knowledge on this subject and provided an excuse for introducing these changes. It facilitated a proactive approach to applying changes in this area of the company’s operation.

“Primetric is a solution that addresses the unique problems facing IT companies and software development companies like us. We configured it to match our processes perfectly and implemented many extra features. The Primetric team was ready to help us at every stage of the implementation.”
Paul Josiek - Chief Operating Officer at Future Mind

Here’s what the current process at Future Mind looks like with the help of Primetric:

1. The sales team adds a client and their tentative project to Primetric, together with project phases and estimations (time and financial).

2. During the weekly planning session, the team shares information about this potential project with the production department. 

3. They go over the list of active projects and bookings to confirm the assignments of developers and potentially move people around projects. What’s especially useful here is reporting on availability and utilization, and a calendar that allows generating the most accessible people from a bird's eye view, based on skills, position, and date.

4. Then the team goes over specific people if they’re not assigned to any projects at the moment. They are assigned to non-billed projects called side quests. This is also a sign for the sales team to intensify their activities related to this particular team or find an upselling opportunity.

5. Thanks to the availability report, the sales team can start looking for specialists and easily consult their task with heads of departments.

6. By using the Project Finances feature, the company creates a forecast for the next quarter to understand the generated revenue, divided into active/draft bookings and reservations. Primetric displays the forecast against the outcomes, showing the real level of engagement vs. planning. 

7. Thanks to the information about the costs of specific resources, Future Mind can analyze and optimize the profit margin easily.

Results

  • Optimization of bench time (reduction by 4%)
  • Improved budgeting 
  • Availability of financial forecasts already at the early stages of planning
  • More straightforward team allocation in larger teams 
  • Advanced permissions system matching the actual roles in the company (HR, sales, PM).
  • Advanced reporting

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