In line with our ethos of enabling our team members to manage their own working life, we expect everyone working at Deeson to take responsibility for their own work schedule (aka “self-scheduling”).
This means that no-one determines at a detailed level what you do and when - you take on commitments to deliver your accountabilities (project work and non-project work). You then manage your time, location and dependencies to make this happen.
The tool we use for managing schedules is called Forecast.
Why is this important?
The information that’s kept in Forecast about who’s planning on spending how many hours doing what is really important.
It means project teams can see easily who’s working on what when and it feeds into our daily and weekly business reporting - so we know what capacity we have to sell to new clients or use in other ways.
As a business time is all we sell, so having a pretty watertight way of recording time (Harvest) and planning time (Forecast) is vital
So what do I have to do?
Know your own schedule. Keep it up to date when things change on projects and how you want to organise your work.
You have to choose the best working location to be able to get your work done. That could be ensuring you’re face to face when that’s necessary or somewhere quiet when you really need to work alone.
If you have gaps emerging, it’s your responsibility to see how you can move things around to maximise your billability. That might include changes like starting a task earlier, spending some time working on a different project or working on an R&D project.
Who changes my schedule?
One of the challenges that some team members have experienced with self-scheduling is that other people have moved their schedules around or added/removed things.
That makes it pretty tricky to practice self-scheduling effectively.
The main person who should be changing your work schedule should be you.
There might be times when someone else, for example a project manager, may need to make some changes in the wider interests of a project. That’s ok, but if someone else needs to change it, they must speak with you to let you know what they’re changing and why
What if I can’t make my commitments fit in my schedule?
While we expect everyone to be actively managing their own schedule, sometimes you can end up with more commitments in your schedule than it’s possible to fit into the time available.
If this happens, don’t suffer in silence. Speak up!
If you think you can see a way of resolving the problem, it’s worth discussing your solution with the relevant project leads or project managers.
If you can’t see a way of reconciling your commitments with the time available, speak with your chapter and project leads. It’s part of their role to facilitate a solution being found and so they can help you with this.
What if I don’t have enough work in my schedule?
Sometimes you’ll have gaps in your schedule where you’ve not got any planned client or internal work.
If this happens, the onus is on you to change this.
The first priority should be to look how you can move forward other billable work, as we expect everyone to be meeting their billable work hours each week (usually a minimum of 31 hours per week). It’s also worth asking colleagues on other projects if there’s any assistance they need on their projects.
Also speak to Paula - the “revenue wrangler” - as she’s got an overview of the agency’s work and may know where you could help too.
If you’ve not managed to find billable work, then speak with your chapter lead. They’ll help you identify what personal development work or internal project work is right for you and the time you have available.