Project Description Management

A forum for Deltek Vision CRM & Proposals.
cardinalfan
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:32 pm
Brief Company Description: E/A Firm
Deltek Vision Version: 5.1
Number of Employees: 300
Company Position: Marketing
Vision Modules: Accounting/Marketing
Number of Offices: 0
Year Vision Installed: 2008

Project Description Management

Postby cardinalfan » Thu Feb 17, 2011 3:57 pm

We currently have Vision but are not yet using it to create custom proposals or as a project database. We are having increasing issues with managing project descriptions and pages, and I'm looking for some input on how some other companies handle project description maintenance and organization.

A few things to set the stage: 1. Nationwide Company; 2. 500 employees 3. full-service E/A firm; 4. Marketing coordinators located in five separate offices supporting offices in their respective region; 5. Significant sharing of project pages nationwide; 6. Indesign is used for page layout

So, currently our project descriptions are housed on local servers in each of the locations where there is a marketing specialist. The project pages are typically related to their region, i.e. the marketing specialist that covers Texas, New Mexico, Arizona has most of their project descriptions located on the server where they are located.

Here's a few scenarios that may better illustrate our dilemma

1. Since project pages are housed on separate servers, you can quickly get multiple project pages of the same project as they are used throughout the company, i.e. Office A requests project page from Office B (now there are two project pages floating around), so on and so forth. Then, if Office A makes a change at some point to that page, Office B now has an out of date project page.
2. Some offices have a separate project page for every project stored in a directory. For instance, Transportation Project A is located on directory titled Project Pages>Tranpsortation>Project A. We assemble a proposal including project pages and send it out for review. If markups are made on that page during the draft, the changes to that page are made on the project page within the RFP, not on the separate file located in the separate project folder. So, now you have an updated project page in the proposal, but an outdated page in the master file folder.

Obviously this scenario gets repeated over and over, and before long it has a lot of arms and legs to it, you spend a lot of time searching for project sheets, and it turns into a mess.

So, just checking to see if anyone is willing to share thoughts on proper maintenance. It seems one thing that has to occur is that there is one central location for all project sheetss rather than housed on local servers across the country. One thought is that you could attach the project sheet file as an attachment to the Vision project record. While it's not actually generating the project sheet, at least Vision is serving as the master database area for project sheets. Anyway, just looking for some feedback.

User avatar
Gerald Cox
Site Admin
Posts: 549
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 10:45 am
Company: Hurt & Proffitt, Inc.
Brief Company Description: We are primarily a Civil Engineering and Surveying firm that offers a few other supporting services. We upgraded to Vision from Advantage in 2005.
Deltek Vision Version: 5.1
Number of Employees: 70
Company Position: IT Director
Vision Modules: Accounting / Billing / Time & Expense / Payroll / CRM / Proposals / Planning
Number of Offices: 3
Year Vision Installed: 2005
Vision User Group: Richmond, VA

Re: Project Description Management

Postby Gerald Cox » Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:11 am

All good questions. I wish I had answers. I'm currently boggled by this and would love to hear from others as well.

bevarts
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Oct 03, 2008 3:19 pm
Brief Company Description: Environmental consultants
Deltek Vision Version: 5.1
Number of Employees: 230
Company Position: Marketing
Vision Modules: CRM, Projects, Custom Proposals, SF330, Timesheet
Number of Offices: 18
Year Vision Installed: 2002
Vision User Group: Boston, MA

Re: Project Description Management

Postby bevarts » Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:54 pm

Hi

We haven't fully implemented a more efficient means to capture and update project descriptions yet. We are working on a few scenarios to see what works best. We do try to capture a Beginning, Middle, Ending description through Vision. We centralize all PDs as we have 19+ offices nationwide. Any updates get submitted to the marketing dept who has responsibility for updating project sheets/descriptions in Vision and case studies....

Beth

rsmith
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:06 am
Deltek Vision Version: 5.1
Number of Employees: 80
Number of Offices: 0
Year Vision Installed: 2004

Re: Project Description Management

Postby rsmith » Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:34 am

We purchased Vision CRM & Proposal for exactly this reason several years ago and have had great success with it. Once you get it implemented, you’ll wonder how you functioned without it!

Assuming that your offices are connected via WAN, there are three keys to making this work …

1. Use the Projects Info Center to store all of your descriptions (resume, project page, SF330, etc)
2. Move all of the project images to a central server.
3. Create a “project page” merge template.

Once these three things are in place, it’s easy to maintain the descriptions and update the pictures companywide. And, you can be confident that everyone is using the same information and the project pages conform to the company standards.

We have marketing coordinators in 3 of our 6 offices. We have about a 1000 “project pages” available for use companywide. Our images are stored on a server that sits in the firm headquarters, along with our Vision database. Since all of it is accessible over the WAN (a mixture of T1 and DSL connections), we can create our project pages, resumes and SF330’s from any location, including from home!

As an example, this is how we build our project pages …
• Create a new Custom Proposal section called “projects”
• Search and select the projects to be used
• Chose the description and images from a list for each project
• Merge it out.

I hope this helps!

rsmith
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:06 am
Deltek Vision Version: 5.1
Number of Employees: 80
Number of Offices: 0
Year Vision Installed: 2004

Re: Project Description Management

Postby rsmith » Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:44 pm

Let me also add, that all of our templates are created in Microsoft Word ... which also means that all of our resumes, project pages, etc are merged out into Word.

cgunther
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:56 pm
Brief Company Description: Engineering Environmental Consulting Firm
Deltek Vision Version: 6.1
Number of Employees: 250
Company Position: Marketing Database Coordinator
Vision Modules: CRM
Number of Offices: 8
Year Vision Installed: 2010
Location: San Diego County
Contact:

Re: Project Description Management

Postby cgunther » Tue Mar 20, 2012 2:29 pm

That's exactly how we are trying to use it. I have 2 questions...

1. How do you control who edit's/adds descriptions.
(I am told anyone with access to "Projects" can edit any field that's not already locked by accounting.)

2. How do you know when someone has added/edited a Project's description?
(If you don't know when a Project's description has been changed you lose the ability to keep everything in a standard edited format and here again, I'm told, anyone with access to Projects could add/edit the description, we currently have publications edit material before it's posted/available for use in a proposal; this is in effort to keep the most current version (edited to company standards) available for use).

We have over 1000 Project Descriptions in our database now and have decided to use Vision for not just accounting but for marketing as well to better organize and make searchable to all. If someone changes the wrong description or tailors it to they’re specific need then standardization of the content is lost.

What do I do?

Cheryl
Cheryl

AliT
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:55 am
Brief Company Description: Marine consulting firm
Deltek Vision Version: 6.1
Number of Employees: 60
Company Position: Technical Aide
Number of Offices: 0
Year Vision Installed: 2010

Re: Project Description Management

Postby AliT » Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:29 pm

As far as editing/adding a project's description, an alert could be set up notifying relevant parties of any changes.
As for controlling who edits/adds project descriptions, a good approach is to: a) evaluate who has access to make changes and make edits to the security roles b) define and document the process by which changes can be made c) configure the alerts regarding changes to go to someone who cares about the changes and can do something about them. Good change control requires communication, particularly communication that doesn't feel like it's causing a blockage to people getting things done; Vision, like any other software, is only as good as how it's used.

Ali :-)

cgunther
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:56 pm
Brief Company Description: Engineering Environmental Consulting Firm
Deltek Vision Version: 6.1
Number of Employees: 250
Company Position: Marketing Database Coordinator
Vision Modules: CRM
Number of Offices: 8
Year Vision Installed: 2010
Location: San Diego County
Contact:

Re: Project Description Management

Postby cgunther » Tue Mar 20, 2012 5:53 pm

So you’re saying that vision "as is" has the capability to restrict access to "who" can edit the projects "Description text" field.
I would need to make the permission adjustments within my roles (correct)?

And you’re saying you think I can have an alert set up when users (with permission :D ) add/edit the projects "Description text" field?

If these two things are available features (and don't cost extra?), I could resolve a majority of my frustration and functionality issue managing content...and that would make ME a very happy little user! :mrgreen:
Cheryl

User avatar
Karen Sigel
Posts: 58
Joined: Mon Jun 02, 2008 8:41 am
Company: Buchart Horn, Inc.
Brief Company Description: Buchart Horn is a multi-disciplined consulting firm with more than seven decades of award wining engineering and architectural design experience. Established in 1945, the firm’s architects, engineers, and planners serve a growing list of clients in the US and Europe. The company is well known for designs of courthouses, offices, schools, churches, libraries, airports, highways, bridges, and environmental projects such as water treatment facilities, wastewater plants, and environmental studies.

Buchart Horn services include architecture; environmental, transportation, civil, electrical, mechanical, structural engineering services; construction management, disaster resistance assessments, site development, GIS, photogrammetry, planning, permitting, grant application assistance, and telecommunications.
Deltek Vision Version: 7.0
Number of Employees: 200
Company Position: Marketing Coordinator/Database Manager
Vision Modules: CRM & Proposals/MODI/Sync Server
Number of Offices: 15
Year Vision Installed: 1999
Location: York, PA
Contact:

Re: Project Description Management

Postby Karen Sigel » Wed Mar 21, 2012 8:30 am

Ali's right. This can all be managed in the security settings for your roles. You can change the settings for pretty much anything you need to down to the individual tab in an info center, and yes, it "comes with" Vision standard. You do have to have administrative rights to access those settings and make changes, though. If you only want to restrict certain fields, you can do that through the Info Center Designer by locking down those fields for certain roles. And setting up a workflow alert is a standard feature, too, with the same security restrictions.
Karen L. Sigel
Buchart Horn, Inc.
717 852-1465
http://www.bucharthorn.com

cgunther
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:56 pm
Brief Company Description: Engineering Environmental Consulting Firm
Deltek Vision Version: 6.1
Number of Employees: 250
Company Position: Marketing Database Coordinator
Vision Modules: CRM
Number of Offices: 8
Year Vision Installed: 2010
Location: San Diego County
Contact:

Re: Project Description Management

Postby cgunther » Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:46 am

Great news! :mrgreen:
Thank you!
Cheryl


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