Creating (and Managing) Jobs
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CREATING (AND MANAGING) JOBS
Jobs are typically opened after an Account Executive has filed a Client Contact Report, following a Client meeting. If the Client wanted a newspaper ad, for example, a description of the ad would go in a Report and would become a new job once the System Administrator both Managed the Report and opened the Job Number. A Production Estimate would soon follow.
TIP: If a Production Estimate precedes a Job Number in your agency, consider opening a catch-all job for the Client(s)(e.g. Proposed Estimates).
Any number of Estimates can be submitted beneath the job and, once approved, easily moved to the “real” Job Number, once opened.
OPENING A JOB
To open a job, go to Clients & Jobs — Client — I Want To: Add Job for This Client. You can also click at the top of the screen.
TIP: It’s best if one person is responsible for opening Job Numbers (e.g. the Traffic Manager) rather than leaving the Task to a variety of Account Executives, assistants, office managers, etc. Having one responsible person allows you to more tightly control your workflow.
First, enter a Target Completion Date for the job. This date will appear in several different places within CurrentTrack®, serving as a point of reference (e.g. Working Tasks List (see TARGET JOB COMPLETE column).
Job and Media Types: By default, CurrentTrack® includes a series of Job and Media Types common to most agencies.
1 – Media
2 – Newspaper Production
3 – Magazine Production
4 – Television Production
5 – Radio Production
6 – Outdoor Production
7 – Collateral
8 – PR/Marketing
9 – Web/Internet
10 – Other
0 – Not Media
1 – Newspaper Media
2 – Magazine Media
3 – Television Media
4 – Radio Media
5 – Outdoor Media
6 – Collateral Media
7 – PR/Marketing Media
8 – Web/Internet Media
9 – Other
Before your CurrentTrack suite was available, your agency filled out a questionnaire containing basic information such as your starting Purchase Order (P.O.) Number, System Administrator’s name, and desired Job and Media Types. This information was then used to set up your system.
TIP: Additional Job and Media Types can be added, at any time, by simply contacting your Developware customer service representative.
A word about Job Numbers — CurrentTrack automatically generates Numbers that, together with the alphanumeric Client Identifiers you’ve assigned, give every project a unique identity. When opening a job, you have a couple of different options in terms of managing its production and media components. You could assign a single Job Number (e.g. 2017 Fall Television Production) and include everything from copywriting and post-production to station traffic instructions and air dates within its Workback Schedule.
Another (recommended) option would be to open separate production and media Job Numbers. This would enable you to keep production costs like copywriting, location fees and post-production time separate from actual media billings.
TIP: Open a Job Number as soon as you’re aware of the project. That way, you can begin recording time and won’t lose billable hours “talking about it” and then opening a job.
Workback Schedule Template: Choose a Workback Template from the drop-down menu, if you want to apply one, and select a Template Date Type (i.e. Start or End); enter a Workback Template Date (e.g. 2017-07-16). If the Template assigns a Task on a day preceding today’s date, you’ll be warned upon clicking Submit. Indicate whether or not the Template should Include Weekends.
Title: A Title (e.g. Spring 2017 Newspaper Ad) may be of any length and include an assortment of alpha and/or numeric characters.
Budget: Don’t worry about whether the Budget figure is firm at this point — tentative is better than nothing. Should you choose not to enter a figure, CurrentTrack will enter 0.00 (by default). This figure will appear in the Budget field of the [job] Financial Report and serve as an additional prompt to the Account Executive, for example, to supply a figure. The Budget can be modified at any time by going to Clients & Jobs — Client — Job One Sheet — I Want To: Edit This Job. As elsewhere in CurrentTrack, avoid using comma + number combinations (e.g. 1,000.00).
TIP: If the Budget is unknown at the time the Job Number is opened, prepare a Production Estimate and enter its Total in the Budget field. That way, you’ll at least have a general idea of where your time and expenses fall.
Description: The Description of a job can be a single sentence or an entire paragraph. It’ll appear at the top of the job’s Workback Schedule and its Financial Report, with the text formatting you’ve applied. You also have the option of printing a Job Description page (i.e. job jacket cover sheet) that includes the text. To print a Job Description, go to Clients & Jobs – Client – Job – I Want To: View Job Description – [click on] Printer.
TIP: Consider stapling the Printer Friendly Job Description to the outside of your paper job jacket (if used).
Parent or Sub Job: Lets say, for example, the Client would like you to produce a series of items that all fall under their “2016 management conference.” Open a job with the Title 2016 Management Conference and check the box beside Parent Job. On the following screen, build the Workback Schedule as you normally would, but include overarching Tasks (e.g. Send progress bill, Capital Campaign launch date, etc.). Next, open individual jobs for the various conference components (e.g. (:30) Television Production, Branding Guidelines Booklet, Program Design, etc.) within the Client Folder, checking the boxes beside Sub Job and selecting the Parent Job from the drop-down menu. This will then “nest” the jobs, beneath the Parent Job, within CurrentTrack‘s various reports and screens.
Non-Billable: If the job won’t be billed (e.g. a pro bono logo design), check the box beside Non-Billable. The letters NB will appear in red on financial reports throughout the system.
Initial Billing Entry: If the Client has agreed to pay 1/2 the cost of the project in advance, for example, check the box beside Initial Billing Entry. Once you click Submit, a Billing Entry form will be displayed. Simply fill in the blanks and click Submit.
Requestor(s): This is the name of the individual(s) who requested that the job be opened. This could be a Client contact, for example, or a member of your internal team.
CC: Determine if anyone in your agency should receive a Message regarding the new Number having been opened. Use the drop-down menu to select a name(s); click Submit.
CurrentTrack will automatically create a job folder in the respective Client Folder and direct you to its Manage Workback Schedule screen.
TIP: Enter an Employee name(s) beside Add Job in the Default Notifications area and a Message will automatically be sent each time a Number is opened; Admin — System Administration — Manage Default Notifications. To further refine Employee Notifications, edit the respective Clients’ Notifications by going to Clients & Jobs — Client — I Want To: Edit Client Notifications.
VIEWING A JOB
To view a job folder, go to Clients & Jobs — Client.
Simply click on the job Title and navigate through its I Want To: drop-down menu, if desired.
EDITING A JOB
It’s easy to edit an existing job in CurrentTrack. Let’s say, for example, you chose the wrong Job Type when it was originally opened.
To edit a job, go to Clients & Jobs — Client — Job One Sheet — I Want To: Edit This Job.
Select the appropriate button beside Number Change. If you’re changing the Media Type, select Just Media Type. If you’re changing the Job Type, select Whole Job Number. If you’ve realized you chose the wrong Workback Template and haven’t yet modified the job’s Workback Schedule, simply choose the correct Template from the Change Template drop-down menu. Next, confirm its Start (or End) Date. Any changes previously made to the job’s Workback Schedule will be overwritten when the new Template is applied; see warning message. If necessary, make any Title or Budget modifications; click Submit.
MOVING A JOB
If you open a job under the wrong Client it, along with all of its contents, can easily be moved. First, open a job with a similar name under the correct Client. Next, edit the old job by going to Clients & Jobs — Client — Job One Sheet — I Want To: Edit This Job. Under Application Options, at the bottom of the page, choose Move Entire Job from the drop-down menu and the new Number from the drop-down menu to the right of the field; click Submit.
Confirm the old job’s contents now reside in the new job’s folder and then delete the old job. These steps can also be applied when moving the contents of one job to another within the same Client Folder.
DELETING A JOB
To delete a job, go to Clients & Jobs — Client — Job One Sheet — I Want To: Edit This Job.
Under Application Options, at the bottom of the page, choose Delete Entire Job from the drop-down menu; click Submit. Once a job is deleted, its contents cannot be retrieved.
ARCHIVING A JOB
Eventually, all the Tasks related to the jobs in CurrentTrack are going to be marked Complete and the jobs themselves will be billed. Or, perhaps, the Client will change his/her mind and cancel the job. When that happens, you can “put the job to Sleep,” which means removing it from the Active jobs list.
TIP: Use a similar Sleeping job for reference when preparing an Estimate. The [job] Financial Report is a great source of information regarding the number of Hours it took to get the job done, its printing costs, et. al.
To archive a job, go to Clients & Jobs — Client — Job One Sheet — I Want To: Edit This Job.
Change Job Status to Sleeping. If desired, indicate where the paper job jacket will be stored (e.g. “Bin 19 in the basement,” “Dan’s file cabinet,” etc.) in the Jacket Location field; click Submit. All records associated with it (e.g. Client Contact Reports, Estimates, etc.) will automatically be moved to the Sleeping Jobs area. Employees listed beside Close Job in the Default and Client-specific Notifications areas will receive a Message.
If the job being archived is a Sub-Job of a still Active Parent Job, a link will be displayed within the Sleeping Jobs folder.
NOTE: A Parent Job cannot be archived if it contains any Active Sub-Jobs. All Sub-Jobs must first be archived.
To view a Sleeping Job, go to Clients & Jobs — Client — Sleeping Jobs.
Click on the Year the job was opened and then on the Job Title. Navigate through its folder as you normally would. If the job is associated with a Client that’s now Sleeping, simply go to Clients & Jobs — Sleeping Clients — [click] Name — Sleeping Jobs. Again, click on the Year and then on the Job Title.
Can I use my own job numbering system?
The CurrentTrack numbering system, as a whole, cannot be customized; only its various components.
The first portion of the Number — the Client Identifier — can be represented alphabetically, numerically, or using a combination of both; Clients & Jobs — Client — I Want To: Edit Client Spec Sheet — Identifier. The Job or Media Type, found further into the Number, can represent anything you’d like (e.g. 2 = Newspaper Production, 3 = Collateral, 4 = Broadcast Production, etc.).
If you’re interested in using your own numbering system, include your number in the Title of the job; for example, “Capabilities Brochure (ABC123).” Select the applicable Job or Media Type, as you normally would. This will enable you to use various Task reports (e.g. Working Tasks List, Gross Income Report, etc.) and to narrow them by Type of job. You’ll also be able to use the Quick Search feature, located in the top left corner of your screen, to search for your job numbers (e.g. enter “ABC123”).
Some of our jobs don’t yet have Due dates. How should they be entered in CurrentTrack?
Enter a Task, with an arbitrary Due date, in the job’s Workback Schedule. For example:
Task: Determine next steps
Responsible: [Account Executive or Traffic Manager]
The job will appear on the All Open Jobs list, a broadly-dated Working Tasks List (i.e. 2017-01-01 to 2017-06-30) and, within 30 days of its being due, on the Responsible Employee’s Assigned Task List. The “Determine next steps” Task simply serves as a prompt to all involved.
What’s the best way to manage a “hot” job in CurrentTrack?
Let’s say, for example, the job has a one-day turnaround (e.g. revision of an existing ad). First, open a Job Number and then File the original Client Contact Report (being sure to cc: the appropriate people). Next, manage the job’s Workback Schedule (Clients & Jobs — Client — Job One Sheet — I Want To: Manage Workback Schedule), cutting and pasting details from the Report into the various Comments boxes.
Once the Schedule is in order, go to the Creative Director and let him/her know a “hot” job has arrived in-house and which Art Director you’ve assigned it to. If s(he) is OK with your assignment, go to the Art Director and review with him/her what needs to be done and which other working jobs can be pushed back. Having done that, inform the Account Manager the job is “in the works” and if it’ll, in fact, be done on time. Continue to check with the Art Director every few hours to see if any additional information is needed, what his/her progress has been, etc.
Most importantly, keep everyone in the loop regarding where the job is throughout the course of the day until it’s done. Along the way, be sure to update its Workback Schedule in CurrentTrack.
What’s the best way to track agency administrative jobs and activities?
First, add your agency as a Client. Then, open a job titled, “In-House Charges [month]” on the first day of each month. Record non-billable time under the Number (e.g. Sick/Personal, cleaning out the supply closet, etc.), as well as P.O.s for coffee and copy paper, for example. This becomes a monthly “catch-all” job for expenses (and Tasks) that cannot be billed against a specific Client job.
On the last day of the month, refer to the [job] Financial Report and transfer applicable items into your accounting program. Lastly, archive the job and open one for the next month. You can also open other agency-related jobs within your Client folder (e.g. 2017 Christmas Party, Letterhead Re-Design, etc.).
How can I manage new business information in CurrentTrack?
We recommend creating a Client called New Business. Each time you come in contact with a prospective Client (e.g. Kentucky Department of Tourism), open a job under the New Business Client. When you make a call, put together a proposal, etc., file a Progress Report (e.g. Subject = RFP details or Contact Information), add a Task to the job’s Workback Schedule (e.g. Call Jim at 3:00 p.m. or RFP due to Client), and put together a Production Estimate (if applicable). Because your active Tasks will have a Status of “working,” they’ll appear on your Assigned Task List and you can easily keep track of what’s going on.
Once a prospective Client becomes a official Client, add them to your site and open a Job Number (e.g. 2016 Travel Brochure). The contents of the job that previously fell under the New Business Client can then be moved over to the new job (Clients & Jobs — Client — Job One Sheet — I Want to: Edit This Job — Application Options (Move Entire Job To:)[your new Number]) and you’ll have all of its history to refer to as you move through the new project.
After you’ve moved the old job to the new Number, delete the old job folder by going to Clients & Jobs — Client — Job One Sheet — I Want to: Edit This Job — Application Options (Delete Entire Job).
We host several Client web sites. How can I manage their billing information in CurrentTrack?
First, open a Web Hosting job under the Client and assign it a Budget based on the estimated cost (e.g. 12 months x $50.00 = $600.00). Enter (12) “Send Bill” Tasks, Due on the last day of each month, in the Workback Schedule with a Status of Working. Make sure whoever will send the bill is marked as Responsible for each Task.
Once a month’s bill has been sent, create a Billing Entry under the job (e.g. December Web Hosting Fee). At year’s end, you’ll have (12) Billing Entries that equal the indicated amount. This will enable you to see what was billed, but not reflect the figures as expenses to you. Close the job on last day of the year and open a new Web Hosting job for the coming year.
What’s the best way to manage a Client’s multiple-market projects?
First, create a Client Folder for each market, for example:
Acme: Baton Rouge
Acme: New Orleans
Let’s say you have a coupon to be used in the markets of Lafayette, Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Rather than opening three separate jobs (i.e. one under Acme: Lafayette, another under Acme: New Orleans, and so on), simply open a single Job Number under Acme: Multi-Market. Be specific in the job’s Title (e.g. “$2.99 Coupon: Lafayette, Baton Rouge, New Orleans”). Record all applicable Tasks, time and expenses against the job; archive once Complete.
What’s the best way to manage retainer Client projects in CurrentTrack?
1. Open a job titled, “2016 Retainer” under the respective Client; enter a Budget reflecting the entire year (e.g. $3,000/mo. –> $36,000/yr.).
2. For each project requested during the year, open a separate Job Number (e.g. Spring Brochure); enter a Budget reflecting what the project would cost if you were executing it for a non-retainer Client (e.g. A typical 4C brochure = 2500.00).
a. Over the course of the project, enter Tasks, record time, submit P.O.s, et. al, just as you would with any other job.
b. At the conclusion of the project, create a $0.00 Billing Entry; archive the job.
3. Under the “2016 Retainer” job, create a Billing Entry reflecting the incurred amount of the job you just archived (e.g. Spring Brochure = 2450.00); include the job’s Title (and Number) in the Subject of the Billing Entry (e.g. Spring Brochure (ABC-16702)). Repeat steps 2 a-b for each job completed throughout the year.
4. Refer to the Financial Report of the “2016 Retainer” job, throughout the year, to determine if you’re within the overall retainer (e.g. Budget = 36000.00/yr.; Billed Amount to Date (think of this as “Incurred Amount to Date”) = 18000.00).
5. On 1/1/17 close the “2016 Retainer” job and open a new job for “2017 Retainer;” repeat steps 1-4.