“It’s crucial that the tool we use for time tracking is intuitive.” – a chat with the Founder of Cloud Perspective
As we celebrate Beebole’s 12th Anniversary we ask ourselves, just how long is that in technology years? A lot to say the least. As times have changed so have we, and we have seen our customers evolve as well. We have loved watching their growth and success. Beebole wouldn’t be here without them, so we’ve put together a short series highlighting their work.
The UK technology firm Cloud Perspective was founded by Miranda Pocock in 2011 as a Salesforce implementation business. The company has since grown in both size and scope, offering data migration and integration, development, and administration services. Miranda and her co-founder and CEO, Martyn Leman, also have firsthand knowledge of just how much technology can change in 10 years!
Today, Cloud Perspective is a Salesforce Silver Partner and Informatica Certified Partner. They work with end customers and as consultants partnering with companies worldwide. Their clients include Fortune 500 companies such as Honeywell, Wyndham Hotels, Ecolab, and T. Rowe Price, as well as several FTSE 100 customers, including the London Stock Exchange. We recently spoke with Miranda, who is also the company’s CTO, about how the team uses Beebole to track billable and non-billable time across multiple projects and clients at once.
How do you use Beebole to manage your team and help in daily operations?
We run our entire delivery operation through the timesheets in Beebole. We are a data consultancy and many of our data consultants are using Beebole to record their time on multiple projects. It is particularly useful to be able to log time as both billable and non-billable – and indeed one of the features that we have recently started using is the ability to have custom picklists. We have one for Billable, Non-billable, and Credit, where non-billable time is actually a “credit” activity. It’s time that is useful to the business and not overwork for a project, or time related to a project where the scope has grown beyond hours within the project.
I love the ability to look at the productivity of individuals or the entire business, and the fact that the data is readily available in graphs, tables, charts, etc. And that through the export and API I can download the raw data for analysis.
Has the way your team tracks time, or your motivation for tracking time, changed over the years?
Our reasons remain the same; we bill our customers for the work we complete on their behalf. It is crucial that the tool we use for this is intuitive. I don’t think I’ll ever meet a consultant who enjoys doing timesheets, but at least the team hasn’t yet rebelled and they complete their sheets on a daily, or at worst weekly basis.
How would you measure success in your role or sector?
In 2018, we finally turned over more than £1m (£1.3m, in fact). At that time we were just 7 years old, and we had been doubling our turnover year on year for 4 years. We thought we could do it again last year and set in motion a plan to grow to £10m in the next 5 years. Things haven’t worked out exactly as planned, so where we thought we’d be 30 staff by the end of 2019, we were closer to 15. We still made a profit and have achieved over £1.2m again. So, I think it goes to show that it has taken us 8 years to become an overnight success and it will doubtless take us a few more years to make our billions!
Any productivity or time management tips to share?
I can’t emphasise list management enough! Set out a list each day. At the top of the list put one or two things that are readily achievable – “Make Coffee”, today’s to-dos – and review the list. Bring forward to today any items that you didn’t complete yesterday. Consider the sort of tasks you are doing and what sort of time you will need to set aside for each task.
Carve out time for specific tasks and, if necessary, book a meeting room or a quiet space to dedicate to a specific task. Last week I booked out a meeting room to plan out a webinar I was the leading the following week. Quiet space is invaluable! I also have my team review their weeks every Friday before they leave for the day and they send the entire company their Weekly Highlight report. This brief report is split into Highlights / Achievements and Priorities for Next Week.
What are you listening to or reading for inspiration and motivation lately?
I am currently reading “Hello World – How to be Human in the Age of the Machine” by Hannah Fry. She’s pretty awesome, and has a great interest in data. This book is dealing with algorithms in AI. Her “The Joy of Data” is a BBC Open University programme that I highly recommend.
I’ve also just received Marc Benioff’s new book “Trailblazer” and I’m looking forward to reading that. I think I’ll probably revisit his first book, “Behind the Clouds”, which looks at how Salesforce came to be.
Finally, what is something you are looking forward to in the coming year?
Next year my fiancé Martyn and I will be able to have an Equal Civil Partnership. Martyn is both my partner in life and my partner in Cloud Perspective, so it’s a testament to our relationship that we can work together and live together and not kill each other!
As far the business world is concerned, we will continue to work with some of the most famous organisations in the world. Aston Martin, Lagonda, The London Stock Exchange, Manchester United, Honeywell, Woolworths, and no doubt more of these organisations as we extend our client base. Most definitely exciting times.
Photo by Kenrick Mills on Unsplash
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