How to Use Act! as a Project Management Tool

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Keith is a Senior Act! Consultant with The Prestige Group. Since 1989 he has only performed Act! Certified Consultant services. He assists small, medium and large businesses with their Act! sales, consulting, training, installation and support, on-site and via web.

Act! is easy. Really. All your necessary contact information is stored within Act!. Your contacts’ info, companies, and details on just about everything. All the information you need to manage your projects is at your fingertips within Act!.

I have a client who owns a small construction company and is an excellent example of how a company can use Act! to manage projects. Since all their information is now in one place in Act!, the hardest decision is what to name the Project. I recommend calling it what everyone in your office calls it, like "Rebuild back deck in Alcoa with 3 patio doors." The next decision is who is involved in the Project. Easy again, in their case there is a Local Insurance Adjuster, the Corporate Adjuster, and the local Insurance Agent, so now you are on your way.

As they start getting bids from local contractors for work they can't do themselves, those contractors are added to the project. They will assign their Project Manager as the "Record Manager." This is the person who has to make the final sign-off before the company receives full payment. There are many phone calls between each of these people, with valuable information that needs to be recorded. What a disaster if they can't find that information because they put it on "yellow stickers" or fast-food napkins on someone's desk. Some of their projects are small and only take a few weeks to complete, while some take six or seven months, but it is always the same process.

When a Project is open, it becomes an "Open" opportunity (Project) and it stays Open until they complete everything and they receive 100% payment, then it is "Closed - Won."  There is a little customization identifying the stages for each project. The really smart small contractors go the next step, and send thank you letters (standard template letter) to everyone involved. What does that do?  The homeowner is satisfied with the work, so they tell everyone how great the contractor was. The local insurance agent remembers you and refers all storm damage to you. The Corporate Insurance Adjuster looks really good and often has an article published about his success in the Corporate newsletter.