Milestones help you set goals and manage associated Tasks. Think of a Milestone as a point in time by which any associated Tasks need to be done.
How do Milestones work in Beeswax?
It’s important to understand the purpose of Milestones and how they are meant to be used in Beeswax.
Milestones do not have a duration. They are simply a target point in time (hence the target icon) that you are aiming to hit for a particular goal. Milestones are set to be due at the end of that day. And I know this might be stating the obvious but if it’s due in the morning then you should set the due for the day before.
Mostly these are fixed deliverable times set by Clients but they could also be internal deadlines that you set in order to keep things moving forward.
Milestones are not meant to be used for things like meetings or appointments. We assume you have plenty of options for managing these sorts of Calendar events and we don’t think it’s worth duplicating that functionality here.
Beeswax allows you to attach Tasks to Milestones. Given that each Task has an estimated time, you get to see at a glance if the total time allocated to all the associated Tasks is more than the amount time available between now and the Milestone due date. Based on your normal working hours.
It’s not a Gantt chart!
The Upcoming Milestones dashboard widget is not meant to be Gantt chart. Gantt charts tend to be way too complicated for most non technical users and are generally overkill for many businesses who run relatively simple projects.
You spend most of your time setting up and managing the Gantt chart rather than actually getting any work done and small service businesses just doesn’t work that way in the real world.
Lists are simpler
People like lists and doing things in the order they are listed. The Milestones simply give you a visual representation showing you where you might have problems meeting deadlines given any associated Tasks attached to the Milestone. And often it’s just about being aware early on so that you can anticipate any issues and let your clients know that you might not meet a deadline. That’s far better than telling when the deadline has already arrived.
What happens when you can’t meet a Milestone?
The short answer: You move it.
Sometimes you may have genuine deadlines, such as a Live Event or the on air time for a Television Commercial. However the reality is in our experience where there are real deadlines everyone simply has to put in extra time. And that might be working weekends or overtime. Welcome to the real world.
Beeswax takes a much simpler approach to project management by simplifying certain concepts and limiting the range of options that often get in the way of managing a project. At the end of the day a humans still need to be involved and make judgement calls each and every day as new challenges are thrown at them. From clients changing their mind at the last minute to unforeseen events that can alter the direction of any project. That’s just the way it works and Beeswax has been built to reflect this reality.
There is no perfect system
Michael Gerber provides some words of wisdom when he says “Don’t let people run the people let the system run the people”.
Beeswax provides a system for doing things. It provides some structure for a business to adhere to. When everyone works in same system then things run much smoother than when everyone is off running different systems.
How are the Milestone bar graphs calculated:
Beeswax assumes all the associated Tasks are completed in a linear fashion. In other words, we assume each Task that is associated with a Milestone has to be done one after the other. It is possible to have certain Tasks done by two different people within your business (“Divide and Conquer”), effectively splitting up the work and therefore reducing the absolute amount of time required for all the associated Tasks to be completed. Regardless, Beeswax assumes the worst case scenario which is generally the case. Or you should just remember that this is how it works in order to plan your Milestones and Tasks accordingly.
We assume Tasks will be worked on during your normal working (“business”) hours (These working hours are managed under Settings > Preferences). Of course you can have your staff working 16 hour days but in reality they won’t stick around for long. Sure, there will be time when over time is just simply going to be needed and the Milestones will help you identify this need but hopefully Milestones used correctly will help you plan deadlines and resources more efficiently allowing more realistic deadlines.
Milestones are assumed to be completed by the end of the day for which they are scheduled. We just figure most deadlines should be scheduled for the end of the day. In other words, it means you have the entire day to get through any associated Tasks. Otherwise…plan on moving the Milestone.
Lastly, weekends are not taken into account. Sometimes it’s necessary to work on the weekend to get things done. So this needs to be considered when viewing the Milestone bar view. Remember, it’s just a guide showing the worst case scenario
Let's look at each Role
AKA: The Boss
This is the Owner of the Account and more often than not they are also the Owner of the business. The business Owner should obviously see everything so of course they have Full Access to all parts of the application but importantly they are unique in that they are the ones who are responsible for managing the Beeswax Subscription and associated Plan.
It's likely they have a business partner or a dedicated senior staff member who needs to be able to see and do all the same things that the Owner can. That's what the Super
Admin Role which we get to next.
Business Partner or a Senior Employee
The Super Admin User also has Full Access to everything however they don’t have access to the Subscription but that’s all. These are usually Partners in the business or Senior Employees who need to see and control everything in the Business. Warts and all!
Production Manager or Account Manager
The Manager Role is generally the person who takes care of the day to day running of Projects, and oversees Tasks.
This Role would be for a Production Manager, Studio Manager or Account Manager for instance.
They generally don’t get involved in Payroll financial reports and as such are not expected to know anything about Accounting or Tax related matters.
Of course these things aren’t necessarily that difficult to understand, however, so as to avoid the potential pitfalls associated with incorrectly allocated transaction Accounts and / or Taxes we have chosen to limit this Users access and control over such things.
So, while Manager can create Quotes, Expenses and Invoices, they can’t change the Transaction Account and Tax when working on any of these documents. While Managers can create Quotes, Expenses and Invoices, they can’t change the Transaction Account allocation nor the Tax Allocation when the are preparing any
These are defined by the Items that make up these documents and are therefore meant to be set up specifically by someone with this knowledge such as your Bookkeeper or Accountant.
Your Accountant (obviously) or your Bookkeeper
This Accountant Role is obviously for the Accountant or Bookkeeper who need access to all things Money. They essentially have full access to the entire system with the exception of being able to manage the subscription.
A User who primarily works on Tasks
This is someone who usually is a freelancer that needs access to Tasks but not much more. They have a similar level of access as the Basic User but we've included this for future use.
Someone who probably would like to get access to all your stuff but really you only want them to see things you want them to see. Like outstanding invoices and access to Files you share with them but apart from this you don't really need much more.
Companies & People
Chart of Accounts
Who Owes Me
What I Owe
Profit & Loss
Companies exist for two main reasons:
- Assigning Projects & other related things
- Grouping Contacts and Users
1. Assigning – Projects and other related things
Most things in Beeswax, like Projects, Quotes or Invoices, need to be assigned to a Company. These things can’t be assigned to a specific User or Contact.
Why? Because small businesses, those businesses that Beeswax is specifically built for, generally work with and provide services to other businesses rather than individuals or customers. In other words, we think of Beeswax as being a B2B application rather than a B2C. It’s one of the key assumptions we’ve made when building Beeswax.
Remember a Quote or Invoice is technically a legal document that relates to the obligations that your business has to another party. And therefore the name of the other party, which is usually a business, should be stated specifically. Of course you will have a contact who will receive documents from you but they are still technically representing the third party and are usually not themselves obligated to fulfil their financial obligations to pay you.
It’s the company or business they represent. When they leave the company still owes you money.However, while we think of these entities as Companies, it’s not to say that a Company can’t be something else. That’s for you to decide.In any case just remember that Projects, Invoices, Quotes and Expenses are all allocated to this idea, this entity, this concept, that we call a Company.
2. Grouping Contacts & Users
It’s the way Beeswax groups or organises Users and Contacts. We think it makes sense to keep all Users and Contacts under the specific Company that they are associated with.