How To Organize Projects By Business Line

3 min read
organize projects by business line in Productive

Most of the companies have divided their talent into different business lines, also called departments based on their skills and specialities. Often, when we’re analyzing data about our company, we want to dig deeper and compare it between departments. That gives us insights into where they differentiate and what they could potentially improve on.

First of all, you should define your business lines in custom fields so you can later on segment data based on which business line it belongs to. We’ll use an example of a company which has three different business lines:

  • Mobile app development
  • Web development 
  • and Product design.

Here are some possible use cases for what you can compare.

Revenue per business unit

Naturally, one of the things most companies want to look into first is which business unit is bringing in the most revenue? That’s one of the key benchmarks when comparing what part of the business is performing best and has the biggest impact on your success. You can easily sort your business units in Productive by using a combination of custom fields and insights.

revenue by business unit

Profitability by business unit

If a certain business unit is bringing in more revenue than others, it doesn’t mean it’s playing the key role in your company’s profitability. High revenue might deceive you and those types of projects often include lots of overservice which gives extra value to clients but ultimately drains your profit.

That’s why it’s important to compare revenue every business unit has brought in together with the internal cost you’ve invested to deliver that service. You might be surprised by the final result.


Utilization by business unit

Utilization is one of the key features of any agency. It shows you how well you’re using your resources to generate revenue for the company. 

Comparing utilization per business unit will surely help you compare the efficiency and tell you which unit is contributing most to revenue.

utilization per business unit

Do you want to see how busy every business unit will be in the future? You can use the hours you’ve already assigned to your team on future projects to predict how utilised they will be. Based on resourced hours, you can predict the utilization of future months. A tip from is to use this data to align your sales and operations- if you spot that a certain unit will have available time in ex. May, try pushing new work for that month.

future utilization

We’ve used the pivot option to create this insight on future utilization per month. That way you can compare the average utilization (client scheduled/available hours) of your whole company with the utilization of a specific business unit.

Forecasted profit

Let’s say you’re curious to find out what the future is going to look like for your business units. The most important thing you’re probably asking yourself is how much profit will they make?

Based on project budgets you’ve already put in the system and hours you’ve planned in resource scheduling, we can predict all three parts of the formula: revenue, cost and profit. Cost is based on the salary of the team members you’ve scheduled. If you make any changes in the meantime and assign other project members, these numbers will change as well.

forecasted profit

Estimates per business unit

For some business units, depending on the nature of their work it’s harder or easier to estimate the time and effort required to deliver the project. That’s where the data comes in to help you.

At the beginning of a project, you can set an internal estimate for every service you’ve sold. If you’ve undersold something or added a buffer in the budget, use the estimate as an orientation. An estimate is telling you how much time (realistically) you need to deliver that service.

Once the project kicks in and work gets done, you can compare estimates and actuals. After some time, you will see which units are more/less accurate with their estimates so you can improve.

Estimates per business unit

All of these powerful and very visual reports were custom made using a combination of custom fields and Insights, our brand new feature explained here.

The possibilities for customising the data just the way you want it are countless. If you need inspiration, guidance or help with setting up, our team will be happy to assist you. 

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