Thursday, October 9, 2014


Estimation involves forecasting level and type of resources required for project execution till closure. Many organizations would have developed methods for arriving at project estimates based on past experience.

Having said that, every project or service is unique and there will be some level of uncertainty, thus risk, associated with each service. A tool to define, iterate, measure, improve and streamline this process will be very helpful in managing projects/ services in a more efficient and productive way. You utilize such tools to transform your organization from a "GUESS" based working principles to a "MEASURED" and "ORGANIZED" organization.

We are very happy to introduce you to a new and powerful addition, that is sophisticated and robust, in Papilio, to manage estimating process effectively and efficiently. Papilio not only provide you with estimation, but also gives you required tools and reports to analyze monetization of every hour that is spent for a service. It gives you reports to understand work in progress, completed and unbilled inventory, billed vs realized, over utilized inventory, under utilized inventory, yield, variance at multiple levels and many more insights into every service/ client/ employee of your organization.


Estimating requires setup of following information -
  1. Enable "Estimation"
  2. Defining levels within the organization
  3. Defining hourly rates for each level
  4. Associating user to a level
  5. Give access to additional right - "Access to financials"

1. Enable "Estimation"
Under "Settings", enable "Estimation" (by selecting "Yes"). Anytime, to disable, select "No". This will enable all features related to "Estimation". Logout and login again to see changes related to Estimation.

Note that this setup can be done by only users having "Super Administrator" rights. Read further to setup this information.

2. Defining Levels:
Each staff is associated with a level. These levels needs to be defined first.

Under "Settings", click on "Configure Lists" under "Categories, Service Types and Lists". Here, you are presented with a list of lists. Choose "Staff Level". Click on "Add a new item" to add level.

For example, staff levels could be like - "Jr. Article", "Sr. Article", "Paid Assistant", "Team Lead", "Manager", "Senior Manager", "Partner" etc.,

You can order this list by dragging and dropping each of the items in that list.

3. Hourly Rates
Each level has a rate associated it. Define rates for each of this staff level under "Admin" -> "Your Company" -> "Rate List". Click on "Rate List" to see list of staff that is defined under settings. For each staff level, define hourly rates.

4. Associating user to level
Edit each user profile and choose appropriate level and save profile. Doing so, you associate each user to a level and in turn, each user level has hourly rate defined.

Above mentioned four steps comprise all necessary base settings to be done to setup Estimation.

5. Access to additional right
This right helps user to define "Target Recovery", provision to view Estimated and Actual service cost. This right is listed under "Administrator" rights. So, please be choosy in giving this right as users having this right will have access to certain financial information, which you might not want to disclose.

Working with Estimation

Another change related to Estimation is actual estimation of number of hours required to complete and close a service. This may include multiple levels of users working on a service (like partner, assistants, manager, team lead, finance team, QC team etc.,) from initiation to complete and closure. Also, you can input "Estimated Bill Amount". You can view and change these, under the people tab of the service.

While associating users to a service, enter number of estimated hours required to be spent by each user. This will compute estimated cost of service based on level of user associated to the service (Rate defined for each user is multiplied with number of hours). Note that number of estimated hours can be modified. And this will modify estimated cost of service accordingly.

Estimation combined with Timesheets is a powerful system. As users enters the timesheet, the actual vs. estimated unfolds. This can be seen at multiple levels - service, category and client.

Multiple reports are being written to incorporate this, and they will be coming out in the following days.


For a services organization, Time is the main and crucial resource. We had many suggestions, from you, to improvise and bring in a mechanism where, every hour spent in work is captured in a more meaningful way. We spent considerable amount of time to bring the best way of capturing and analyzing this important resource called - Time.

A major change that is being introduced, is changing the way time is captured, and analyzed. Following are two major changes from concept of Time:

"Categorizing Time" for certain major activities within your organization.
All this while, time has been entered in service for each task or for a specific service. Though it serves basic purpose of capturing time, it was lost in many other numbers. What we mean here is, time entered was not grouped in a meaningful way. Imagine if you wanted to know how much time has gone towards "vouching" alone, or how much of time in client meetings across services, and across clients, during a certain season, or how much of this time is chargeable or non-chargeable. There was no mechanism to know answers to these questions.

Secondly, Time spent in an organization is not just on services, but for various other activities of organization. Some of it would include marketing, sales, CSR, internal meetings, trainings, seminars, participating in recruitment activities like interviews, resume scrutiny, etc., or performance reviews, unplanned time outs, team meetings, so on and so forth. Till now, it was captured in various ways by different organization. Either by creating multiple services for each such activities and log time against this services or having one general service where time spent for all such activities was grouped.

To address above mentioned concerns, "Time" in Papilio is revisited and revised completely. We are introducing "Time Sheet", a group of time logs. Also, time logs can further be classified as "Chargeable" or "Non-chargeable", "Regular" or "Overtime".

"Approval" of Time Sheets
Time entered by various levels of people on activities were disclosed by executives and the same was not verified or approved by managers. Due to this, time entered was never checked for accuracy and secondly, there was no regularity and discipline in entering time.

We are happy to introduce approval mechanism for each such submitted time sheets. Managers will have option to approve or reject time sheets.

These new features are detailed in the following section:

Time Sheet
Timesheets are group of time logs for a week. Each timesheet starts with Monday as first day of week. Each timesheet will have multiple entries. Each entry corresponds to a service or activity, for which, time can be entered for the entire week. Each entry can belong to any of the following types -

1. Chargeable - Billable time, spent during regular working hours
2. Non- Chargeable - Non-billable time, spent during regular working hours
3. Overtime - Extra hours spent (other than regular working hours), which is billable. Note that, there is no non-chargeable overtime.

A time log is one entry made for a day against a specific activity. There are multiple time logs for a given timesheet spanning a week for one or more activities. Such entered time logs are all visible within those services, similar to how it use to appear earlier under a service. Also, note that, such time logging can be done from services or from tasks. And such entered time logs will become part of a time sheet.

Once a time sheet is filled for a week, the same can be submitted. You can choose to have an approval mechanism for time sheets.

If time sheets require approval, submitted time sheets will wait at approving manager's desk. And approving manager has right to approve or reject time sheets. Notifications are sent on submission, approval/ rejection of time sheets. If time sheets does not require approval, all submitted time sheets are considered approved on submission.


1. Enable Timesheet feature

Under "Settings", you can choose to enable time sheet or disable Time module completely by choosing appropriate option. After time sheet is enabled, save settings to choose whether you require approval flow or not and to set minimum work hours per week. By default, it is set at 45 hours.

2. Create Chargeable codes and Non-chargeable codes

Under settings, click on "Configure Lists".

In the following screen, select appropriate list name to define codes.

After selecting appropriate type, click on "Add a new item" to add list values. After adding, you will be provided with an option to reorder the list the way you would like to see them in the drop down while entering time.

3. Set Approving Manager for each user

Select Approving Manager for each user by editing user. On submitting time sheets, approving manager, on his login, will get list of time sheets waiting for approval.

4. Linking Chargeable codes to "Service Type"

This is an advanced option, where you can link chargeable codes to service types. Doing so, for a given service, depending on its service type, chargeable codes will appear accordingly for every time entry. To link, go to "Settings" >> "Configure Categories". Click on "Edit" against a service type to link chargeable codes to that service type.

Important Note

You need to enable "Timesheets" to see/ access time that was captured earlier. 
Changes you will notice are:
  • Each timelog is considered to be chargeable
  • Each timelog will be part of a timesheet
  • Each time sheet till date is approved by default
  • All time logs till date are grouped under "General" chargeable code.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Security is very subjective

We keep repeating to all our friends, family and clients that internet security at their premises is not difficult to get compromised. Few people argue they have best firewalls and best wi-fi settings, but we persist to make them understand.

Recently I came across this interesting article that says "Google knows nearly every 'Wi-Fi' password in the world". Even WPA2 encryption or long random passwords offer no protection and easy to break. And with current news of NSA, CIA and FBI are tracking everybody's data, you will never know if your Wi-Fi passwords are already known to many others than just you. Go read this article  to know more.

What is important to understand with respect to security is that its only as secure as your weakest link. The data bleed can happen anywhere in the chain of connections from your harddisk to the servers that you access and work with. The primary reason why we built Papilio on top of the AWS infrastructure is the confidence that they give us with respect to security.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Happy Independence Day

The individual may die for an idea; but that idea will, after his death, incarnate itself in a thousand lives. That is how the wheel of evolution moves on and the ideas and dreams of one nation are bequeathed to the next - Netaji

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

On top, as always.

We are proud. Really proud to announce an important metric. As you all know, Papilio is a cloud based practice management system. Being on cloud, we have to make sure Papilio is available, always. There is no compromise on that. We work extensively on making sure you have uninterrupted access to your work (we call it virtual office). 

And in this half of the year, we achieved it and we would love to share this news with you all. We have a goal of achieving 99.99% availability. And, our continuous effort in making it happen, we are proud to share with you this beautiful number. As per our up-time tracker (we use host-tracker), this year, until now, we reached best score possible. You guessed it right. 100%

We met our goal. In fact, we surpassed it. We are pretty confident, we are in elite league of service providers in providing such availability. Thanks to the team who made it happen.

We love to provide this level of service for ever and thank you for being part of it and giving us the opportunity to serve you better.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Keynote from ICAB Conference

Proud to see a pioneer like CA Guru Prasad M, from Guru & Jana talking about the need for technology in a country like Bangladesh which is budding.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Working with tasks made simpler

For an executive, completing a day's work is made simpler. All actions that can be performed with in a service can now be performed in completely changed "My Tasks" page.

Tasks can be viewed either by service or by due date. If tasks are viewed "By Due Date", all pending tasks till current weekend are displayed in chronological order. To view pending tasks, choose a client (or enter client name if you are part of active services of more than five clients). All tasks of multiple services related to this selected client will be displayed.

As highlighted in the image above, multiple actions like - file uploading, linking, time log entry, commenting and completing a task can be performed in one page for multiple services. To see all tasks within a tasklist, simply uncheck "Show only tasks assigned to me". 

Hope you like this new feature. Please drop in your comments or suggestions on how we can improve it further.