Cetrus Blog

Project Association

Posted by Erik Hoogerhuis on Jul 19, 2016 7:37:55 PM

This is the third post in a series of use cases for application use data. In this post, we’ll look at the three ways that associating application use to a project can impact organization revenue and efficiency.

Use association is necessary to support the following business cases:

  • License use for reimbursement
  • Application use for consultant time tracking
  • Resource allocation

First, let’s define use association. When a user launches an application, Process Meter, a real-time use monitoring solution, can easily identify who the user is, what the application is and the application status (active or inactive). If an organization wants to track use and equate it to a project, it needs to have a way to associate use to a project. Project association can occur without the application user’s involvement by recording the file names opened by the application/s windows. We believe the user has to be involved to ensure the use information is correctly assigned.

Areas requiring user involvement include:

  • What is the Project, Phase, or other attribute information the organization needs to have to ensure accurate association for billing? Automated processes can't necessarily be updated quickly enough to look for and capture changes information. 
  • There are times that a user's activities are not billable
  • Organizations may not have or enforce a consistent naming convention marking automated association unreliable.

Once we have the ability to associate use, we need a business reason to do so. Depending on the organization, the reported information can provide the following business benefits:

  • For project-oriented firms, such as construction or architecture/design firms, being able to move software license and support costs from overhead to project billable is becoming a requirement. As more specialty applications shift to subscription or “pay-per-use,” such as cloud-based rendering or simulation, customers want to know that they are receiving value for their fees. In addition, the engineering firms want to ensure that costs are passed on to the project and customer for which they are incurred.
  • Creative companies and free-lancers may not charge for application use, but they do need ways to easily associate their time to specific projects and customers. For application-dependent creative workers, time spent on an open application is a very good proxy for the majority of their time. Associating application use to a project thus provides an improved means of helping them quantify their time across simultaneous projects.
  • Managers who need to assign resources to new projects can use historical information to help identify the quantity and skill level of resources likely needed before the project starts, can use the information to help determine where problems might lie in out-of-control projects, and can also benefit from the ability to analyze projects teams for best practice information.


Project association requires real-time monitoring at the point of use to ensure that time and project information is accurately reported and recorded. If you’d like to see how easy it is to implement project association, simply send a note to, or click here to request a free 30 day trial.

Topics: Insider