Our Approach

Create Balance
To Accelerate Growth.

An Actionable View Of Your People, Projects, and Performance

Purposefully Built To Help You Scale.

Projector’s unique approach to balancing the competing priorities within professional services organizations delivers the frameworks to help you scale and the insights to help you grow.

The Projector Framework

When There Is Balance,
There Is Growth.

World-class professional services teams understand that delivering remarkable work isn’t enough. It also takes operational discipline and exceptional talent to remain competitive in an ever-changing landscape.

By balancing the three core pillars of services success—delivery, utilization, and profitability—service teams build a foundation for sustainable and scalable growth. 

Framework_graphic

DELIVERY

On time, under budget, and exceeding expectations—the trifecta of delivery success. Having unprecedented visibility into the past, present, and future of work gives teams the best chance of hitting their mark. 

Without this visibility, sacrifices to resource utilization or project profitability are the cost of bringing a struggling project back to life. 

UTILIZATION

Making the best use of your most precious resource, your people, is a constant focus. Knowing the right person for the right project, and if they have availability, keeps team members productive and engaged.

Without these insights, small staffing changes could have an out sized impact on delivery success or bottom-line profitability.  

PROFITABILITY

The ultimate goal of every service team is to make money. Accessing an accurate and real-time forecast of future project profitability is more powerful than knowing what you earned after the fact. 

Without this context, important decisions are delayed and what could have been a simple fix early on becomes a costly mistake. 

Projector PSA logo 2020

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Resource Scheduling Project Accounting Project Management Advanced Analytics Delivery Utilization Project Profitability Growth Scale Other

Explore ALL the disciplines that Projector can help you with. Common questions will be sorted below.

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A service organization’s talent and potential is ultimately wasted if not properly harnessed, and a service-driven resource scheduling system is essential to allocating a team’s talent efficiently. Based on the independent PS Maturity Model Benchmark by Service Performance Insight, vendors whose users rated their PSA solutions as having more effective resource scheduling tools found that they were able to staff their projects faster than their competitors, resulting in higher billable utilization.

 

Unfortunately, resource management is an element of professional services that many firms struggle to master, which often leads to revenue leakage. Mastering resource management is difficult because it can’t be solved with systems alone. It also can’t be solved — at least not efficiently — with people in isolation. It requires a combination of the right professional services resource management system that’s able to support the right team, all wrapped together with the right process.

 

Projector PSA’s Resource Scheduling Module allows you to pair the right people with the right projects, in turn enabling you to give everyone the same up-to-the-minute information about who’s working on what when. The module gives you easy-to-use tools for the ongoing task of assigning people to projects—and then transforms that day-to-day information into the answers you need about hiring, utilization, revenue, and profitability. Our intuitive, graphical interface is just the beginning; it also combines future resource projections with historical actuals in a single system, giving you great visibility into your entire project’s profitability and performance to budget – even before the project is over. This provides an early warning mechanism that flags potential problems so you can do something about them before it’s too late.

Projector’s PSA software provides a rich toolbox to help organizations improve their resource utilization, including:

 

o    Measurement and analytics tools: Organizations that don’t use a services management tool often run their businesses with a cobbled-together web of interconnected spreadsheets, and different people have different definitions of what resource utilization actually means. In a company that uses Projector’s PSA tool, however, everyone has a common understanding of how resource utilization is measured for that specific business. And, the data of what an individual’s or a group’s utilization actually is can be provided as openly as needed, from the management team down to the individual consultant.

 

o    Staffing and resource management tools: Projector’s scheduling workflow can be configured to allow project managers to request resources, and require resource managers to fulfill or approve those requests. Project managers can search for resources by skills, location, title, or other criteria, as well as by keyword within resumes on file. They can also model staffing needs with precision, down to hours on specific days if desired. Projector provides tools to quickly identify potential candidates matched by acceptability and availability. Automated workflow emails and online alerts keep project managers, schedulers, and team members informed about requests and scheduling changes. Online dashboards provide managers with an intuitive “to-do list” of open resource requests that need to be addressed.

 

o    Capacity planning and management tools: Once an organization is able to model the micro world of individual people and individual projects needs in an accurate, trustworthy manner, managers can take and aggregate together all that granular detail to form a more macro view of supply and demand for people with various skill sets, expertise, certifications, experiences, or geographic locations. Without a system, figuring out answers to these questions is a nightmare of data collection, consolidation, cleansing, and analysis…followed by doubt about its veracity and consistency and continued relevance. With Projector, this information is universally accessible, painless, consistent, accurate, real-time.

Managing fixed price contracts is a source of struggle for many professional services firms. Both private organizations and public companies need to paint a picture of how complete a project is in order to run revenue recognition. In addition, companies need to do so in a manner that is justifiable to its board, shareholders, auditors, and the IRS, all while decoupling the messy worlds of project management and resource scheduling.

 

Recognize revenue too slowly, and you get accused of sandbagging. Recognize revenue too aggressively, and you go to jail. Yet, what if there was a secret to easily and accurately performing revenue recognition for fixed price projects? A world in which you no longer have a series of spreadsheets and whiteboards that tell the “true” mid-month revenue or profitability story but instead, one core operational system that tells you at any point in time where your project stands.

 

Professional Services Automation software should handle the hard work for you in regards to something we, here at Projector PSA, call “Dynamic Revenue Allocation,” or DRA for short. The cool part about DRA is that it’s dynamic. Rather than taking a frozen-in-time snapshot of the last revenue recognition run, DRA continually re-evaluates the world whenever you ask it a question…whether it’s in a dashboard, on a project, or in a report.

With Projector’s Accounting Module, you can seamlessly integrate your financial system with a full project accounting subledger. Use it to go well beyond simple time and expense tracking with powerful invoicing and revenue management. The module manages revenue recognition, expenses, unbilled balances, and other project-related financials – replacing the spreadsheet octopus you may be using to run your business now.

Professional services firms live and die by their ability to forecast revenue. Although there are many types of forecasts that service firms perform—utilization, profitability, or backlog—they all tie into an underlying revenue forecast. Get your revenue forecasting right, and you have an appropriately sized firm that has a healthy service mix. Get your predictions wrong, and you will be under or over staffed in key areas and suffer from low utilization rates, high turnover, or a general lack of direction. This is why revenue forecasts are so important. Unfortunately, they don’t always receive the attention they deserve.

 

There are quite a few different approaches to building a revenue forecast, and in reality, firms will mix and match models to develop the most accurate forecast they can. Regardless of which approach a firm chooses, there is one thing that all professional services firms must do—check their work. Forecasts are only useful if they can be trusted. Professional services firms need to be consistently measuring how accurately they can forecast work. 

Projector’s reports and dashboards consolidate day-to-day scheduling data to show you who’s projected to work on what, who’s available, and who’s overbooked. They also help you understand performance to budget at completion, instead of just performance to date. Projector further gives you the ability to measure the profitability of fixed price projects before they’re complete. As a safeguard, you can set up automated emails to warn you if a project threatens to go over budget.

 

Projector’s Resource Scheduling module gives you a consolidated view of booked and pipeline business. Enter opportunities either directly into Projector, or automatically import them via our pre-built Salesforce connector. With this information, Projector can show factored revenue, profitability, utilization, staffing needs, and even forecast variance modeling, providing you with an unprecedented ability to plan for the future.

Project management deals with the processes of planning, executing, and tracking the delivery of work. This might involve the identification, estimation, and phasing of all the tasks needed to complete the project. It often includes tracking the project’s performance to budget and schedule, as well as facilitating the collaboration that inevitably happens in order to successfully deliver a project.

With an integrated system like Projector, a project manager can use our Project Management module to create a plan for what needs to happen and develop a resource plan describing the people he will need. Staffing needs can flow directly into our Resource Management module where a scheduler can assign the right resources to the project. In the Project Accounting module, the consultant may then see the project  pop up on her schedule and time sheet, where she can start reporting time spent and effort remaining. That data can flow back to the project manager, where he can keep track of performance to schedule and to budget.

Having all this information in a single system also allows it to be combined in interesting ways. If you look at how many hours have been reported to date and add how many hours are still projected, you can get a picture of whether the project will be over budget—before it actually is. That is, in time to actually take some corrective action. You can also see how good your estimates were in the first place by comparing actuals versus projections. This type of integrated visibility is critical to allow the organization to learn from past experiences and continually improve performance.

 

One of the hallmarks of an integrated system like Projector PSA over simple point solutions is our ability to provide multiple views into a single core dataset, each view presented in the right context to the user in the language the user is most familiar with. This is something we call delivering a unified truth.

 

Projector’s Advanced Analytics module provides professional services firms with enhanced capabilities to visualize and analyze their performance from anywhere.

 

The Advanced Analytics module can connect to your own business intelligence (BI) tool to deliver actionable information to your teams, or leverage Projector BI as a turn-key business intelligence solution. 

 

Projector BI has the power to act as a full-fledged business intelligence tool for your services firm. It has the ability to combine information from multiple sources to deliver a single, centralized hub from which information from all your business systems can be consolidated and displayed in visually rich dashboards.

 

By supporting custom formatting, calculations, and data transformations, you can easily view information in a way that makes sense for your business. More importantly, your firm can get started quickly with Projector BI as its default dashboards have been designed specifically for the needs of professional services firms. With views into utilization, capacity, rate realization, backlog, staffing, and financial health you’ll have access to the data you need to run your professional services firm on day one.

 

Our Advanced Analytics module will help you put your data to work. Within the module, you can create highly visual dashboards that are refreshed automatically; calculate custom metrics to match how your organization measures performance; consolidate information from multiple systems; and share performance information across the organization.

PSA software is most commonly portrayed as a tool that catalyzes intelligent growth and extends the life of essential systems as organizations expand and take on more complexity. However, PSA software is equally important when project volume is lean, and the viability of an organization depends on ensuring profitability is maximized for every project. 

 

Industry-focused PSA software is an essential tool for project managers to improve project profitability with the talent at their disposal. Staffing is a critical component of managing profit margins, and setting the correct mix of junior and senior-level staff for different project scenarios can ensure profitability while sustaining premium client service. Visibility into resource scheduling and staffing provides project managers with a comprehensive look at the personnel at their disposal, including their existing capacity, seniority, skill sets, and historical performance in various roles. This knowledge hub enables managers to quickly establish a utilization strategy that can mitigate costs, and load balance across the team without sacrificing project quality.

 

Projector’s software works to address optimizations to pricing and overhead by closely tying project delivery activities with true project accounting capabilities. Project accounting functionality designed specifically for delivery teams provides a comprehensive view of project performance and investments for both completed and ongoing projects. Service leaders can revisit older projects’ profitability metrics to identify optimization opportunities that can be incorporated into current project models, driving greater efficiencies going forward.

 

Our project accounting features also enable project leaders to review the status of live projects in real time, providing ample opportunity to course-correct if the project is trending towards a loss of profit. The capability to review mid-project profitability is essential for services firms feeling pain from marketplace conditions, and plays a critical role in ensuring an organization can retain their talent during down periods.

 

Projector’s technology surfaces information at the organizational level, spanning across a portfolio of projects. It illustrates areas of business success and stagnation, allowing service leaders the ability to confidently assess growth opportunities and areas for efficiencies. This unlocks the ability to react to changes in project volume, client demand, and market shifts in a scalable way.

Because services automation software contributes to every aspect of the delivery process, it should come as little surprise that PSA software can help increase an organization’s delivery and revenue efficiency. From managing the supply and demand of resources to automating the billing and project accounting process, organizations that run on a professional services automation platform are able to do more, with less.

 

As projects are planned, staffing requirements are defined up front and an outline for the types of resources needed for each project takes shape. Whether it involves specific skills, past experiences, geographic location or seniority, once the resource profile is built, it can be compared to the organization’s resource pool to find the closest fit. This process not only helps support healthy utilization levels and balanced workloads, but it also opens up the opportunity for some higher level resource forecasting and analysis. Service managers can easily compare the organization’s resource needs with capacity to identify gaps and influence hiring and staff development decisions—addressing capacity issues early to reduce urgency and allow for a more seamless flow of work.

 

In addition to helping organizations efficiently staff their projects, PSA software also helps streamline each stage of the delivery process. From the start, projects can be created from templates to eliminate time consuming setup work and leverage best practices learned on projects past. For organizations that deliver highly productized services, project templates will often include detailed work breakdowns, budgets, and resource requirements. As projects move into their delivery phases, budgets will be updated automatically as time and expenses flow into the system and resources are able to communicate their progress to managers as they log their work. Throughout every stage of a project, managers are able check on their plans, schedules, or budgets from consolidated dashboards and, in the event a project might be running off course, automatic alerts will be sent out to the management team.

Combine Projector PSA with the accounting, CRM, and project management applications your organization already uses to make one, seamless system.

 

One of the three foundational layers of Projector PSA, the integration layer, liberates your data and gives you the freedom to access it the way you want – so you can get the answers you need, where you need them.

 

All of Projector PSA’s four modules, Project Accounting, Resource Scheduling, Project Management, and Advanced Analytics contain a “slice” of the integration layer that lets you share data with other systems. We intentionally built Projector PSA on an open architecture that provides a set of pre-built connectors and web services to help you do this.

 

Pre-built connectors don’t require custom development or product customizations. If you need to integrate with an application for which we haven’t already built a connector, Projector PSA’s web services will do the trick.

 

The integration layer connects multiple business systems so you can:

 

  • Free your data to move among all your applications so you’re never locked into using outdated technology
  • Extend the life of legacy systems
  • Consolidate key reports in a single system, whether it be Projector PSA or another application you choose
  • Synchronize multiple systems faster with automated feeds
  • Improve accuracy by eliminating manual errors
  • Stop wasting time re-typing the same data into more than one place

One way to improve billable utilization is to implement a process for resource-driven forecasting. Resource-driven forecasts, also known as bottom-up forecasts, allow teams to schedule all of their planned work and match the right resources to projects accordingly, using their best judgement. Planned work includes both projects in the proposal phase and also projects currently underway.

Projector’s Resource Scheduling module gives you easy-to-use tools for the ongoing task of assigning people to projects—and then turns that day-to-day information into the answers you need about hiring needs, utilization, revenue, and profitability. This transparency allows services teams to not only have a clear understanding of the project pipeline but also the ability for resource schedulers to mindfully balance resources across the firm’s project workload.

Once organizations have resource-driven forecasts in place, service leaders should focus on ensuring they have the right-sized company for the amount of work they are performing and the right talent for the type of projects they are delivering. Carefully monitoring utilization rates and resource-driven forecasts provides clarity not only into when to hire but also who to hire to balance supply and demand across both capacity and ability. Service leaders will understand if they need to hire additional resources, maintain their current employee base, or engage with contractors on an ad-hoc basis.

If hiring a full-time employee is not within an organization’s budget, it can be beneficial to supplement with contractors for the time period until there is enough billable work to justify a targeted hire. According to SAP research, 65% of executives find independent, external workers important or very important to their ability to operate at full capacity and meet market demand.

Avoiding unprofitable clients or projects is a primary goal for almost any business. For professional service firms there are two main paths for increasing profitability—expand their portfolio by winning more projects, or streamline their operations. Revenue growth is definitely the sexier of those two options, but without the tools and processes in place to efficiently deliver work, any gains in revenue won’t find their way down to the bottom line.

 

Fixed price projects are both a blessing and a curse for service firms. Managed well, they have the opportunity to produce high margins. One or two miscalculations can cause margins to sink, or worse, go negative. Without strong systems in place managing a portfolio of fixed price projects becomes a gamble instead of a competitive advantage. Service firms that use Projector are able to monitor their fixed price projects closely to spot issues quickly and avoid costly corrective actions. Project managers have a clear view of the actual amount of effort spent to date alongside the projected investment needed to complete the project.

 

Understanding the amount of effort remaining on a fixed price engagement is relatively simple; understanding the amount of revenue that effort represents is more complex. Margins could be strong at the start of the project but start eroding as the latter half of the project slips. Using a method called dynamic revenue allocation (DSRA), service firms can understand how work performed today affects margins weeks or months away. They can then compensate by deploying less costly resources, adjusting the project scope, or negotiating for a change order with the client when things aren’t going according to plan. Regardless of the solution a project manager pursues, having a service automation platform in place helps managers spot issues within projects long before they would otherwise—greatly reducing the cost of corrective actions.

Projector PSA logo 2020

Collected from SPI Research’s annual Professional Services Benchmark

Projector’s Quantifiable Results

When compared to service organizations using other PSA solutions, firms running on Projector just perform better.

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