Resource Management: What Facebook and Professional Service Firms have in Common

Facebook has recently conquered another huge milestone. The social network corporation just achieved the title of fourth most valuable company in the world, dethroning Exxon Mobil. It is nothing new that people simply loves Facebook. But why would an executive at a professional services firm care about the success of this giant? The answer is simple. Think about Facebook’s biggest asset: its users, people like you and me. Conversely, think of the biggest asset for any professional services organization? No doubt its people. With that in mind, we analyze how Facebook and a high-performance professional services organization use similar resource management strategies to keep their people happy.

Facebook utilizes mathematical algorithms to figure out what each of its users is interested in based on age, gender, geographical location, and even the amount of time they’re in a serious relationship. Meaning that based on your activity, Facebook makes sure you get the kind of entertainment you are interested in on your News Feed, as well as a highly targeted ad offering. And that is one of the biggest reasons why people get so much enjoyment out of that social network, and why Facebook gets so much money out of businesses all over the world that want to advertise their products there: because of advanced technology.

In turn, a successful professional services organization will usually acquire a powerful professional services automation (PSA) solution that also uses mathematical algorithms to give the firm’s resource managers clear visibility into the company’s patterns of availability, utilization rates, and resourcing and approval workflows. More than that, skilled resource managers will utilize their PSA software to view and make informed decisions based on each resource’s education, experience, certification levels, and other attributes. That process will ensure that the right people are assigned to the right project at the right time, thus increasing the company’s profitability and employee satisfaction levels.

Circling back to Facebook, not every aspect of the platform is handled by formulas, but instead by a combination of mathematical algorithms along side real people providing emotional context to the content. For example, the old “Like” button which only allowed users to either “like” a post or not interact with it at all was switched to the new “Reactions” button. This allows users to display five additional emotions such as “funny” or “sad” with regard to the content. That improvement was made because Facebook was hearing feedback for a long time from its users claiming that not every post was “likeable”. By supplementing the network’s mathematical algorithms with human reactions Facebook has enhanced their user and content matching. That is just one of the spheres in which humans are deeply needed to keep the giant networking site working.

Likewise, effective resource managers have the duty to take into account the human shades influencing what would otherwise be a perfectly planned project. Perhaps the resource wants to take this project as an opportunity to learn a new skill, and thus needs more time to complete a certain task. Maybe the client is known to be extra-demanding about the work they commission and it would be better to pick a senior resource rather than a junior team member for the task. In short, tactful resource management does not simply mean looking at the numbers. It’s looking at the people being managed that makes the difference.

The best professional services organizations will utilize a PSA software as a support system for their intelligent resource management team. They will analyze how far they need to push automation, and when to intervene with a human touch. The integration between PSA software and resource managers has proven to be the best possible strategy for professional services firms, as the integration between mathematical formulas and listening to users has proven itself a winning game for Facebook.

Facebook certainly leads the pack when it comes to user management. For PSA software there are some clear leaders of the game as well. Figuring out who is who in the professional services game is among the goals of an annual survey conducted by Service Performance Insight. Based on the independent 2016 Professional Services Maturity Model Benchmark Survey, we can begin to spot some trends among vendors in the marketplace. We’re proud to note that Projector, the PSA tool we develop, was the only solution with a 4.75 out of 5 average satisfaction grade. And that comes as no surprise, seeing as our users also rated us the most effective resource management tool, had the fastest staffing workflows, and enjoyed the highest billable utilization.

Based on the Professional Services Maturity Model Benchmark Survey, we at Projector have come up with a fast way for professional services firms to benchmark their own performance. Just fill out your company’s information in our performance scorecard and instantly get feedback on how your firm (and your PSA) compare when it comes to the effectiveness of your resource management process:

If you’re looking for a PSA system designed to complement your resource manager’s work in an efficient and scalable way, check out Projector. Also, don’t forget to like our Facebook page so we can sneak in your News Feed with information that is useful to you!

Projector PSA Logo 2020