The Power of Results-Driven Professional Services Automation

 

*This post was updated April 2020*

Projector PSA is solely focused on helping people- and project-centric services firms run more efficiently, successfully, and profitably. This results-driven approach is apparent not only within the core PSA application, but also in our diverse service and support offerings. Projector’s mission statement has led it to become the leading independent PSA solution, and has consistently received the highest level of client satisfaction in the PSA software market.

SPI Research’s latest Professional Services Benchmark has played a major role in measuring the success organizations have achieved by selecting Projector as their professional services software solution. Each year SPI surveys hundreds of world-class professional service organizations (PSOs) ranging from management consultancies to digital agencies to understand how the professional services market is performing.

One of the topics that SPI Research investigates is how top firms are leveraging different tools to manage project delivery, set a resource utilization strategy, and monitor profitability. Since PSA software is the core system PSOs rely on to run their business, the solution a firm uses tends to have a significant impact on a firm’s success. Once SPI segments the data by PSA software vendors the results begin to speak for themselves.

When compared to professional service organizations that rely on other major PSA applications, firms that use Projector tend to have more efficient staffing processes, deliver more projects on time and under budget, and enjoy higher employee utilization, ultimately driving stronger profit margins.

These operational advantages are powered by a chorus of design decisions throughout Projector that provide professional services firms with the visibility they need to understand exactly how their business is performing today, and project what needs to be done to continuously improve their performance in the future.

A PSA System that Delivers Actionable Insights

Every professional services organization that runs on the Projector suite has the opportunity to tailor the visibility the system provides to match the requirements of their services firm, without needing custom development.

On the surface this seems simple, and I suspect you’ll be hard-pressed to find a solution that doesn’t make the same claim. However, once you start picking apart your key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ll find that you think about things just a little bit differently than your peers. This diversity in perspectives is because every PSO measure the exact same thing, differently.

Understanding that your team is a unique operator from the start is core to driving results with your PSA tool. If you have to caveat your numbers or ballpark your estimates, you are leaving a lot of money on the table.

Once you’ve got the metrics figured out, you need to identify the ideal way to communicate mission-critical information to key stakeholders at the proper time. Every person in an organization that utilizes Projector has unprecedented access to the data that is key to their role in growing business.

Consultants and delivery resources can quickly see their schedule, utilization performance, tasks they’re responsible for, or vacation accruals and requests.

Project managers are able to immediately check on the health of their portfolio and drill into problem areas highlighted by a host of KPIs, including budget status, schedule performance, and mid-project profitability. Delivery managers and executives have access to visually compelling dashboards that can be configured to deliver the information they need at just the right level of detail. Projector can also seamlessly integrate information from other business systems to provide a truly consolidated view of the health of an organization.

A PSA Application with Intuitive Data Management

If visibility is the “what”, then project planning and tracking is the “how”. Remarkable results require accurate, granular data.

These are two factors that are often pitted against one another. It’s simple to make a simple interface simple. Yup, you might have to read that sentence twice. If you think about it, the more information you are trying to track the harder it becomes to design intuitive ways to track it.

One way in which Projector balances these two factors is by allowing organizations to choose the level at which they would like to plan, manage, deliver, and measure their projects. Projector lets project managers decide the level of detail they need to deliver their project, whether it is a simple ad-hoc project that just needs a few hours tracked or a complex multi-phased deliverable.

Scheduling

A project’s plan includes its schedule. Experienced service managers know that these are two related, but separate, entities. When it comes time to find the right person for a project, resource schedulers need to balance the talents’ skills and capabilities with their capacity to deliver the work. By using a unique method of lumpy scheduling to model schedule requests, Projector is able to deliver a higher level of resource scheduling precision than what most systems provide. This helps organizations to differentiate between I needing a key employee one day next week, and a specific day (such as Tuesday) next week. Ultimately, Projector’s scheduling tools help PSOs increase their resource utilization by significant margins when compared to their peers.

Time Tracking

The final aspect to getting strong data visibility in a professional services firm is ensuring that every hour worked gets tracked via the time tracking tools. Everybody hates tracking time, I will admit – even writing this sentence made me cringe. I don’t think I’ve ever met a consultant that thought tracking their time was awesome. So instead of shooting for awesome, why don’t we shoot for painless?

Projector has a few very unique aspects to its time tracking tools that help to get the job done fast and efficiently. Projects automatically appear on someone’s time sheet when they’re scheduled to work on them, and they even include planned task hours for each task. Ensuring that each consultant knows what is expected of them is the first step to delivering a project on time and under budget.

Projector also decouples time submission from an individual timesheet, in order to more effectively streamline the time collection process. This means that every time increment is tracked, submitted, and approved independently. If time from project A gets held up in the workflow, why should project B suffer just because it’s on the same timesheet? Many time tracking systems will view the timesheet as a whole because it’s easier for the developers to build, but it’s not in the best interest of the user.

Add each one of these nuanced design decisions together and a professional service organization will start delivering more successful projects. Each year when SPI Research asks service firms what percentage of their projects are delivered over budget, firms running on Projector have performed the best. They enjoy 15%-30% fewer projects delivered over budget when compared to their peers.

A PSA Tool that Supports Your Best Practices

The first step to running a successful professional services firm is having great people. In addition to great people, they also need good processes. Since, Projector’s sole focus is on professional service organizations, best practices are baked into the PSA application. Years of experience solving challenges unique to professional services are evident throughout the application. Projector can answer the questions executives always seem to ask, from flexible workflows that can be configured by business users to pre-built reports and dashboards.

Supporting best practices through software design is essential, but as the business landscape changes, so do the tools and processes that are used. Projector assists organizations adapt to change through Projector’s e3 community,  which maintains an ongoing conversation about how to best balance people, process, and technology to stay competitive. While most software user groups are nothing but outsourced support channels, the Projector e3 community prioritizes thought leadership in addition to training and support. The e3 community provides valuable resources for all Projector users, including round-table discussions with leading executives and detailed workshops highlighting powerful functionality.

A PSA Platform that Delivers Results

Tie it all together—a great tool, excellent services, and world-class support—and it leads to Projector consistently receiving the highest user satisfaction scores in SPI Research’s annual Professional Services Maturity Benchmark. Outperforming other PSA tools’ solution satisfaction by more than 20%, Projector provides a holistic approach to professional services automation.

Focusing on results instead of flashy buzzwords or technology platforms has enabled Projector to become the PSA software solution of choice for PSOs that are serious about moving their metrics. The performance advantage that organizations running on Projector enjoy has been proven out year after year in the SPI Research benchmark.

If you would like additional insight into how Projector drives remarkable results for users, try out our performance scorecard to see how your firm stacks up against the market and organizations that are run on Projector.

Projector PSA logo 2020

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