As a project manager or a business leader, how could I improve project performance?
The above question seems to be the proverbial Achilles’ heel for project managers and business leaders alike – and more so during project and personal performance evaluation! While a PSA Software could be a great enabler to project teams, it is important to understand the constituents of project performance – be it projects for professional services or for the IT industry.
Project performance dimensions are different for the customer and the performing or delivery organization. The project manager and the team must focus on both aspects. Subsequently, your PSA Software must be capable of addressing the project performance parameters of both the parties.
Let us start with the performing or delivery organization.
Project performance could be reviewed at different levels including:
- Deliver business value through defined scope and quality parameters.
- Meet the project timelines and key milestones.
- Optimize resources deployed.
- Optimize procurement needs.
- Deliver to project budget and optimizing costs.
- Proactive risks management.
- Effective issues management.
- Timely revenue recognition, avoiding revenue leakage, invoicing, and cashflow management.
- Communicate project progress and forecast to stakeholders.
- Ensure stakeholder satisfaction.
Opportunity-to-CASH Cycle of Professional Services Business.
An excellent online Project Management Software enables project performance holistically all aspects of project management for a professional services organization.
- Project Planning
- With an online PSA Software project teams could convert project scope into a work breakdown structure (WBS) at varying levels of granularity as needed. Taking the WBS further, a project management software supports creation of a robust schedule by incorporating task relationships, milestones, lags & leads, and constraints to indicate the project critical path. The critical path shown in an online PSA Software for IT Companies improves project performance by enabling the project team to focus on the activities that impact the project timelines.
- To the project schedule, a professional services automation software offers capabilities to assign resources based on skills, competency, & experience matrix and costs keeping in mind resource utilization levels and project budgets, respectively. Visibility into the right resource availability along with their cost structure are critical to project delivery and cost optimization.
- Project teams must carefully plan revenue recognition that are associated with important deliverables and milestones. An online Professional Services Automation Software offers capabilities to link milestones with automated revenue recognition and invoice generation. Additionally, a PSA Software for IT Companies ensures comparison between revenue recognition and targeted revenue as per sales proposal / contracts.
- To ensure that the project is protected from uncertain events, an online PSA Software supports superior project performance by creating Risk Breakdown Structures, documenting risks along with response strategies & plans, risk owners, and timelines.
- Project teams must know their commitments to customers with respect to scope, timelines, and costs – this would allow them to compare their performance and suggest corrective or preventive actions. Online Professional Services Automation Software allow project teams to baseline project schedule and costs.
- Project Execution
- To manage project execution successfully, project managers must have insights multiple dimensions such as:
- Deliverable progress and completion percentage.
- Whether deliverables meet quality specifications.
- Whether project schedule is on track.
- Whether project costs are under control and profitability intact.
- Capturing actual effort and costs via timesheets.
- Reasons for any task delay.
- Changes to the severity of any risks.
- Ensuring revenue recognition based on pre-set rules.
- Invoice generation and cashflow analysis.
Having a Professional Services Automation software ensures efficient as well as accurate project progress assessment. With data integrity and timely alerts, notifications, and analytics, managerial decision-making becomes immaculate.
3. Project Closure:
During this project stage, managers must ensure customer acceptance of deliverables, document lessons learned, data archival, and final invoicing. Managers can rely on an online Project Management Software to make this process feel like a breeze by digitizing the project documentation and customer acceptance processes.
What about the customer?
Whether the customer is from a Professional Services or the IT industry, projects are approved based on alignment with strategic goals. The project performance for the customer starts with delivering ‘business value.’ Business value could mean first-mover advantage in their market, increased market share, improved productivity & efficiency, etc. To assess whether the project delivers business value, professional services customers focus on ‘business outcomes’ of the project, which could be delivery against quality, timelines, compliance, etc. Going a step further, customers review the ‘process outcomes’ that drive the business outcomes. Finally, process outcomes are directly influenced by ‘consistent practices.’
Let us connect the dots.
Now what do customers expect when undertaking projects in a hyper-competitive business world?
‘Predictability’ as much as possible!
A top-of-the-line online PSA Software supports customer value delivery in a predictable manner through a dedicated Customer Portal that offers capabilities including:
- A real-time view of the project progress being delivered by the delivery organization.
- Ability to share of relevant project-related documents.
- Seek clarifications on the status of deliverable, issues, etc.
- Escalate matters that require immediate attention.
- Delivering analytics and push-based alerts, and notifications based on business-rules defined.
To summarize, a top-class Online Professional Services Automation Software such as TouchBase adds value to both customers and delivery organizations that undertake projects in the professional services and IT industry by ensuring that projects:
- Are managed holistically.
- Support digital transformation.
- Offer One version of project management truth.
- Deliver growth and profitability.