Project Management Software
The opening lines of the book Good to Great by Jim Collins are extraordinarily grand and shocking. It states:
Good is the enemy of great.
Most companies worldwide are contented by being good. They don’t aspire for greatness – this is true for professional services firms too.
The next obvious question would be – Why don’t enterprises aspire for greatness?
Surprisingly, the answer is simple and straight forward – It is not easy to be great!
So, what is the path to greatness?
Most of your organizational greatness depends on sustained excellence in every functional aspect; the rest depends on your industry or domain.
For professional service firms, it boils down to the execution brilliance or project management skills – on their customer projects.
So how do professional services firms plan for flawless execution – day after day, year after year! The bottom line is – project management must become a habit.
In the words of Aristotle –
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit.”
If professional services firms want to be great, they need to focus on every aspect of their project management some of which could include –
- Project management methodologies – predictive, agile, or hybrid
- Managing schedules, resources, costs, risks, issues, documentation, and others.
- Defining business processes, templates, checklists
- Creating project reports, dashboards, and analytics
Are you wondering – What is the relevance of project management software? Why can’t we do with the good-old Spreadsheets, Word Documents, and Emails?
Spreadsheets, Word Documents, and Emails have their value in a business environment. But it turns out that their strength is the biggest weakness for project management.
Yes, the ‘use-as-you-please’ freedom that comes with Spreadsheets, Word Documents, and Emails is the weakest link while managing projects.
Remember – professional services projects go through a cycle of activities that include – Proposal Creation, Project Funding, Project Initiation, Project Planning, Project Execution & Control, and Project Closure. Every stage has its unique dependencies/relationships and constraints that can not software such as Excel or Word are not designed to handle.
What should decision-makers consider while evaluating and before selecting project management software for professional services projects?
Numerous websites give you ‘advice’ about the ‘right’ project management software for managing ‘your’ professional services projects.
Start with this – visualize what would great project management mean for your professional services enterprise.
Now review your professional services scenarios and our recommendations.
|Professional Services Projects Scenarios||Project Management Software Recommendations|
|1||You are dealing with an unprecedented level of complexity and urgency on your customer projects.||Assess if the approach is ‘solution-oriented’ or ‘features & functionalities’ oriented.|
|2||Your projects involve different levels of requirements uncertainty and change.||Check if the software can manage predictive, agile, and hybrid approaches to project management.|
|3||Your projects involve diverse life cycles based on industry and functional needs.||Review if you need to invest in one software or multiple software.|
|4||You need to configure your project-specific business processes, templates, checklists, documentation, reports, and dashboards.||Understand the product design strategy. Analyze if the software can be configured quickly rather than customized at a high cost.|
|5||You need to go beyond the traditional project management dimensions of scope, schedule, and cost.||Assess if the software covers the end-to-end cycle of project management for the professional services industry – scope, schedule, cost, resources, risks, issues, documentation, procurement, billing, etc.|
|6||You want your teams from different functions as well as your customers and vendors to collaborate with ease.||Understand if the project management software allows seamless collaboration akin to social media.|
|7||You need ‘real’ analytics to drive proactive project decisions.||Verify if simple alerts and notifications are showcased as analytics.|
|8||Your projects use data from multiple sources and must have data integrity – one source of project truth||Validate whether the software can seamlessly integrate with existing enterprise applications such as ERPs, CRMs, HRMS, and Accounting.|
|9||You need to scale up from 10 users to 10,000 users with ease.||Seek inputs about the software design to deal with higher scalability.|
|10||You need the users to accept the software willfully.||Compare the software User Interface and User Experience with best-in-class benchmarks|
|11||You need exceptional change management while you implement the software.||Ask the software provider whether they have a clear change management strategy as part of the product implementation process.|
|12||You want the chosen software to be upgraded based on newer technologies that evolve in the future.||Insist on a software product roadmap to understand whether your software partner has a ‘greatness mindset.’|
Wow, that was a long list! But I am confident that it has opened your vision to a different world of project management software for professional services!
Imagine you running your professional services projects on robust software that meets the criteria listed above. You have eliminated all reasons for your teams not to complain about the inadequacies of your project management software. They should fall in love with such a project management software that they resist managing their professional services projects in any other way!
Do you realize what you have done?
You have changed the project management habits of your teams that it is no longer a process, but a culture! Further, your professional services organization is no longer a set of islands, but they are mini centers of project management excellence that need very little oversight!
Are you wondering why limited oversight?
The chosen project management software has the necessary business processes, protocols, and approvals built-in – you no longer need to manage the process! The software takes care of the process, and the process takes care of your teams!
You are now free to enhance the capabilities of your teams, and consequently, your enterprise!
Isn’t this the purpose of any project management software for professional services?
Well, this is what we at ProductDossier have tried to address through TouchBase, our flagship project management software for professional services.
TouchBase is designed with a single purpose – to build a project management culture for your enterprise.
We are ready to start a conversation.