Archive for July 2014

Dispelling Myths about Professional Services Automation, Reporting and Analytics

July 15, 2014

When I look over all the member inquiries I’ve received in the last year, it is no surprise that CRM and knowledge management top the list. But you may be surprised to hear that my #3 FAQ from TSIA members is professional services automation (PSA). Companies want to know exactly what modules are included, who the top players are, key selection criteria, ROI model, etc. According to my annual Global Technology Survey, 57% of B2B technology companies have budget for PSA in 2014-2015, which explains why inquiry volumes are so high.

This Thursday I’m doing a webinar with TSIA Partner Planview at 10am PT about the myths surrounding PSA tools, reporting and analytics. Specifically, we are going to talk about:

  • A project management tool or an elaborate spreadsheet is good enough to run a services P&L. When I survey companies about PSA, a large percentage are using home grown tools based on Excel, or a project management tool. PSA covers three modules: resource management, project management, and project accounting. You won’t get all of these capabilities in Excel or MS Project.
  • It’s OK for resource management tools to be totally separate from business reporting and analytics tools. If you really want to improve utilization rates, you need to introduce analytics into resource scheduling. Every staffing decision can be made to balance experience, skills, certifications, billable rates, utilization rates, etc.
  • Professional Services Automation & Service Resource Planning are just for consulting engagements. I’ll share some PSA data about the shift away from “pay as you go” custom projects, which are less common in a cloud world. Also, I’m seeing PSA tools used beyond the PS organization, including education services, field service and managed services.
  • Getting executive and team buy-in is very difficult. I hear this at conferences. Consultants enamored with mobile tools and the promise of higher utilization rates say, “My manager will never go for it.” And executives wanting project insight and real-time dashboards say, “My consultants will never adopt it.” Unlike SFA, which sales management loves and sales reps tend to hate, PSA has value for everyone. I’ll also share some tips on ensuring adoption.

I’ll also share some data from the PS benchmark showing that companies adopting PSA have better performance in key areas, including better project margins, lower field costs and improved billable rates. Here’s the link to register for the webinar: If you aren’t able to attend, go ahead and register. We’ll send you a link to an OnDemand recording of the live event you can watch at your leisure.  Hope to see you Thursday, and as always, thanks for reading!