Nov 2, 2022 | Accounting, Customer Experience, Estimate & Forecast, Professional Services Automation, Project Management, Resource Management, Time & Execution
Ever find yourself without the right tool for a job?
Maybe the screw fell out of your glasses, but you don’t have one of those tiny screwdrivers you need to replace it. You try the edge of your credit card, a thumb tack from the wall, a paper-clip you bent into a point.
Maybe you find a solution, or maybe you don’t. Either way, it’s annoying. Plus, it takes far more time, energy, and effort to fix than it would if you had the right tool.
What To-Do Lists Are (And Are Not) Good For
The difference between project management and basic to-do lists is huge, yet it is a difference that’s often misunderstood. Post-it notes. Moleskine notebooks. Day-planners. Google docs. Any of the hundreds of organizational apps you can download to your phone. These are all versions of to-do lists. They can be very good at organizing individual projects, and there’s nothing wrong with keeping a running list of personal to-do items. However, basic to-do lists are not good for team projects because they fail to provide the one thing every team needs to keep a project moving forward: Visibility.
If you’re managing a team, it’s vital that you understand what everyone is working on. But if everyone on your team is working from his or her own personal to-do list, you’ll have little visibility into what’s actually happening on your team most of the time.
5 Problems Faced By Teams Using Basic To-Do Lists
1. Inability to Plan
When everyone is working off their own lists, you have zero visibility of what’s getting done, what’s not getting done, who’s going to do what next, or what resources might be available to meet an unexpected need if one arises.
2. Inability to Adjust to Changing Demands
Projects rarely go from start to finish without a few changes to the overall requirements. If you’re not working from a team-based project management system, you’ll have to pull everyone together, see where everyone is on their tasks, then figure out what work needs to continue, what needs to change, and what can be stopped completely.
3. Anxiety About Deadlines
Project managers are in charge of getting projects done. But when you don’t know exactly when different parts of a project are going to be complete, it’s difficult to be confident that your project will get done on time. Will the different team members get their part of the project done? Will you have to bug them about it as their individual deadlines come due? That uncertainty can easily lead to feelings of anxiety for project managers.
4. Frustration Between Project Managers and Team Members
It’s no fun to be a project manager who has to constantly bug team members about tasks, deadlines, or overdue deliverables. Likewise, if you’re a team member struggling to complete your part of a project, the last thing you need is an email from your project manager with the subject line “Status?” This kind of “project management by status update” process can quickly become a source of tension between employees and managers.
5. Fire Drills
Your team is working on a project. But your boss just came in with something urgent. Does your team have the bandwidth to complete the task? How long will it take? Will it require overtime? What will be the impact on the other projects your team is working on? Without a clear view of your team’s activities, these questions won’t be easy to answer.
Here’s How a Project Management Software Can Help…
In teams with a good project management system, the status of everyone’s work is easy to see. The project manager will have reliable, easy-to-use project management software and will be able to see everything that’s happening with your projects. If you sell consulting as a service, you’ll also be able to use professional services automation (PSA) to see and schedule the resources your company has available to deliver your services. It’s no fun to work on a team where everyone feels like there’s too much to do and not enough time to do it. If you know the frustration of trying to keep your team on track without a good project management system, there are tools that can help.
Project management software will help your team work smarter, together. We hope you’ll consider trying ours, which can help any team get more work done in less time with less stress for everyone.
Aug 15, 2022 | Accounting, Analytics & Reports, Charts & Reports, Customer Experience, Estimate & Forecast, Klient Services, Project Management, Resource Management, Security & Privileges, Software Integration, Time & Execution
New innovations provide professional services organizations the easiest way to manage differentiated services with one unified platform.
Klient Software, a leading provider of professional services automation software delivering an intuitive and modern solution for professional services organizations today announced the latest release of Klient PSA, built 100% native on the leading cloud platform from Salesforce.
Introducing the Next Generation of Professional Services Automation
Klient PSA provides service organizations with a flexible, modern professional service platform that is quick to set up, easy to learn and can be customized to meet their needs today and in the future. New innovations for Klient PSA include:
It provides brand new functionality to easily search and compare both internal and external resources with an intuitive kanban style interface, comparing and filtering resources based on criteria including availability, rates, skills, teams, locations, practice and more – enabling resource planners to search, compare, and propose multiple resources for further evaluation or booking to projects. New Effort-Based scheduling allows resource planners to schedule based on percentage of work – taking into consideration any caps on project hours or time periods.
The enhanced proposal management module enables the synchronization of project data back to the project after proposal updates or versions have been created – automatically synchronizing changes including resources, rates, costs, billing, and more. Now you can create a Contract with a click of a button directly from a Proposal, including the creation of contract lines and project billing.
The new contract module delivers a complete contract management solution to track service contracts including contractual agreements, project billings and revenue methods, with the ability to create any number of contract lines to support multi-billing project scenarios or contracts that make up multiple projects with various billing and revenue models.
Punch Time Reporting – the latest release includes support for punch time entry – including the ability to automatically track clock in/outs on project and tasks, options for editing of punches, and complete support for mobile time entry to include punch time reporting.
The latest release include several new configuration enhancements including custom fields on layouts, summarization of multi-project invoices, support for line item taxation,
Enhanced expense processing for those customers using multi-currency processing, now displaying the Exchange Rate used on the transaction with the ability for the user to override the posted Exchange Rate with the actual exchange rate imposed at the time of incurring the expense.
New and enhanced integrations now deliver a seamless and real-time synchronization of project and billing data with 3rd party accounting and productivity suites including Sage Intacct, Sage Live, Oracle NetSuite OpenAir, Xero, QuickBooks, Microsoft NAV, Zendesk, Slack, and JIRA.
Curious to see Klient PSA in action?
Looking for a Klient PSA deep dive? Schedule a free demo with our team.
Jan 29, 2020 | Accounting, Budget, Customer Experience, Project Management
Even the most world-class Professional Services Organizations (PSOs) with the best project managers and service team members will encounter problematic projects every once in a while.
When this happens, projects can run over budget and clients can become frustrated if the service team doesn’t turn the project around and get things back on track.
If you find yourself with a project that seems like it’s derailing quickly, here’s some steps you can take to resolve the issues, get the project back on track, and deliver a successful and complete project that will keep your client satisfied with the service you provided:
1. Identify the problem areas
When a project starts to derail, the first step is to identify what the problem is. Maybe your service team has hit a roadblock where they’re waiting on a piece of information from the client. Or perhaps there is a technical difficulty that needs to be resolved by another department within your organization, such as the IT department. Maybe the project was incorrectly scoped during the sales process and your service team is unable to deliver a complete project with the allotted hours dedicated to project implementation.
Whatever the problem may be, identifying it allows you to step back and look for a resolution to the problem. This is where a project manager should take control and resolve the issues at hand in order to get the project back on track.
A Professional Services Automation (PSA) Software can help a project manager identify and resolve project issues, because it helps provide a clear picture of the entire project lifecycle. Part of monitoring a project for success requires tracking a project’s estimate-at-completion against its budget. Doing so, acts like an early warning indicator, alerting project managers when a specific aspect of a project may have taken more effort than intended. For this to be effective, however, project managers need to maintain accurate resource management projections and visibility into the project in real-time. Using a PSA software can easily enable a project manager to do this.
2. Resolve the issues by making necessary adjustments
When you’ve identified that there’s a problem with the project, the worst thing you can do is hope that it will correct itself along the way and everything will work out in the end. If it seems unlikely that a project will be completed on time and on budget, that will most likely be the case unless you step in early and make adjustments in key result areas.
Some project managers will assume that a tiny setback will not have a large impact on the completion of the project. This may be true in some circumstances, however, tiny setbacks can often add up throughout the lifecycle of the project which means it is the responsibility of the project manager to adjust for these discrepancies and keep the project moving along smoothly.
One tactical action that project managers can take is to identify the project’s key result areas, also known as critical success factors in project management. These are the big-bucket items that must be completed on time and to a high degree of quality in order to achieve project success. Much like an intricate game of chess, project managers can shift around priorities to accommodate for discrepancies in the project’s plan.
For example, if you know that a client is more budget-conscious than time-sensitive, you may be able to play around with resource utilization in project management. You might trim the team to stick to the budget but at the expense of time to market. If scope or quality are factors that can be adjusted, you may be able to make small reductions that don’t jeopardize the ultimate goal of the project while still achieving your key result areas.
3. Include the client in the discussion as adjustments are being made
There’s nothing that will frustrate your client more than being told at the last moment that the team has used up all of the allocated hours for the project and the work hasn’t been completed, especially if the client was under the impression that things were running as planned. If your client has a strict budget for the project or a non-negotiable date for project completion, they will not be happy if they find out at the eleventh hour that there are issues with the project plan.
As soon as the problem has been identified by the project team, and suggestions for making adjustments have been decided on by the project manager, the client should be made aware of the adjustments that are proposed and sign-off with their approval of the changes to the project plan.
This transparency provides the client visibility into the project and ensures that they are less likely to feel blindsided later on if there are unexpected costs associated with their project, or timelines have shifted.
4. Use data and insights from problematic projects to ensure future projects run more smoothly
Sooner or later every project team will face a problematic project. Hopefully by taking the steps above you can turn a project around and successfully deliver a project that meets your client’s satisfaction, however, the best PSOs will learn from their mistakes and use the lessons they learn from problematic projects to make future projects run smoother.
A PSA software with functionality for creating detailed reports of projects, can help PSOs plan for better success in the future by using project data to understand where improvements can be made. In addition, a PSA software with the ability to send surveys for client feedback and create communities for clients to have visibility into a project can help you get a better understanding of what your clients are looking for and how to do better in the future. Project Health Check Statuses will allow you to quickly see your most successful and least successful projects and empower you to make changes where needed.
Sep 24, 2019 | Customer Experience
Today’s professional services organization (PSO) landscape is changing—employees are harder to recruit and retain, a globalized marketplace increases competition for clients, clients want more for less, and management can no longer afford to be focused on short-term firefighting instead of long-term strategy.
As a result, PSOs are shifting from a project-focus to a customer-focus, with an increased emphasis on ensuring client satisfaction throughout the entire lifecycle of a project. This means keeping customers happy from the time the sale is made, right through until project completion and go-live.
But how do you know if your client is truly satisfied with the entire service delivery process? One way services organizations today are staying on top of customer satisfaction, is by using customer health check statuses throughout a project’s lifecycle, in order to monitor customer sentiment and feedback at every step along the way.
What is a Customer Health Check Status?
A Customer Health Check Status is a means of assessing the health of a project in terms of meeting customer expectations, staying on budget, achieving project milestones and timelines, etc.
Most companies will track customer health check statuses using customer health scores. While every company calculates theirs differently, the important thing is to have a health score methodology that helps your company align your customer success processes with the outcomes you’re trying to drive with your customer base. However, if you’re not using a health score calculation method that uses predictive analytics, you’re falling behind many customer success pacesetters.
Why is a Customer Health Check Status important?
While there are many reasons a PSO may wish to track customer health, TSIA typically views 3 use cases for health check statuses:
1. Predict Customer Churn
Helpful categories to look at here can range from detailed product adoption analytics, such as knowing how many times a customer is logging into your application, or even the process it takes to complete a task. You could also have extremely high-level categories, such as a report of how many times a customer has attended an education session or has consumed some kind of formal training.
Knowing these key metrics can help you predict if a customer is likely to continue adopting your product or service and renew with your organization in the future.
2. Predict Expansion
It is just as important to know when your customers need more help, and there is nothing wrong with selling them more technology and services during their journey toward accomplishing their desired outcome. Like a good doctor, organizations focused around Customer Success should think about prescribing the next logical step in their customer’s journey with the goal of achieving progress and ultimately some success against a quantifiable and measurable business outcome. In some cases, this would require additional technology and services from either your company, or another third party.
The question is, do you know when it’s the right time to do this, and do you have the predictive ability to do so? Customer Health Check Statuses can help with this.
3. Predict Your Customer’s Business Outcomes And Use Their Feedback To Improve
The next logical step in the customer success continuum will be to use predictive analytics and feedback methodology to dynamically engage with your customers along their journey. As their organization adopts your product or service, monitor their feedback and suggestions along the way and use the information they provide you as a way to improve and help their business achieve greater success in the future.
PSA Tools and Customer Health Check Statuses
In order to easily monitor customer health scores, more and more services organizations are selecting Professional Services Automation (PSA) tools with customer health check statuses built into the functionality of the platform.
For example, Klient PSA offers the ability to create and deliver project and customer surveys including NPS, CSAT, or free-form surveys to analyze client feedback and sentiment, learn from project engagements, and help build long-term customer advocacy to increase retention and expand selling.
It also offers health check statuses throughout the project so that project managers and customers can visually see if a project is on track. Plus, with customer and partner communities, Klient PSA users can easily collaborate and engage directly with customers and partners for project success. This includes the ability to share project status information, work directly on projects and tasks, enable partner time & expense entry, share client invoices and more.
By increasing communication between the customer and the services delivery team, and by offering opportunity for customer feedback at every stage of a project, services teams can ensure they are meeting customer expectations throughout the entire lifecycle of a project and fostering strong customer health scores.
How Customer Health Check Statuses can Ultimately Improve Services Delivery
By listening to feedback from customers and identifying areas where things didn’t go as planned, or where projects were misaligned with customer expectations, services organizations can adjust and make improvements for the future.
A strong customer-centric PSA tool can support this by offering integrated customer feedback to ensure the project team understands how the customer is feeling and can take action if the client is unhappy at any point throughout the project. Plus, forecasting and reporting functionality in a customer-centric PSA allows for informed decision-making that will empower management to develop a business strategy that will keep customers satisfied for years to come.
Aug 21, 2019 | Customer Experience, Professional Services Automation, Resource Management, Salesforce PSA, Services Businesses, Success, Task Management, Team Collaboration
Services organizations depend on team collaboration for success.
Between connecting the Services team members themselves, to cross-departmental collaboration with other teams in the organization (Sales, Support, Accounting, etc.), to ongoing communication with the client, there is no shortage of people that need visibility into a project and its status.
A Professional Services Automation (PSA) software with functionality that fosters team collaboration can make it easier for Services organizations to support open communication with internal and external stakeholders throughout the entire lifecycle of a project.
Communication Among The Services Team Members
Services teams need to communicate and collaborate amongst themselves in order to manage projects efficiently and effectively.
PSA software offers features that make it simple for Services teams to create visibility within their department and increase communication. Some of these features include project management, resource planning, and time and expense management. A sophisticated Gantt chart with functionality including full inline editing, rapid task creation, drag-drop of task sequence, quick predecessor creation by wbs or task name, task scheduling directly from the Gantt, configurable columns display, split-pane, and much more deliver an exceptional experience for managing projects and ensuring teams are on the same page when it comes to project deadlines.
In addition, choosing a PSA solution that integrates with the tools that organizations are already using to communicate can drastically improve team collaboration. Integration with Slack for example, is becoming increasingly important for organizations selecting a PSA software, because it allows teams to manage projects and services directly from within Slack. A PSA like Klient Software, for instance, allows users to view projects and tasks, drill into project and task details including project profitability and financials, create new project and tasks, as well as enter time worked against projects and tasks directly from within Slack.
Communication Across Departments
The most successful services organizations also work hard to improve communication across various departments within the business. Repeatable project delivery success relies on close collaboration between the sales team, the project delivery organization, the finance function and the client. PSA provides a single, trusted platform to manage deal scoping, deliver projects and track financials that improves outcomes for all parties and builds stronger customer relationships.
A PSA built on Salesforce, for example, can boost communication and transparency between your Sales and Services teams. This can drastically improve project scoping and estimating. And, by integrating with various accounting and ERP applications, a PSA software can succeed in aligning the accounting department with sales and services as well.
Communication With The Client
Perhaps most importantly, communication with the client is imperative to driving repeat business and creating long-term customer relationships.
PSA software enables better client collaboration throughout the life of an engagement, significantly improving the likelihood of the project being delivered in line with customer expectations. PSA formalizes the process of engaging the services team in the sales cycle, which promotes confidence on both sides that the project will be delivered as sold. During the delivery of the project, customer communication can take place in real-time, quickly resolving issues as they arise.
Krow Software, recently announced survey functionality for their PSA solution which goes a step further in fostering collaboration between the project team and the client. With Krow PSA, you can now create and deliver project and customer surveys including NPS, CSAT, or free-form surveys to analyze client feedback and sentiment, learn from project engagements, and help build long-term customer advocacy to increase retention and expanding selling.
Why A Customer-Centric PSA Is Best For Team Collaboration
A Customer-Centric PSA is designed with customers at the core, providing a way for project teams to work with each other, and hand-in-hand with customers from sales through service delivery.
Klient PSA offers a modern and seamless customer experience, fully transparent communication between the project team and client to ensure alignment of expectations with real-time two-way communication, integrated customer feedback through survey tools and project health check statuses, and real-time integration with back-office systems for more successful project implementation and greater customer success.
Jul 23, 2019 | Customer Experience, Klient Services, PSA Growth
Every business wants to grow quickly, but not all are equipped to support fast-paced growth while still operating successfully.
For services businesses, growing quickly is a great sign because it means the service you’re providing your clients is resonating with them, solving their problems, and they’re likely telling others they know that you can solve their problems as well.
However, if your services business doesn’t have the tools needed to handle fast growth, sooner or later the business will suffer because you won’t have the bandwidth to continue providing the same high quality service that made you popular to begin with.
So what are the top performing services organizations doing to tackle challenges, win business, and retain customers? What are they doing to support growth, optimize resource management, automate billing, and improve reporting? Here are a few strategies that services businesses can use to support growth and continue to succeed as they gain more customers:
Be Able To Effectively Manage Multiple Projects At Once
As your business grows, your employees are going to be busy and likely have multiple projects on the go at once. Having a tool that can help them manage these projects more efficiently will be key to their success.
A Professional Services Automation (PSA) solution will allow for better resource management, time & expense management, services CPQ, and team collaboration. All of which will empower your team to manage projects successfully and deliver services that will keep your customers happy.
Integrate And Streamline The Back-Office
When you add new services and billing models, you need a billing system that is agile enough to support them, while keeping billing cycles fast and efficient. Manual, inflexible back-office processes can only cause slow billing cycles, costly mistakes, and frustrated customers.
Ideally, you want a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system where sales creates new opportunities, a Professional Services Automation (PSA) solution where your services team tracks and manages their projects, and then a fully integrated back office system that supports everything from the opportunity all the way through to customer renewal and revenue recognition that passes data seamlessly with your CRM and PSA.
Routinely Survey Your Customers and Ask For Feedback
Another way the best professional services organizations support fast-paced growth is by asking for feedback from their customers and using the information they collect from their responses to make smarter business decisions for the future.
With a PSA solution like Klient PSA your project teams can send surveys to their customers right from the platform, and their responses will be stored in the product as well.
By creating and delivering project and customer surveys including NPS, CSAT, or free-form surveys to analyze client feedback and sentiment, businesses can learn from project engagements, and help build long-term customer advocacy to increase retention improve customer satisfaction.
Is Your Service Business Equipped to Support Fast-Paced Growth?
If not, implementing a Professional Services Automation (PSA) solution with a wide breadth of features and functionality, as well as the ability to seamlessly integrate with the other applications your business uses, could help you grow with more ease and efficiency.
Schedule a discovery call with our Klient expert to find out.