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.
In the service-based business world, there are countless software solutions that can greatly improve your organization’s ability to get work done for clients.
Many options seem all-encompassing. Others appear to be so niche that they only manage one specific area of your business. It can be hard to focus on what your organization needs and even harder to make a decision.
In an earlier article about the differences between professional services automation (PSA) and project management (PM) software, we explained that a PSA system encompasses PM software and changes the focus from the project to the customer.
Here, we’ll explain the differences between PSA and resource management software — and why the best resource management software lives inside larger PSA systems.
1. Resource Management Software Is Just About Resources
Resource management software — or resource planning software — helps managers schedule their people for optimal utilization and workload distribution. This includes both at-a-glance scheduling and the ability to make changes to schedules on the fly.
However, that’s all resource management software does. Standalone systems aren’t tied into the larger strategy of your services business.
2. Professional Services Automation Includes Many Functions Across Your Business
While resource management software focuses specifically on resources, PSA systems include resource management as one of their many functions. This allows leaders to have greater visibility across the customer journey. It also gives employees easier access to the info they need to produce projects or work your clients will love.
Besides resource management, PSA should also include:
- Calendar management
- Document management
- Expense tracking
- Project management
And that’s not all. Your PSA solution can also come with the familiarity and mobile-readiness of Salesforce.
3. A PSA System Within Salesforce Delivers Even Greater Service
A particularly strong PSA system will be built right within Salesforce, allowing your organization to easily access information across the entire customer journey, from the prospect stage all the way to billing and accounting. That includes seeing how resources fit into that mix, both for planning and for analytics after a project. Any employees already familiar with Salesforce will have an easier time picking up use of a PSA system built within a software solution they already know how to use. And that includes resource management software. Additionally, mobile access is also included with Salesforce for ease of use and accessibility.
4. Give More Visibility to More Employees (or Restrict It)
Having PSA set up within Salesforce gives leadership and employees the ability to see more customer information across the customer lifecycle. Sales teams, implementation specialists, project delivery teams, and even the back office can access more customer information right when they need it, reducing the slow-downs that come from interdepartmental inquiries via messenger, email, or intranet. However, for greater data security, customer information can also be restricted to only those employees who need to see it by using access restrictions. If sensitive customer information needs to stay hidden from certain departments or certain employees, it can.
5. Resource Management Within PSA Moves the Focus From Resources to Customers
In the same way that selecting project management software within a PSA system shifts the focus from projects to customers, choosing resource management software that lives inside PSA will do the same. Instead of only focusing on resources, a PSA system will incorporate your planning work into a central system — one where customers are the center of everything.
Selecting the right resource management solution for your business can seem complicated at first. But if you make that decision as part of your PSA selection process, you can quickly narrow down your choices.
You can have better internal visibility, stronger planning capabilities, more data security options, and a customer-centric focus by choosing a resource management tool within the right PSA system.
Bottlenecks are an inevitable challenge faced by services businesses of all types.
In both the sales and services lifecycles there are areas where progress is likely to slow down as teams wait for information to be transferred and decisions to be made. These bottlenecks must be overcome in order to increase cash flow and improve project completion rates.
Studies have shown that decision-making bottlenecks have a major impact on project failure rates — the difference between making a decision in one hour and making it in five translates to a 23% increase in project failure and 40% decrease in the probability of successful project completion.
The best-in-class services organizations are ones that overcome these bottlenecks and think about how they can leverage services to drive the best possible customer experience while also optimizing for profitability.
These businesses become more efficient and scalable in decision-making, and leverage technology to help them do so. Professional Services Automation (PSA) software is often the key to their success.
PSA Software For Breaking Through Bottlenecks:
Professional Services Automation is taking mundane or inefficient processes in the services industry and bringing them into the future. PSA helps you complete tasks better and faster than ever before by digitizing and automating different stages of a product or sales life cycle.
Time-Tracking is an important but pesky task to remember to do. There are many different tools that will help you automatically track time as you work, but having a tracker right within a PSA tool like Klient Software, would save you time hopping between apps and cause less confusion down the line by keeping all information tracked in one spot.
Project management is a large part of professional services automation. By digitizing project management stages all in one spot, you are ensuring all of the data and information is centralized and available to those who need it. The right people will have immediate access to the information they need at any point in time. Utilizing professional services automation software geared toward project management will also help you save time as you will be able to track a project’s lifecycle and easily see where bottlenecks are.
A PSA tool will also allow you and your team to collaborate and share documents easier than ever before. Team collaboration is an important part of speeding up decision-making, ensuring everyone is on the same page, and smashing bottlenecks that may occur.
To learn more about the features of Klient PSA and see how your services business can use a PSA tool to break through bottlenecks, visit: https://klient/product/
Latest quarterly release continues rapid pace of innovation delivering the best experiences for services teams and clients.
Klient Software, a leading provider of professional services automation software that is easy to use and deploy
and built 100% native on the Salesforce Platform, today announced new features as part of the Spring 2019
release focused on driving project and customer success.
Summary highlights of major new features in the Spring 2019 release include:
A New Services Team Homepage
Now services team members can manage and take action on their personal projects, tasks, and utilization targets
directly from the homepage.
Services teams can view and sort their assigned projects at a glance with the new My Projects homepage
component, including the ability to navigate directly to the project details.
Services teams can view, sort, and take action upon their assigned tasks, including the ability to multi-select
tasks from the My Tasks homepage component and update task status, as well as navigating directly to task
The new My Utilization homepage component provides real-time insight into their personal utilization targets,
billable, non-billable, and totals hours worked, with the ability to view by day and week directly from the
The new homepage components can be added individually, providing a completely configurable homepage
experience for services teams including dashboard and reports, approvals, collaboration feed, and much more.
Enhanced Integration with Sage Intacct
With the latest release, Klient provides the industries most complete PSA integration to Intacct, delivering a
real-time REST API based integration including the integration of Accounts, Projects, Project Assignments,
Tasks, Task Assignments, Billing Rates, Timesheets, Expenses, Invoices, Vendor Payments, and more.
New updates include a significant mapping of new delivered and custom fields in the integration process,
taking advantage of new and delivered Sage Intacct Accounting fields. Additionally, this release greatly
improves support for record update synchronization, in addition to new record creation.
The Klient PSA to Sage Intacct integration offers customers a pre-built solution saving customers the significant
cost of building and maintaining a custom interface, reducing the chance of revenue leakage from the manual
duplication of data across systems.
Project Management Enhancements
The latest release includes significant project management enhancements in the areas of task scheduling, task
checklists, and task templates for customers.
Now with the latest release, a user can choose to have all task dates updated from the project page for
dependent tasks, without requiring navigating to the Gantt chart, enabling the cascading of dependent and
predecessor tasks dates when any task dates are changed.
We have enhanced the features of task templates with this release. When inserting task templates into projects
after project creation, you can now copy task checklists and relative dates against other tasks.
Mobile Time Improvements
A new and improved mobile time entry experience includes the ability to submit weekly timesheets for
approval from a mobile device and an improved user experience for users when selecting projects, tasks, and
milestones when entering time.
Additional new and enhanced features across the PSA suite include an enhanced Gantt drag-and-drop, updates
to Mass Timesheet Approval for better filtering, an enhanced user experience with the addition of task status
color-coding, new tooltip indicators for resource planning, and more.
About Klient Software
Klient provides next generation professional services automation that is easy to use and deploy and built 100%
native on the Salesforce Platform. Klient helps companies transform service delivery and customer success with
our intuitive and modern solution, providing a single application to manage the performance & profitability of
every project, delivering visibility across the entire business.
How does Professional Services Automation (PSA) differ from project management (PM) software? And how can you choose the right comprehensive solution to run your business?
Here are a few key differentiators between PSA and PM.
1. PSA Puts Customers at the Center Instead of Projects
With project management software, the emphasis is on projects. PM software helps you track tasks and collaborate so employees can keep up with their day-to-day work. Your customers may see the end result of your internal team’s work, but that could be incidental. A PM tool could be purchased solely for the benefit of your employees, regardless of how it affects your customer experience. Professional service automation (PSA) puts customers at the center. The focus is on optimizing the client’s experience, not just on tracking individual tasks.
Because the system has multiple touchpoints with the customer’s experience, employees have greater access to customer information across the board, while customers feel more taken care of across the entire scope of your business.
2. PSA Connects the Front Office to Sales and Service Delivery
Beside providing your customer with an better end-to-end experience, a PSA system provides your employees with much better visibility across the entire service delivery pipeline. The front office, the back office, and every service employee in between can see what the other departments have contributed to the customer’s account, whether that’s contact information, projects working and delivered, or expectations for future services.
3. PSA Integrates Seamlessly From CRM to Accounting
Many PSA or PM systems can integrate with your CRM. But many of them also aren’t easily set up, a problem that usually results in service delivery being run separately from the CRM. A great PSA will include a strong PM feature set and integrate closely with your CRM. Klient Software is built natively within Salesforce, meaning integration isn’t a concern — it’s built to run together from the outset.
From the moment a customer is entered into the CRM as a contact, everything can run seamlessly with the PSA.
4. PSA Generates Revenue
Professional services automation systems are particularly helpful for generating revenue, for a few reasons. If you have billable hours or services and you’re using a Configure-Price-Quote (CPQ) system, having a PSA system to help you adjust profitability, margin, bookings, and revenue on the fly can lead to easier and greater revenue increases.
Additionally, SPI Research recently conducted an ROI study on professional services automation. The results found that a $200,000 investment in software and implementation could lead to nearly $23 million in increased revenue and reduced costs, based on a firm of 172 people — an ROI of 115 times the initial investment.
5. PSA Includes Many Other Modules Beyond Project Management
Professional services automation isn’t just different from project management — it encompasses it. But PSA also encompasses many other services and modules. This includes (but is not limited to) time entry, billing, invoicing, CPQ, proposals, document management, expense tracking, calendar management, revenue recognition, forecasting, and customer communities.
Because PSA includes so many more options than just project management, it’s capable of replacing many more systems than just PM.
Conclusion: PSA Is an End-to-End Service Delivery Solution
The right PSA system for your organization can provide or replace a PM-only tool while providing many additional solutions for your business. And because all of these tools work together within one PSA, everyone at your organization will have greater access to your customers’ information.
That means more profitable client engagements, increased customer retention, and more revenue over the life of the customer, just by using the right PSA system.