Professional Services firms focus on two key areas to grow revenue: client satisfaction and talent retention. Find out how resource management and capacity planning help achieve these goals.
The need to go beyond spreadsheets
Professional Services firms are people-centric businesses. But the people are only as efficient as the tools they use. When you continue to use spreadsheets to track backlog, project requirements, resource availability, and project progress, it creates inefficiencies.
Spreadsheets can work for very small firms, but for growing businesses it becomes difficult to manage everything from matching project requirements to skill availability and tracking project progress to managing deviations.
When you don’t use a modern Professional Services Automation (PSA) solution, you are in a situation where you miss opportunities, overservice clients, or don’t deliver a project to expectations.
Why is resource management and capacity planning such a challenge for Professional Services?
Resource management and capacity planning are quite easy for a small Professional Services firm. You know what project(s) are in the pipe and everything you need to know about available skills and resources, you can get by simply picking up the phone or sending an email. But, as you grow and hire more consultants, win more business, and bid for high-value, more complicated projects, it becomes difficult to keep track of everything.
Multiple calls, too many emails back and forth and yet you are fighting an uphill battle. It feels like you are working harder than before and not able to accomplish what you want. The consultants too are burdened with collecting and processing data. They have less time to interpret the data, strategize, and make recommendations.
When you don’t have complete visibility on the projects and your people, work allocation happens based on relationships or familiarity. You must have noticed instances where the same consultant gets work allocated repeatedly and feels overburdened while there are others who are complaining because they have been on the bench for too long.
The result of all these challenges? You face revenue leakage or suboptimal project delivery and overworked or idle consultants.
Your business is punching below its weight.
Why you need a dedicated resource management tool
A dedicated resource management tool will not only help you account for work by tracking billable hours and resource utilization, it will also enable you to run your business efficiently and optimize costs. Here are some of the many ways in which your business can benefit by using a Professional Services Automation tool for resource management:
- Check resource availability before allocating work to maximize utilization while reducing chances of burnout
- Identify available skills and proficiency of consultants before allocating consultants to new projects
- Increase billable utilization with greater visibility of projects from across the business
- Forecast resource requirements, plan project allocation, and plan hiring/training requirements to avoid manpower/skill shortages
By using a Professional Services Automation tool, you will be able to deliver high quality projects on time and within budget while ensuring that they are profitable. Your consultants too will get a more even-handed work allocation. The increased visibility and transparency will make your team feel more engaged and they will be able to create more work-life balance.
When you can shift from just tracking ongoing projects to forecasting resources/skill requirements, costs involved in upcoming projects, and revenues, you will be able to make better decisions and grow the business.