Updated: Jan 18, 2022
As part of my ongoing series of professional services automation (PSA) tools review, I’d like to spend a little bit of time talking about a tool called Clarizen. Clarizen is a solution aimed at helping organizations streamline and automate processes around project management, time entry and financial reporting. Let’s have a look at what Clarizen has to offer, shall we?
Clarizen was built for project management. Like many other tools out there you are able to build out a project plan with milestones, deliverables and tasks and set dependencies (all four types + lag). Clarizen offers a robust user interface to manage your plan, enabling drag/drop as well as multiple view types to work from depending on the nature of what you are doing (financials, work planning, resourcing, etc.). Importing is also a great feature offered by Clarizen where you can do quick ‘what-if’ modelling in another tool (ex. Excel) then when you have it just right you can easily upload your work to Clarizen.
The lifeblood of any PSA system is the ability to enter and manage timesheets. Clarizen provides a very strong and highly configurable solution for managing timesheets. Out of the box, users can key time to a task to which they are assigned inside of the start/end dates of the task. Timesheet approvals can be turned on to allow project or functional managers to review and send timesheets back before they become memorialized on the project. Clarizen provides a strong workflow engine that allows you to build a wide variety of workflows to support your business processes, which is especially helpful around timesheets since many organizations have unique rules around how timesheets are managed.
Resource (Capacity) Planning
Clarizen has a module dedicated to human resource planning called Capacity Planning. This module allows resource managers to look at their teams to see what the demand is going to be for their staff both currently and future-based (relying on forecasts to be entered). This allows for staffing decisions to be made to avoid resource pinches (or bench time). This also comes with a request/approval tool (called Staffing Requests) where project managers can request a role or specific person on their projects then have the resource managers review against current allocations then approve or reject the request. This is especially useful when starting out on project planning.