Professional Services Automation (PSA) systems are designed – well, intended – to help us do our day-to-day jobs better in the professional services sector. This isn’t always the case and a lot of times we are working with systems that we inherited when we joined the organization. While your system may have molded your processes to accommodate for the solution, should that be the case? This post will explore some signs that you maybe are seeing that should be indicators that you should break up with your current PSA.
Timesheets Are Laborious
Timesheets are the lifeblood of a PSA. Knowing the actuals/costs of your efforts is foundational to being able to manage your project finances and billings. Making timesheets as pain free as possible should be the #1 thing on every PSA vendor’s list because without accurate timesheets you are unable to produce accurate data to show the financial health (or even billings) to your organization and customer. Timesheets need to be easy. Period. If they are not – sign #1.
Being a former report developer in a past life, this topic is near and dear to my heart. A good reporting solution is worth its weight in (virtual) gold. Being able to extract strong reporting from your solution to give both the macro and micro views of your PS organization’s health, progress, issues, and risks is one of the core reasons PSA systems exist. Reporting out of your solution should provide the leadership group with enough information to know how the organization is performing and what they need to focus their attention on. It should also allow for your people doing the work to be able to develop comprehensive reports to help support the work that they are doing. Example – a project manager should be able to pull up a report to show the costs to-date on their project, tasks at risk, who is logging time, etc. Without the ability to do quick and effective reporting, you are not exploiting all the benefits of a strong PSA solution. If you can’t develop or produce what should be a simple report out of your PSA solution, sign #2.
Workaround after Workaround
This can be said really of any solution in place that if there are constant workarounds because of lacking or buggy functionality, then it could be an indication that your PSA system is not living up to the billing. This is where getting the pulse of all of your team members is critical as they may have workarounds that you are not even aware of. See how the team feels about using the solution and if the solution itself is causing more work than it’s supposed to remove, sign #3.