Every company has several teams working on a project. Each project requires a variety of management techniques in every step – from the signing of the project until delivery. It may be hard to manage each team and its activities separately. Therefore, Professional Services Automation (PSA) software offers an integrated platform to manage project delivery effectively.
What is a Professional Services Automation (PSA software)? What is its potential?
A project development lifecycle has several steps. Professional Services Automation (PSA) software assists service providers in managing the project in every stage of its lifecycle. The creation of a sales opportunity signals the beginning of a new project. Now, as the company issues the invoices and collects the cash, the project begins.
In each step of the project lifecycle, the concerned team(s) should undertake the responsibility of planning and management. The team should measure the progress of the project at regular intervals. All this can be taxing. Professional Services Automation (PSA) software handles all these responsibilities with little or no manual intervention.
With streamlining and automation of iterative manual tasks, there is no wastage of resources. The Professional Services Automation (PSA) software enables the centralization of processes, which in turn leads to predictable delivery of services. Due to its similarity to Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, many service company calls it ERP.
A PSA software is capable of handling the following activities – time tracking, seamless integration with third-party applications/software, tracking of expenses, effective management of documents, calendar and the project, client access, collaborating teams on a single platform, accounting, billing and invoicing.
Who are the parties that benefit from PSA software?
Beneficiaries of PSA software belong to a variety of professional fields – lawyers, consultants, professional services providers, and many more. Industries that are turning to PSA software include – business consultants, architects and construction industry, marketers, Information Technology (IT) firms.
If your organization delivers billable products/services, you will benefit the most from PSA software. You will gain clarity concerning key performance metrics, such as cost, utilization, revenue, and profit margins. The larger the company, the better are the financial benefits of utilizing PSA software.
Advantages of PSA software
If you are well equipped to use PSA software, you can make the most out of it. The company can quantify and measure their service delivery. Reporting tools assist resource managers in recognizing trends, which enables them to allocate resources accordingly. Reporting tools also help executives in identifying the strong and weak areas of the business. It helps them work on the areas that need improvement. The prime advantages of implementing a PSA software are:
- Easy management of projects
- PSA application software helps in driving stronger margins with the use of reporting and visualization tools
- Optimization of resources
With the proper PSA application, companies have greater control over their project data. Tracking time and expenses and monitoring resource usage becomes easy.
Any business will eventually expand. Expansion can happen due to numerous reasons – an increase in demand, recruitment of additional staff, growing client needs, which increases the range of services provided, or when the company wants to expand geographically and establish their offices in new locations. Now, this will lead to a sharp increase in data. The companies can no more afford to manage the processes manually. At such times, it becomes crucial to adopt or upgrade to a PSA tool to handle the massive amount of data. In a way, a PSA tool helps organizations move towards higher profitability by making good use of project data.
How to choose the right PSA software application?
In your hunt for a suitable PSA tool, consider factors such as the depth of the tool’s capabilities and user interface. The ease of adoption and usage of a PSA tool depends on how good the user interface is. A useful PSA tool should provide specific minimum tools:
- It should list the availability of staff and resources at present and in the future as it helps in better allocation of resources.
- It should track critical financial data concerning resources.
- It should track the skills of various teams so that the project allocation is more inclined towards matching and increasing the team’s proficiency.
While choosing a PSA tool for your organization, list down the objective of using the software. Prioritize to objectives and select the tool which offers solutions to most of your high priority requirements. Apart from the tool’s quantitative capabilities, consider factors such as user interface and user experience as these are the driving forces that will determine how quickly your team can learn and adapt to the new environment.
Some popular PSA tools preferred by professionals
With the tools for scrum and agile project management, Gantt charts, etc. PlanStreet is one of the best PSA tools in the market. Some of the features offered by PlanStreet include feedback and backlog management, Kanban boards, prioritization, Gantt charts/time tracking, management of requests, and much more.
The tool offers visualization of resource usage, which helps monitor the resources. Its features support both the waterfall model and agile project management. At the beginning of the project, the company gets to choose an appropriate approach. It is preferred by newbies and experts alike, due to its easy-to-use and attractive user interface.
Mavenlink provides tools for project and resource management, team collaboration, and project accounting. They offer a wide range of plans, from basic management tools to advanced and everything in between. It enables centralized project management.
Mavenlink provides a single shared platform in the cloud, for project managers, executives, and teams. It becomes easier to share documents, allocate resources, and track the expenses.
The tool offers the unification of multiple processes and teams. Companies adopt Mavenlink to maximize profitability.
Clarizen offers different options for large and small enterprises. Clarizen One is for large enterprises while Clarizen Go is for the smaller ones. Clarizen allows integration of your business with popular platforms such as Salesforce, Oracle, SAP, Microsoft Teams, and Slack, to name a few.
The tool comes with the promise of at most security for your business data. Data is monitored and archived under multiple firewalls. Other essential features include real-time support for vendors, reporting tools, analysis, and comparison of projects based on ROI, availability of resources, and budget.
Workfront is a cloud-based solution for small, medium, and large enterprises to manage project delivery. Track resources and project status accurately using AI-enabled management tools. The company can organize their work into projects, portfolios, and tasks. The tool allows for seamless integration with top enterprise platforms.
One can centralize the requests, so nothing is missed or left unattended. Time can be saved by automating the creation of reports and saving it on your dashboard. One can also automate workflows. With WorkFront, you can expect maximum efficiency from your team and a better quality of work. It is a scalable solution for all organizations irrespective of their size.