By Mark E. Engelberg, TimeLinx Software –
For professional services management teams, it’s probably no surprise to learn that seven of the top ten business challenges named in the 2018 State of Professional Services report are linked to resource management.
A similar professional services industry study—conducted by Research Now—tells a similar story, with “managing unplanned change” and “forecasting resource demand” cited as two of the most urgent hurdles for professional services organizations to overcome.
With the current turbulence and change in the modern workforce, plus the demands faced by today’s service level economy, resource management should feature high on the agenda.
Why Is Resource Management Such a Stubborn Challenge for Professional Services?
Sourcing the right talent and manpower on the right jobs at the right moment is fundamental to professional services profitability.
Often, though, legacy infrastructure and cluttered business processes with too many moving parts keep moving the goalposts of implementing lasting resource management efficiency. Task identification, task assignment, resource scheduling, completion logging and timekeeping; it only takes one of these to go wrong for inefficiencies to spread across all of them.
To make matters worse, professional services teams are often limited by compartmentalized knowledge about the resource pool that is held by just a single person. Skills, client preference and competencies—when this insight is siloed to one manager, others in charge of assigning people to projects fall into a pattern of repeat allocation driven by their limited knowledge of physical proximity and past projects.
Fortunately, there are now new digital transformation options that centralize and digitize resource management processes, enabling a broader scope of resource insight and strategic planning.
How can professional services organizations break the glass ceiling of resource management to finally implement lasting resourcing-efficiency change? The first step is to audit your entire project-resourcing processes.
Evolving Approaches: From Excel, to Multi-Application, to Project Service Management Integration:
Chances are, there are a surprising number of service teams out there who will quietly confess to still using dated, legacy resourcing methods.
For example, resource-management data scattered across endless Excel spreadsheets. You know who you are! As common as this is, resource management efficiency will remain a moving target until an integrated, digital approach is considered.
Even those who’ve digitized resource management processes into a combination of CRM and ERP platforms still face limitations of sourcing data siloed across multiple applications. In this scenario, the proposed solutions to the problem become their own worst enemy.
Enter Project Service Management
Project Service Management (PSM) platforms can hold the key to continually and more easily mobilizing the right resource to the right tasks and projects across all operations.
By integrating all resourcing data from scattered workflows, PSM platforms achieved what your CRM, ERP platforms and stacks of Excel spreadsheets can’t individually or combined.
TimeLinx PSM, for example, integrates all resourcing-relevant data and applications into a single platform, while connecting all departments and breaking down information silos.
Suddenly, you gain a single source of resourcing truth with the entire resource pool in full view. Capacity can more easily be planned with the help of Gantt charts, and projects completed faster, with optimal utilization.
Making the switch to Project Service Management integration
Implementing the kind of resourcing efficiency change outlined here isn’t a revolutionary idea to many professional services management teams. The novel idea is actually deciding to make the leap.
What holds organizations back? Besides the usual suspect of perceived risk and potential impact to business continuity, it’s a lack of internal advocacy and reluctance to be the one to pull the lever.
If that sounds like a familiar scenario and you’d like to explore TimeLinx’s PSM potential, consider our Implementation Program specifically geared to reducing risk, promoting business continuity and working hand-in-hand with your teams to ensure quick, successful adoption.
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TimeLinx delivers innovative project & service management software as a complete solution that perfects the sell-track-manage-support-bill cycle that services organizations must have to delight their customers; TimeLinx brings the cycle together in a single application that offers less frustration, better project management, complete reporting, and improved profitability – all specially designed for Infor and Sage.