Implementing Professional Services Automation (PSA) software is a big step for any business. It can bring about massive, positive change to your organization, choosing the best PSA tools for your business can be challenging.
However, it’s important not to rush into it. You don’t want your choice of tool or the poor implementation of it to make life (and business!) harder instead of easier.
Make an informed decision before you invest in a PSA solution. Here are ten things to keep in mind when choosing a professional services automation tool for your organization.
Choosing PSA Tools & the things to consider;
1. Project planning and set up
A PSA tool should make project management easier and more efficient right from the get-go.
This means the tool you choose must come with robust project setup and planning features that will simplify this process for you. You should be able to set up and use project frameworks, clone previous projects as needed, and if the tool helps you automate project plans—even better!
Your PSA solution should make it easy for you to plan deliverables, add stakeholders and contributors, create and assign tasks, set deadlines, manage time and expenses for the project, generate invoices, and all other essentials of the project management process.
Good setup and planning will ultimately help your team complete projects on time—and on budget—every time.
2. Resource management
Of course, a good PSA tool should go beyond just project management alone. It should also help you plan, organize and manage the various resources at your disposal.
The right tool should make it easy to view, manage and assign resources across the organization. This helps you ensure the right resources are assigned to the right projects at the right time.
A key part of resource planning and management also includes human resource management. Your PSA tool should help you simplify human resources by managing billable and nonbillable hours, delegate workloads, and measure seasonal fluctuations.
Ideally, your choices of PSA software should help you reduce project resourcing issues and increase productivity.
3. Integration capabilities
While a PSA solution can help you replace several other tools, there will still be other tools and resource your organization and team members make use of.
Choose a PSA software that easily integrates with existing software you might be using. This makes the transition easier and your team will be less resistant to adopting and using the new PSA tool.
4. Time and expense management
One of the main reasons professional services organizations adopt PSA software is so they can have better visibility of two things—their time and their money.
Needless to say, time and money are both critical resources in any project. Your PSA tool should enable you to view where and how time is being spent within a project. Additionally, you should also be able to view data on your expenses with ease.
You should also ensure your tool makes it easy to manage your billing and invoicing in one centralized repository.
5. Project financials
Your PSA software isn’t a replacement for accounting software however it should integrate with your accounting tools. This will give you a much deeper insight into your organization’s finances.
By integrating with your accounting tool, you can handle revenue recognition and analyze your project profitability right from within your PSA. You can also plan your budget, predict and manage cash flow better and allocate project costs in a much more organized manner.
6. Customer relationship management
Ideally, your PSA tool should also assist you with your customer relationship management. From sales to proposal management, project progress to invoicing and everything in between—a PSA tool that helps you streamline the process is a good choice.
PSA software should also help you track and analyze the data on project successes and failures. This information will help you understand how to win more projects and continue to impress more clients on an ongoing basis.
7. Project delivery
The PSA software should make the day-to-day management of your entire project a smooth and streamlined process for all.
Your professional services automation software should be your single source of truth, with all information and processes available in one centralized hub. All stakeholders, including clients, sometimes should be able to find and access the information they require within your tool.
Planning, resource management, milestone completion, billing and invoicing, contract management, identification of projects risk and issues, financial reporting, project status reports, project delivery to the client and more, should be managed right within your PSA system.
PSA solutions centralize all your data in one hub, giving you an overview of your entire project. Thanks to this you have a very clear picture of what is working in your projects and what’s not.
Your PSA tool should enable you to use this information in order to forecast outcomes for the current project as well as predict future projects. This can be hugely useful and make a very big difference in the overall efficiency of projects.
9. Customer service
Ask questions about the level of support and service you can expect from your choice of PSA tool. This should play a big part in deciding which tool your organization decides to make use of.
Professional services automation software often replaces many other tools your teams may be using. Therefore it will require training and support from the vendor so you can ensure you’re making the most of all features of the tool.
10. Vendor reputation
Does your vendor i.e. the company you’re purchasing the PSA solution from, have a good reputation? Have other organizations found the software useful? Do your research on the tool before investing.
You want to make sure you choose a solution that has been created by a trustworthy vendor who delivers on their product promises.
Every organization is different and your needs may be different from another one. However, the above are general must-haves to keep in mind for most businesses, when choosing a professional services automation tool.
By the way, Mission Control ticks all the above boxes and more. Get in touch with us to learn more about our features and capabilities.