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Managing Your Services Organization in a Spreadsheet vs Professional Services Automation Software

When I lead my first Professional Services (PS) organization, one of our challenges was resource management. The sales team was telling us we needed to hire 300 people to meet demand. Hey, I wanted to grow my empire, but hire 300 people in a month? Well, that’s a bit much.

So, I created a spreadsheet to analyze the actual hiring needs. The spreadsheet grew quickly and was eventually affectionately nicknamed “The PIG” as it was so big and unruly. But, it was needed – and it was the only tool we had that could help us handle our utilization forecast and hiring needs.

This was more than a few years ago – so the additional challenge was that only one person could work on it at a time – and it eventually became too large to email around (yes, yes, this was before there was an actual cloud).  We needed to have countless meetings to review, update, and ultimately analyze “The PIG” for what it was telling us we should do.

Some of the larger companies I have consulted with have put a CRM solution in place – but – it’s really geared toward the software side of the business, and that doesn’t necessarily help with forecasting resources and revenue.  Time entry is in another solution – and may not feed directly into the Project Management tool – necessitating duplicate data entry.  I could go on and on.

Fortunately, Professional Services Automation (PSA) software has evolved considerably over the past decade.  As I’ve recently joined Withum, I am struck by the ease in which I can:

  • enter my time
  • check resource availability
  • monitor projects
  • track pipeline activity

Quite literally, an hour ago, I got a call from my boss that my revenue for the month looked low.  Well, it turns out I had entered time on the wrong line item.  It is incredible to see how far we have come to have near real-time information to manage the services business.

As I read what I’m typing, I’m thinking…you’re a geezer Sloan…it’s the 21st century…it’s supposed to work this way.

But then I counter this with the number of services organizations that I see that still have not fully embraced a PSA solution to help with:

  • time capture
  • revenue forecasting
  • resource forecasting
  • project management…etc.

Rather than carry on further, I’d love to hear from you all.

  • Any great success stories of adopting a PSA solution?
  • Anyone stuck on a spiderweb of disjointed solutions that cost your people time and effort – and take away from focusing on client work?
  • Does anyone have questions?
Reach out to me to keep the conversation going.

Services Optimization Consulting

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