Skip to main content

Services Resource Planning

Analysts Detail Correlation Between Tech Solutions and Performance for Project-Based Businesses


In mid-2012, two independent research organizations published unique reports about the best practices of top-performing, project-driven organizations. Each had their own focus on the subject matter regarding the emphasis of their research metrics or how differing project-based companies can be collectively considered successful despite a wide variety of nomenclature, product offerings, and organizational structures. Regardless of their intention; however, both came to a remarkably similar conclusion.

Best Practices of Top-Performing (Best-in-Class) Professional Services Organizations

Research Organization

Services Performance Insight

Aberdeen Group

Publication

2012 Service Lifecycle Management Maturity, February 2012

Project Management in Professional Services: Managing People for Profits, July 2012

KPIs of Top-Performers

Top 5% in:

  • Annual revenue growth
  • Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA)
  • Annual revenue per billable consultant
  • On-time project delivery
  • Percentage of reference-able clients

Top 20% in:

  • % of projects completed on time or early
  • % of projects delivered within budget
  • % of reduction in time-to-decision over the past year
  • % of employees Which exceeded their performance metrics during annual reviews

How Top-Performers are Distinguished

High rankings in maturity level characteristics in:

  • Resource management; visibility from prospect to project to ensure the right resources with the right skills are available when needed
  • Structured or standardized service delivery processes
  • Solid project management; visibility into the schedule, resources, deliverables and risks to ensure projects are delivered on time and on budget
  • Accurate and timely project accounting

Best-in-Class when compared to all others have nearly double:

  • Central visibility to skill sets of available resources
  • Decisions that are consistently made from a single version of data
  • Real-time visibility into all project milestones and schedule status

Key Business and Technology Capabilities

PSA plus:

  • Integrated information systems of ERP and CRM
  • Standardized service delivery processes of sales pipeline, billable utilization and meeting margin targets
  • Resource management; resource/workforce scheduling; skill matching
  • Workflow productivity measurements
  • Project scheduling and change management
  • Knowledge management (KM)

ERP plus:

  • Project scheduling
  • Project costing
  • Time tracking against projects
  • Change management
  • Resource/workforce scheduling
  • Expense tracking against projects
  • Project Portfolio Management (PPM)
  • New request management
  • Post project completion service management
  • Subcontractor management

If PSA is not enough and ERP is not enough…

Juxtaposed against one another, the Aberdeen Group and Services Performance Insight agree that the more typical software offerings are not successful in providing project-driven organizations applicable solution.

Services Resource Planning (SRP) is a solution designed to improve upon ERP with the project-based business solely in mind. Specifically, where PSA, ERP, and CRM all fall short, SRP saves the day by giving project-based service organizations the tools to access:

  • Accurate project data
  • Deep visibility into resources, skill set, individual capability, and scheduling
  • Universal tracking of client issues
  • SRP and ERP integration
  • Broad visibility into all active projects

For more information on how Planview considers Services Resource Planning (SRP) the key solution to the technology gaps discovered by Services Performance Insight and Aberdeen Group, take a look at The Planview Approach to Service Resource Planning.

Did you take one of these surveys conducted between 2011 and 2012? Are these findings reflective of your company's technology requirements? Share by leaving a comment below.

Related posts: SRP and PSA -- There IS a Difference -- Part 1 and Managing Project-Based Businesses in Turbulent Times

Reflecting on Clinical Research Industry Headlines of 2012


Addressing CRO Challenges with Services Resource Planning

December is often a time to reflect on achievements, ponder on lessons learned, and set goals for the New Year. It is as if Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol has saturated the subconscious and I expect the Ghost of Christmas Future to appear this evening and tell me what I missed when all of the telltale signs were there.

For resource managers within clinical research organizations (CRO), all signs are particularly focused on the transformations underway in the market. To echo Wolfram Eberstein's latest blog series, CROs are facing unprecedented levels of challenges in regards to regulations, corporate mergers, growth, and increased outsourcing.

How these changes will affect cost and performance should be of concern. Here's a quick review of some of the headlines of 2012 that emphasize the degree of urgency.

  • The results from sweeping regulatory reform are in. In Europe, the impact of the EU Clinical Trials has been such that CROs are seeing their manpower costs essentially double (Telegraph Media Group, 2012).
  • Marketing dynamics are changing. According to a Booz & Co. survey targeting pharmaceutical sales and marketing executives about their commercialization strategies; 60% of respondents are expecting their service models to change, and as a result, estimate corporate strategies to rely heavily on "innovative pricing" (FiercePharma, 2012).
  • The pressure for transparency and reliability is paramount. Phase II costs range between $4,000 to $20,000 per patient. According to Timothy Scott of Pharmatek Laboratories, "…the reliable supply of clinical trial material (CTM), whether manufactured in-house or outsourced to a contract manufacturing organization (CMO), absolutely critical" (FierceBiotech Clinical Trials, 2012).

What might the creepy ghost forecast tonight knowing what we know today about new costs, technologies, and solutions? What might I be able to do about it as soon as I wake?

We know that services resource planning (SRP) technologies are now available and have been designed to assuage many of these concerns directly. Not by implicitly reducing costs or making magically accurate predictions. Rather, SRP takes off where enterprise resource planning (ERP) and professional services automation (PSA) fail at recognizing the resource challenges of project-based organizations that need to link business operations from end-to-end.

During their evaluation of available enterprise-focused software offerings, analyst firm IDC has defined SRP solutions as an important tool for CROs:

"SRP systems pull three major business components ‒‒ resources, projects and clients ‒‒ together into one system supported by strong analytical and collaborative capabilities. Integration is the key to removing to driving more effective business strategy, and beyond strategy, an integrated system provides a solid operational foundation often preventing problems from getting out of control and enabling proactive business decision-making" (IDC, 2012).

Will implementing a system designed to manage and predict capacity and resources for CROs keep the Ghost of Christmas Future from appearing in your dreams this week? Perhaps not… I do know, regardless, you will be sleeping better with an SRP solution than without one in 2013.

To learn more about SRP for CROs download the Planview Approach to Services Resources Planning for Clinical Research Organizations. Dive into the five functional areas an SRP solution must have to help CROs produce effective resource planning practices.

What market changes/challenges are you reflecting on within your CRO? What steps are you taking to improve resource planning in 2013? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

EU red tape making drugs impossible, The Telegraph Media Group, February 13, 2012 (as cited by Planview Approach to Services Resources Planning for Clinical Research Organizations)
Pharma sales execs: Current model is broken; changes are coming, FiercePharma, March 21, 2012
eBook: Supplying Global Clinical Trials Keys to Avoiding Costly Delays, FierceBiotech Clinical Trials, April 2012
IDC Executive Brief: Services Resource Planning: Systems for Effectively Managing a Project-based Business, June 2012

4 Dashboards Vital to Profitability for Tech Services Companies


In the first section of this two part series, 13 Key SRP Metrics Vital to Profitability for Tech Services Companies, I outline specific metrics necessary to measure performance across multiple business units for successful resource planning within Technology Services organizations. This blog will discuss the top dashboards required to provide visibility of those key metrics, giving the current status and historic trends needed to support effective decision making.

For a comprehensive view into business performance, technology services companies should use the dashboards to look at information from four perspectives.

  1. A top-level business perspective dashboard will typically focus on the financial performance of the business. It should monitor revenue and margins, as well as unbilled work in progress and future revenue forecasts. Controls should be in place to avoid revenue leakage. Monitoring on-time submission, review, and approval of timesheets is critical.
  2. A client perspective illustrates the revenue and margin achieved from projects delivered to them, their satisfaction levels, and their current demand for additional services.
  3. A service perspective summarizes all projects being delivered for each service line. The demand for and profitability of each service can then be determined, as well as any changes needed to be made to increase the margins achieved. The actual daily rates achieved by each role should be monitored against targets. Non-billable effort such as rework should also be tracked.
  4. A resources perspective is critical. As a global services company, increasing the utilization of resources across each region is the key to driving revenue and profit. Creating global resource pools that can be utilized on projects across the world can reduce local headcount and increase productivity. Each day a resource is on the bench equals lost revenue that can never be regained. Ultimately, every Technology Services organization should attempt to drive up their resources billable utilization, as every 1 percentage increase you can get from resources goes directly to the bottom line in terms of profitability. Getting good visibility of future demand and the knowledge and experience required to deliver it successfully will allow the most effective planning of resources.

The dashboards outlined provide access to the 13 key metrics critical to the profitability of Tech Services organizations. When considering a software solution for services resource planning (SRP), I recommend Tech Services organizations include these 13 metrics and dashboards on their list of requirements. Look for a solution with in-depth reporting and analytics capabilities that provide visibility into information that helps drive decisions that are most important within the organization.

What's on your dashboard software? Is information readily available? Share by leaving a comment below.

Related post: 13 Key SRP Metrics Vital to Profitability for Tech Services Companies

How Clinical Research Organizations Are Transforming in Today's Environment -- Part 2


The Solution for CROs

The previous blog in this series discussed the increasing growth rates and related issues seen the Clinical Research Organization (CRO) space due to strategic partnerships, globalism, and market consolidation from mergers and acquisitions. This kind of growth inevitably presents challenges for CROs trying to generate data from fragmented, non-integrated systems. There are high-cost pressures to integrate processes and information systems, while optimizing resources to lower costs.

The industry is working almost exclusively on paper with the need to enter data twice to check for inconsistencies. As is the case with most mergers and acquisitions, technology and process incompatibilities are leading to divergent data storage and availability. Furthermore, integrations are non-existent between applications specific to CROs, like clinical trial management systems and electronic data capturing, and corporate systems such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and project portfolio management (PPM). The situation is resulting in significant inefficiencies, data inconsistencies, and process failures.

To remain competitive in a worldwide market, creating global data visibility and transparency while maximizing resource capacity has been imperative for CROs. This can be achieved only by first integrating processes and then integrating the systems that support those processes. CROs need to further advance and support best practice processes with state-of-the-art technology systems to appropriately utilize resources.

CROs depend heavily on resources (human and non-human) for both strategic and operational support and have a big impact on the cost of the studies themselves. Services Resource Planning (SRP) is an ideal application to optimize the use of resources and drive the cost of studies down, while enabling an organization to ensure:

  • More effective use of resources, such as clinical monitors, investigators, and research partners
  • Better communication and alignment across study sponsors, partners, and investigators
  • Improved resource budgeting and financial visibility between study sponsors and partners
  • Rapid response to changing circumstances that would otherwise consume resource time

Of course, organizational adoption of these processes and systems is an integral part of any new deployment and is supported by a SRP enterprise solution. SRP is purpose-built for project-driven organizations to enable optimization of global resource pools with best-in-class tools and techniques to increase revenue and maximize profits. For more on this topic, I invite you to read the IDC Executive Brief titled, Service Resource Planning: Systems for Effectively Managing a Project-based Business.

What solutions are working in your CRO? Share by leaving a comment below.

Related post: How Clinical Research Organizations Are Transforming in Today's Environment -- Part 1

13 Key SRP Metrics Vital to Profitability for Tech Services Companies


Having worked in the Professional Services industry for nearly 25 years, I have helped numerous PSOs and IT organizations utilize software solutions to manage their businesses. My extensive experience as both a management consultant and software design has given me a unique perspective into Services Resource Planning. As the need for it becomes increasingly prevalent, I am eager to share my insight.

Vital Metrics for Tech Service CompaniesServices Resource Planning (SRP) is critical for success for all service-driven companies, particularly in the technology services industry. Accurately identifying project requirements and optimizing resources to deliver those projects is essential. This two-part blog series will provide a high level overview of the types of metrics and dashboards that are commonly used in tech services organizations that have mastered SRP.

Fundamental to managing any services business is good visibility across a number of functional areas. Insight into how each area is contributing to or hindering profitability is vital. There are key metrics that need to be monitored from three perspectives: Enterprise-wide, Services and Client. Looking across the enterprise, the starting point is on the financial side. There must be a clear understanding of:

  • 1. Total Revenue – a sum of revenues from individual projects, including consulting revenue by service type and location
  • 2. Margin – revenue minus direct costs
  • 3. Overhead costs – indirect costs such as facilities and administration, etc.
  • 4. Profitability – margin minus overhead costs

From a services perspective, metrics should be broken down by service type, from implementation to training. Analytics will help determine:

  • 5. Revenue by each service
  • 6. Margin by each service
  • 7. Which services are driving revenue and growth
  • 8. Which services are under performing
  • 9. What factors may be driving margins down, such as revenue leakage and low billing rates

From a client perspective, the focus is always on keeping the client happy and buying additional services. Client retention is based primarily on client satisfaction, which can be measured with surveys and post-implementation reviews. To ensure client satisfaction and ongoing revenue, however, there should be tools in place that provide real-time access to:

  • 10. Project Status, including milestones, financials and risk
  • 11. Revenue & Margin from current and completed projects
  • 12. Demand for additional services reflected in the pipeline
  • 13. Cost of sale per client (effort taken to close a deal) – this can have a significant impact on the true profitability of a project

As previously stated, visibility into all areas of the business is paramount. Beyond the financials, resources are another major component to consider because tech services companies aren’t selling a product as much as the knowledge of their people. Employee satisfaction and turnover rates, in addition to utilization, are valuable metrics to observe since good, skilled people take their knowledge with them when they leave an organization. This puts the company at increased risk of being unable to deliver the expected service without interruption or modifications.

Decisions that change and improve a services business rely heavily on all of these metrics so their accuracy and reliability must be ensured. When companies understand what's driving the top level revenue and margin, they have greater control in boosting profitability across the business.

Do you have visibility into the metrics from the enterprise, employee and client perspectives? What are some of the key metrics that drive profitability in your organization? Share by leaving a comment below.

How Clinical Research Organizations Are Transforming in Today's Environment -- Part 1


The Challenges

There is a significant transformation underway in the clinical research organization (CRO) space. The CRO market revenue amounts to approximately $30 billion, which is primarily generated from its core business of conducting clinical trials required for drug market admission by regulatory authorities like the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Further revenue is generated by consulting services around market introduction and support in medical communications.

The CRO industry has seen significant growth and consolidation in recent years. This two-part blog series will discuss the challenges CROs are facing and what they can do to manage the growth.

Over the last 15 years, CROs have seen a 10-15% growth rate primarily because of increased outsourcing of clinical research from the big pharmaceutical companies and the emergence of numerous biotech companies creating new business. According to industry analysts, this trend is expected to continue.

Although growth may be inevitable, CROs remain challenged to adapt to this volatile environment. The emerging initiative for CROs is to form strategic partnerships with big pharmaceutical companies to obtain clinical research outsourcing resources like staff and facilities while merging processes as much as possible. Some examples of these partnerships are Eli Lilly with PAREXEL®, Sanofi with Covance, Astellas with INC Research®, and Pfizer with Icon and PAREXEL.

Adding to the challenges of rapid growth is the need for a global footprint to service international customers and market consolidation due to mergers and acquisitions. As a result, many CROs:

  • Are pressed to establish global, cost-efficient processes that provide corporate data of the operational business in a consistent way
  • Struggle with a desire to deliver studies quickly and with reliable results within the strict regulatory framework, yet are severely obstructed by fragmented, regional or partly existing processes
  • Have systems that aren't fully integrated, leading to duplicate data entry and inconsistencies

In the new CRO world, clinical data, general project data, financial management data, and planning data will be integrated more effectively and made readily available. The next blog will discuss how CROs can spearhead their existing global data challenges to effectively align resources to the right projects while improving financial visibility to drive better business decisions.

For more information on this topic, read Louise Allen's blog titled SRP -- Changing the Game for Services Driven Organizations. I'd like to hear from you. How are the changes in the clinical research industry affecting your organization? Share by leaving a comment below.

Services Resource Planning -- Changing the Game for Service-Driven Organizations


In my previous blog, Blindsided: Why Service-Driven Organizations are Unprepared for Swings in Demand, I discussed some of the pain project-based service organizations are currently facing... To summarize, virtually every organization experiences the following challenges:

  • Unreliable forecasting means incoming demand is always a surprise
  • Poor visibility of resource utilization; to find the resource information they need they must look in multiple spreadsheets and/or make multiple phone calls
  • Specialized, higher cost resources are consumed on low margin engagements and activities
  • Project execution methods are inconsistent, wasting resources on rework often cause delivery delays and customer satisfaction problems

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The following abstracts tell the stories of two real world service-driven organizations overcoming their resource management challenges and their achievements realized.

SRP in Clinical Research Organizations (CROs)

This leading service contract and research organization provides clinical services in Phase I-IV clinical research studies to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and device industries. The company has offices in 20 countries and 2,700 employees worldwide.

Prior to implementing SRP, their business issues included:

  • Unreliable forecasts (revenue, costs, hours) that led to missed delivery dates and the inability to drive profitability and margin levels of trials to target levels
  • Poor visibility of resource utilization, which led to poor project prioritization and valuable resources being consumed on low margin engagements and activities

Once they implemented an SRP solution including enterprise portfolio, resource, and project management, they reported the following benefits:

  • More timely and accurate information led to better prioritization of projects, skill set matching, and staffing of projects and thus increased revenue and better margins
  • Go or kill decisions were made more quickly based on more accurate and timely resource and financial key performance indicators
  • Improved responsiveness and timely project delivery to end clients has led to increased customer satisfaction and increased repeat business

SRP in Technology Services

This example features a customer in the technology consulting industry that provides global services, software, and processing solutions for financial services, education, and the public sector as well as support services for their large global client base.

Prior to implementing an SRP solution, they faced the following challenges:

  • Lack of visibility into resource availability and skill set utilization across regions were causing revenue loss
  • Project delays were a leading cause of poor resource utilization and availability problems
  • There was no unified view of financials across the business, so data was kept manually, leading to inconsistencies and confusion

During the solution implementation period, for the very first time, the company had access to resource utilization with a detailed view over time, which provided additional insight into issues that were previously hidden using the previous process.

Now with SRP:

  • They have one "system of truth" that allows them to view all global projects, resources, and financials enabling focus on the most profitable projects in alignment with corporate goals
  • Executives have access to real-time data based on key metrics and analytics that allow faster, better business decisions based on fact rather than "hunch".

These are just two examples of customers who suffered from the lack of visibility into their resource situations and after implementing SRP using Planview Enterprise, are no longer blindsided by swings in demand. For more information about Services Resource Planning, download a copy of the latest IDC Executive Brief titled, Service Resource Planning: Systems for Effectively Managing a Project-based Business. I would like to hear from you. How are you dealing with the challenges of managing resource pools in your service-driven business?

Related posts: SRP and PSA -- There IS a Difference and Blindsided: Why Service-Driven Organizations are Unprepared For Swings in Demand

Managing Project-Based Businesses in Turbulent Times


Written by Michael Fauscette, Group Vice President, IDC

Michael Fauscette

No one will argue that the economy is creating many business challenges for project based businesses. Thinner margins, slowing revenue growth, fewer projects, lower bill rates, changing customer and employee expectations, and new technology trends including the consumerization of IT are daily topics for many executives. In these rough waters, how does the successful executive navigate through all of the challenges and thrive when others fail?

On my personal blog, I recently wrote an article titled, Sense and Respond, Operating a Social Business where I discuss the management concept, sense and respond, that I believe is absolutely critical in today's business environment and has the potential to form the foundation of the next generation business operating model. Developed in the early 1990's by an IBM researcher, the concept has the capability to transform businesses in this post-industrial, information-driven Internet economy. If you're interested, I invite you to read it yourself when you have a chance.

This blog will highlight one of the key components of the sense and respond model: the ability to collect and analyze critical business information in real or near real time, and use that data to make timely business decisions.

So how does this apply to the project-based business? Project-based businesses are optimized by managing to key performance metrics, which has always been the best approach. The problem for many firms is that getting the required data out of disconnected and poorly designed systems can be near impossible, and even if you can get the data, do you trust that it's correct?

What Do I Mean by Performance Metrics?

These key business indicators are broad across the entire business operation and include things like:

  • Revenue and profit margin down to the project level
  • Billable resource utilization across all locations/offices
  • Resource schedules
  • Forecast and pipeline
  • Project close rates
  • Project portfolio risk view
  • Project history
  • Project progress
  • Client open issues
  • Client lifetime value and profitable

Many project-based businesses I talk with are running on disconnected systems not designed to manage a project-based business. Many of them have systems that they have customized heavily to try and make them "fit" and/or are stuck on old technology. Some even have developed their own systems that require constant upgrades and maintenance and often do not deliver the information they need.

The Solution

There are fairly new systems available that are integrated across the entire project lifecycle and are purpose-built to operate a project-based business. These systems are called Services Resource Planning (SRP) and provide all the tools to optimize resources, manage project portfolios, optimize profit, effectively manage client issues, and optimize firm financial management, all in an integrated system with projects at the core.

Operating in a sense and respond model requires reliable, timely business data and to get that you must have integrated systems in place that can provide the right data at the right time. For project-based businesses, SRP delivers the data necessary to navigate your business effectively and are absolutely an essential part of your business strategy.

I want to hear from you. How are you currently gathering performance metrics in your organization? Are they accurate? Share your experiences by leaving a comment below. For more information on this topic read the latest IDC Executive Brief titled, Services Resource Planning: Systems for Effectively Managing a Project-based Business.

Blindsided: Why Service-Driven Organizations are Unprepared for Swings in Demand


In my last blog post, SRP and PSA -- There IS a Difference, I discussed the major differences between Services Resource Planning (SRP) and Professional Services Automation (PSA). In short, SRP addresses the capacity and demand issues that drive resource decisions and revenue forecasting, whereas PSA focuses more on the mechanics that drive the quote to cash process, such as order processing, billing, and so on. Both are needed to effectively run a project-based service organization.

Most service-driven organizations have the front-end and back-end "mechanics" system (often PSA or a customized ERP system) in place but few have mastered the ability to synchronize demand with delivery capacity. Perhaps this is why so many service-driven organizations struggle when the inevitable swings in demand happen, sending them scurrying to get a handle on their resource situation.

To begin with, let's look at the typical pain points service-driven organizations tend to experience.

Service-Driven Challenges

In speaking with numerous Operations VPs and staffing directors about their business challenges, the following points hold true in virtually every organization:

  • Unreliable forecasting means incoming demand is always a surprise
  • Poor visibility of resource utilization; to find the resource information they need they must look in multiple spreadsheets or make multiple phone calls
  • Specialized, higher cost resources are consumed on low margin engagements and activities
  • Project execution methods are inconsistent, wasting resources on rework often cause delivery delays and customer satisfaction problems

For these organizations, it is critical to be able to optimize the global resource pools because the resources are the business. Specifically, service-driven businesses need to be able to accurately synchronize demand with delivery capacity. They must drive operational excellence and maximize their revenue by optimizing the timing vs. availability vs. profitability equation to improve the management of their global resource pools. The last piece of the puzzle is to establish financial transparency into the true cost of service and project delivery to improve forecasts and develop reliable proposals for future projects. Without these items in place, all of which SRP helps address, the organization is at a disadvantage.

In my next post, we will look at a few real world examples of how different services organizations have struggled with the similar challenges and how Services Resource Planning is changing the way they do business. For more information about Services Resource Planning, download a copy of the latest IDC Executive Brief titled, Service Resource Planning: Systems for Effectively Managing a Project-based Business.

I want to hear from you! What are some of your challenges your organization is facing? Share your experiences by leaving a comment below.

Related post: SRP and PSA -- There IS a Difference

SRP and PSA -- There IS a Difference -- Part 1


As a follow up to a recent Webcast I participated in titled, The Missing Perspective: A Resource View for Service Driven Organizations, I wanted to begin a dialog around the key take-a-ways addressed in the Webcast as it provides a new perspective and insight into who is using Services Resource Planning (SRP) and why. I have an interest and passion for this topic based on my experience and seeing our customer success. Presented in a three part blog series, I will cover the differences between SRP and Professional Services Automation (PSA), the pain service businesses are facing in today's global economic climate and finally the requirements, key drivers, and recommendations for optimizing your service driven business. To begin the conversation this post will address the differences between SRP versus PSA.

SRP versus PSA

Contrary to traditional thinking, SRP and PSA solutions serve different markets and bring contrasting functionality and value to the table. PSA provides a high level view of what needs to be done in the business and works for everyday mechanics but it lacks functional depth and visibility into critical areas like resource management, demand management, engagement management, utilization optimization, revenue forecasts, and project portfolio management. SRP provides both high-level and in-depth knowledge around these critical components so service-driven companies can seamlessly manage execution to delivery while maximizing margins.

Understanding the Bigger Picture

A service-driven business is intently focused on how to continuously improve their "Quote to Cash" process in their services business lifecycle. On the quote side, the CRM system is used to manage opportunity, sales forecasts, demand snapshots, etc. On the other end, there's the cash side with the ERP system effectively used for invoicing and processing financial reports. The gap that sits in the middle of the quote and cash bookends is often referred to as the "Planning and Execution Gap." Service-driven businesses are always trying to balance current projects and forecasts, and require in-depth resource management functionality that can handle global, complex enterprise requirements. While resource management remains a company's biggest pain point with project execution coming in a close second, companies are typically unaware that there is a solution available that provides this visibility and balance they are striving to achieve.

PSA solutions are wide but very narrow. For global service-driven enterprises, a PSA solution will not work because of its lack of depth in resources and project management. SRP fills the gap and provides organizations with visibility not found in PSA solutions and is the 'middleware' that addresses the complexity of how an organization delivers value, manages costs, directs critical resources, and generates profitability. From a strategic standpoint, companies can really look ahead to what their organizations need are based on demand. SRP is the market that will service these large enterprises concerned about the following:PSA vs. SRP

Key Drivers for SRP:

  • Resource Management
  • Demand Management
  • Engagement (project management)
  • Utilization Forecasts
  • Project portfolio management

Organizations that would benefit from an SRP solution are global with thousands of resources (human and non-human) that are project-driven with a need of greater visibility into revenue forecasting and margin analysis on their engagements.

If you are interested in watching the Webcast,
The Missing Perspective: A Resource View for Service Driven Organizations featuring from me and Margo Visitation, Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, you can register and watch the on-demand recording any time.

I'd like to hear from you. Share your experiences and best practices related to managing the "Planning and Execution Gap" and post a comment below.