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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


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


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