There was once a time when managing a project at work was fairly straightforward.
There is no doubt that the pandemic has tested the ability of professional service firms to deliver projects and services on time and within budget. With teams working remotely, managers have struggled to get the pulse of a project like they could previously during a watercooler conversation. What is the progress on a project? Are there any blockers, not captured on a traditional project management system, that could potentially throw a project off track? How can they quickly identify and resolve issues in a dynamic environment?
This is why we built our Project Pulse feature right within Polaris PSA. Pulse simplifies service delivery management by providing real-time visibility into all critical project metrics, including task progress, resource requirements, hours, cost, financials, and other details. It centralizes project health information and makes it more accessible and visible for a services organization. With accurate and up-to-date project information, managers and business leaders can make the best decisions and ensure successful project and service delivery.
With the Project Pulse feature, professional services firms can:
Get Real-time Visibility into Service Delivery
When the global workforce went remote, only a few organizations could quickly and effectively adapt to changing project and program requirements. Managers who had full visibility into project management could successfully deliver service without compromising the quality. Others had to deal with substantial delays, under deliveries, and even cancellations.
Project Pulse is powered by SmartBeats, another advanced Polaris feature that automatically harvests user data to give current insights into the work completed, tasks that are due, and the estimated time needed to close the project successfully. Managers review and provide feedback instantly. This enables project managers to sense how their projects are progressing at every minute and helps to identify opportunities for optimizing service delivery. And because managers review the progress every day, they can quickly intervene to salvage projects that are going off track.
Consistently Deliver Projects on Time and on Budget
The key to avoiding inconsistent project delivery is to address issues as early as possible. A single delayed task can have a cascading effect on the entire project and finances. If not controlled effectively, one delayed project can throw off multiple project schedules, create a resource crunch, and go over the predefined budget.
With Project Pulse, managers can view all the critical project metrics at a glance to identify early warnings and take appropriate actions before the project goes off track. For instance, from the Pulse dashboard, managers can get a comprehensive view of all the tasks associated with a specific project and the status of each task. With one click, managers can see all the work done, remaining work, and estimated date to completion. This level of granular information helps managers to course correct any unfavorable deviations and ensure projects get delivered on time.
The Pulse dashboard also gives an aggregated, real-time view of the project costs, billable revenue, and profit. If managers see costs going up and profits going down, they can quickly dig into the reasons for budget overrun and prevent potential huge losses. For managers, it’s easier to correct a 5 percent budget overrun than a 25 percent overrun. Project pulse helps to keep an eye on the actual finances and make necessary adjustments to make sure that 5 percent overrun does not turn into 25 percent.
Improve Resource Planning and Project Staffing
Resource management is a critical aspect of the service delivery management process. Project managers plan and reserve resources even before a project moves into the execution phase. They look ahead at possible resource requirements throughout the project’s life cycle to avoid last-minute resource conflicts. When your service delivery software does not track available resources and allocations levels, managers can’t effectively procure and release resources at every phase of the project execution.
Project Pulse provides complete visibility into the number of resources required for projects in the pipeline, proposed requests waiting for approval, and resources that were rejected. This visibility gives managers a sense of their resource request fulfillment and possible resource scarcity. When a resource request is rejected, they can quickly look for alternate resources to keep service delivery on track.
Achieve the Desired Profitability
Missed billable hours, avoidable overtime work, unaccounted expenses, administrative overheads, sluggish billing cycles — these all lead to reduced project profitability. When the project critical information such as cost variance, profit margin, and resource utilization information is tracked in different systems, it becomes time-consuming and inefficient to track and compare project information for determining project profitability in real time.
Project Pulse connects project and financial information throughout the service delivery management lifecycle, enabling services organizations to gain instant visibility into the true cost of the project and profitability. You can see current billable revenue, costs, and profits to quickly identify red flags.
Furthermore, robust weekly reporting and deep analytics allow stakeholders to get an understanding of the profitability of each client, project, and team based on key performance indicators (KPIs). This information helps to keep costs in check while delivering projects without compromising profitability.
Improve Overall Team Collaboration
Collaboration is foundational to effective teamwork. Project Pulse breaks down departmental silos to increase agility and provide project, resource, and finance data at a glance. Managers can use this data to plan, control, and monitor project metrics and make better decisions.
Insights from Project Pulse can be used to generate weekly reports that can be easily shared with stakeholders and clients who can review the project progress and share feedback. This helps to better align projects to objectives while ensuring all the stakeholders are satisfied with the outcome.
Manage Service Delivery Effectively with Polaris
Project Pulse is one of the many powerful features that help professional services firms to deliver their projects and services effectively. Polaris PSA provides a single source of truth for all their projects, resources, financials, and planning to streamline service delivery management. Book a live demo with our solutions experts to learn how Polaris PSA can help your business.