accountingToday | September 17, 2019

By Scott Bales Vice president, Enterprise Solution Engineering and Delivery, Replicon

One might assume they already know everything a project manager in a professional services organization is responsible for — namely, managing a project. A more generous definition may also include meeting various deadlines and delivering the completed project to those who requested it. At one time, this simple definition covered all the bases; now it’s done some serious growing up.

External expectations

Recent changes in the professional services landscape have introduced a growing disparity between what was once generally accepted as project management and what professional services firms expect from project managers today. Only recently has the role of a project manager expanded beyond its traditional definition, moving away from the solely internal functions that made it simpler to handle stakeholder expectations. This new normal is slowly evolving into a project manager with more solid client-facing experience; someone who has previously worked with a limited budget and delivered a finished project to a paying customer. This new equally internal and external project manager has a broader background and skill set, moving toward a more proactive leadership style when guiding team members. In other words, the role has matured.

More metrics

But that’s not the only change — the mass emergence of available data has compelled today’s professional services firms to rely on them for fundamental decision-making. With substantiated evidence available on what works and what doesn’t, it’s no surprise that project managers are increasingly expected to concern themselves with numbers. Owning full visibility into every aspect of their projects means that project managers now regularly observe multiple key metrics, including budgets, estimates, costs, margins, profitability, billings and more. Now a project manager can consider, “Does this task ultimately encourage profitability, or does it hinder it? How does this estimate compare to the actual cost?” Using these metrics, managers can effectively assess and control the status, productivity, work quality and overall success of a project.

Consistent collaboration

Metrics don’t materialize out of nothing. Project managers should also know the intricacies of how these metrics work and why they are defined the way they are. This adds yet another new complexity to the role — collaborating with other teams. While project managers do have direct control over some metrics, identifying others requires deferring to other departments. This wasn’t traditionally part of the process, but these working alliances keep everyone on the same page when it comes to incoming data and analytics. Organizations can now rely on one shared and consistent pool of metrics across all teams for a more standardized workflow. By joining forces with finance, operations and others, project managers can avoid setbacks such as going over budget or miscalculating project margins, and keep the process streamlined for each stage of handoff.

All grown up

Today, project managers must wear several hats — all of which bring them closer to the more external tasks of services delivery, such as managing client expectations, collaboration with finance and operations teams, observing multiple metrics, actively considering project profitability, resource utilization, and more. Gone are the days of single-minded focus on delivery — the complexity of the role has increased substantially, and project management has done some growing up. Services delivery is the new face of project management, and companies must embrace this to optimize their project success moving forward.

Original Source: accountingToday
Author: Scott Bales Vice president, Enterprise Solution Engineering and Delivery, Replicon

Get started today.
Set up a free trial based on your business needs. Start Free Trial

Replicon Announces Time Intelligence Platform for Cloud-based Solutions from SAP for the Professional Services Industry

Replicon Time Tracking for Service Organizations Delivers a Single Source of Truth for Time. Redwood City, CA – October 22nd, 2020  – Replicon announced today that its Time Tracking for…Read More

Global Compliance Desk – Maine, United States

New Earned Employee Leave in Maine Governor Janet Mills signed L.D. 369, An Act Authorizing Earned Employee Leave, in May 2019, which will become effective on January 1, 2021. Currently,…Read More

Weathering a Crisis: 3 Steps to Revitalizing Your Time and Attendance

Regardless of who you ask, most would agree that the pandemic has unilaterally redefined life as we know it. What feels like an eternity of uncertainty and confusion for many…Read More

Using shared services? These five technologies are a must

As organizations continue to scrutinize operating costs and look for areas to drive efficiencies, shared services centers (SSCs) are a no-brainer. The concept of a multi-function SSC has been around…Read More

Miscalculating wages by a few cents led to this company paying a six-figure lawsuit

West Marine Products, which operates a chain of retail stores across the United States specializing in boating supply and fishing equipment, recently settled a class action lawsuit involving 707 former…Read More

Employee time tracking is dead

iBeacons, Bluetooth Low Energy, Proximity sensing and the obsolescence of time tracking as we know it. Businesses have to track the time their employees work for a variety of reasons,…Read More
  • Cloud
  • In The News
  • Corporate
  • Professional Services Management
  • Project and Program Management
  • Shared Services Management
  • Time and Attendance Management
  • Workforce Management
  • Customer Feature
  • Feature Update
  • Time Intelligence
  • Industry News
  • Webinar Recap
  • Global Compliance Updates