Most service companies understand that project management is imperative and that having software to help keep tasks on track can be beneficial to delivering successful projects. But many service businesses today are going a step beyond project management (PM) software and implementing Professional Services Automation (PSA) software instead, to manage the entire lifecycle of a project from sales through service delivery.
The Difference Between Project Management (PM) Software and Professional Services Automation (PSA) Software:
There are many similarities between project management software and PSA software. In fact, a PSA software will include project management features and functionality. The real difference is that PSA offers so much more, and helps service businesses manage all the ins and outs of their projects, including resource planning, scheduling, utilization tracking, time and expense tracking, cost management, approval process management, task scheduling and completion, team collaboration, client feedback and surveying functionality, and more.
To learn more about distinguishing project management software from PSA software, read our blog here: What’s the Difference Between PSA and PM Software?
Breaking Down The Use Cases For Professional Services Automation:
PSA is used for a wide variety of reasons and helps service businesses accomplish a number of things:
1. Managing Project Details
With PSA software, as soon as your sales team gets involved with the deal, they can start entering important details about the project requirements into the CRM. By choosing a PSA software that integrates with that CRM, or that is built native on the CRMs platform (i.e. Krow Software is built 100% native on Salesforce), your Services team will then have access to all of the project details as soon as the project is sold and handed over to them for implementation.
2. Task Scheduling and Completion
When it comes to successful project implementations, tracking tasks is one of the first things that typically comes to mind. That’s because there are usually a lot of moving pieces and steps that need to happen between the project start date and the go-live date. By using a PSA tool to track tasks, it’s easier for project managers to assign the different steps in project completion, set due dates, and track progress.
3. Creating Estimates and Identifying Timelines
When you’re preparing a quote, timeline, or project overview for a client, a PSA tool will help you give an educated prediction of the resources—time, employees, budget—needed to complete the task. When used properly, your PSA software takes the guesswork out of your projected timeline and instead leaves you with a blueprint from start to finish. This means more accurate estimating for budgets and profits as well as timelines. And, satisfied customers.
4. Employee Planning and Scheduling
An intricate part of project management is tackling resource allocation. It takes several moving pieces to take a project from start to finish, and the planning process requires identifying and assigning the best possible resources to the job. A great PSA Software will help you not only to plan who will be tasked with what—and when—it can also help you coordinate schedules between multiple team members who may need to work together on certain parts of the project. With Krow Software’s resource planning functionality, you can also select resources for a project based on assigned skills, geographical location, and more.
5. Forecasting and Reporting
Having data on hand about your projects is key to their success, as well as the success of future projects. Forecasting and reporting allows you to identify problem areas before they arise and keep projects on track and on budget, helping your service business be as profitable as possible. Detailed reporting in a PSA software will help you see where projects went off track in the past and help you learn from your mistakes moving forward.