The sacred triangle of delivery management for Professional Services

    Nordin Sahil |

    As a delivery manager* within a Professional Services organisation you are dealing with three dimensions in which you have to perform: quality, reliability and efficiency. The key to successful delivery management is planning across the whole organisation. Alignment of multiple projects** in terms of phases, required skills, number and seniority of consultants, project priority, external sourcing and management of supply and demand are all important topics.

    Billable hours balancing act

    With services becoming more homogenised across industries, your services are no longer the only differentiator in the decision making of a customer. When a project is sold on fixed price in order to be competitive, an increase of just 5% in hours spent on a single activity could let the margin on your project evaporate.

    What if you could improve the financial planning for the project with actual required hours? In this way, you can sell projects fixed price or be more transparent about the time & material components of your project towards the customer. With SOA People’s intelligent ERP solutions, it is possible to track in real time the expected and actual costs, worked and billed hours including hourly rate, and how every change affects the overall profitability. Intelligent ERP solutions allow your organisation to improve baseline profitability of projects before the sale is made.

    Constant planning changes

    Project planning and delivery require constant attention to respond to changes across all projects your organisation is working on. One of the major causes for planning changes is employee turnover or churn. You operate in a competitive market where personnel may get many offerings throughout their career.

    The best way to ensure that a leaving employee does not cause disruption of an important project, is to have back-ups. This means keeping a healthy pipeline of new talent, as well maintaining and expanding the knowledge of your current pool of resources. Flexible resource planning is essential in optimally staffing projects, while also keeping customers happy that their projects start, progress and finish in agreement with the set timelines and KPIs.

    In SOA People’s intelligent ERP solutions, ample applications are available to keep an overview of project planning and delivery. Actions can be taken on an exception basis, meaning you don’t have to micro manage every detail but merely react to exceptions before they become a problem.

    The pursuit of happiness

    Happy personnel directly leads to a happier life for the delivery manager. Getting the planning right for all of your customers does not automatically mean that all resources are assigned their ideal project or project role. Besides achieving their minimum target billable rate which translates into financial rewards, it is essential that all personnel also have fun and challenging assignments. This will lead to a reduction in churn, an increase in effectiveness at work as well as higher performance on KPIs such as billable hours and customer satisfaction.

    With the SuccessFactors human capital capabilities of SOA People’s intelligent ERP solutions, a delivery manager is able to create a synergy between operational planning of the project and the skills of the consultants. Optimisation of this planning is created by our Ready4 Advanced Scheduling (R4AS) product which is leveraged within SuccessFactors.

    Conclusion

    Achieving the optimum balance between operational efficiency (through intelligent planning), customer satisfaction (through high quality project delivery), and happiness among all stakeholders is within reach with SOA People’s intelligent ERP solutions for Professional Services organisations. The combination of the maturity of S/4HANA Cloud with regards to project management and delivery of Professional Services, along with the full HR capabilities of SuccessFactors and Planning capabilities of our Ready4 Advanced Scheduling (R4AS), allows your organisation to benefit from the sacred triangle of delivery management for Professional Services.

    Contact us to learn more and let us help you optimise your performance!

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    * The term Delivery Manager in this blog represents any leadership position in a company that is responsible for the execution and delivery of a service.

    ** Projects are in this blog considered to be any type of Professional Service ranging from IT projects to legal cases, audits, construction projects, even short-term things such as service ticket handling, etc.