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Five Strategies for Finding a PSA That Consultants Will Champion

Published: April 2019

Getting consultants to invest time in project updates can often feel like a losing battle. But it doesn’t have to. There are professional services automation (PSA) solutions  out there that offer functionality that encourages fruitful collaboration between project managers and consultants, closing the loop between delivery planning and delivery execution. The trick is finding the tool that can deliver value to the business by becoming a valuable part of your consultants’ workflows and processes.

While businesses might be inclined to invest in technology to circumvent issues with timesheet compliance, in truth selecting an application that alienates consultants can actually increase the chances that valuable information on project delivery remains locked away in the heads of the people handling the delivery. This might also keep other value propositions of PSA like resource optimization and proactive decision-making locked away – these benefits are only unlocked when the technology is working with accurate, up-to-date information on service delivery.  Here are five strategies you can put in place when evaluating PSA software to make sure you’re investing in a solution that can deliver ROI.

Five Ways to Ensure You're Investing in a Consultant-Friendly PSA:

1
Do not gloss overt the consultant experience during demos and presentations

And don’t let the vendor gloss over them either. Something that seems mildly cumbersome in a demo can actually be the thing that’s preventing adoption of the PSA application six months down the line. So be diligent in investigating the workflows consultants will need to follow.

2
Someone involved in the selection process should do timesheets in the way consultants do them

While many organizations have everyone submit some form of timesheet, it’s hard to understand the nuance of doing timesheets that involve billable work without actually filling them out on a regular basis.  Make sure someone who does is present, and listen carefully when that person is asking questions and giving feedback on areas that are going to lead to complaints from consultants.

3
Put together a consultant advisory board and keep them in the loop

Having a consultant advisory board will both make you a better buyer – you can get valuable insight from from them on what might be essentials and what might be deal-breakers – and it will start the process of creating formalized champions early. Through the very act of checking in with these advisers, you’re creating a group of consultants who know what PSA is, know what’s possible, know why the tool was chosen, and want the tool to succeed.

4
Don't over-engineer the tool when enabling it

Prioritize simplicity when implementing a PSA tool, especially when it comes to the consultant experience. It can be tempting to set up custom fields and mandatory steps that will potentially make things easier for another department, but always remember that any friction in time entry might reduce timesheet compliance.

5
Plan for the uphill climb

Even if you’ve found the perfect solution and set it up so that everything is as streamlined as it can possibly be, you can not assume that consultant engagement will be a given. Be prepared to think a lot about a rollout strategy and a training strategy that will help your consultants understand the new process, including what value it will have for them.

To learn more about getting consultants to adopt technology that will benefit them, listen to the latest webinar from TSIA, “Where the Rubber Meets the Road” presented by John Ragsdale, TSIA’s distinguished vice president of technology research, and Charles Gustine, Kimble’s product marketing manager.

This webinar covers:

  • Working with consultants to adopt technology that will benefit them and the organization
  • Shifting the conversation from entering time to estimating the amount of time remaining
  • Understanding what essentials to look for in a PSA tool