Kimble Emphasizes Organizational Flexibility and Dynamism in Summer 21 Release
Leading provider of PSA software announces new features that will help customers to confidently scale their businesses
BOSTON, MA & LONDON, UK — June 2, 2021
Kimble Applications, a global leader in professional services automation, today announced the general availability of its Summer 21 release, which emphasizes organizational flexibility, dynamism, and scalability, with features that make it easier to see where businesses using Kimble PSA need to go in order to be successful and what actions they need to take to get there.
Customers who attended Kimble Connect, Kimble’s online customer conference, were given a preview of the features offered in Summer 21 in the final session of the three day event on May 22. These features have been available for customers to test in their sandbox environments since the beginning of May. New features in the Summer 21 release, which was deployed in a number of customer environments over the weekend, include dynamic availability scoring that builds on Kimble’s market-leading resource planning and bench optimization functionality, and enhancements to Kimble’s ability to track baseline projections against actual project costs and revenues.
“Kimble’s PSA solution played a large role in helping our customers successfully navigate the rough seas of 2020, which was a year that saw unprecedented market shifts happen with unprecedented speed. And that dynamism isn’t going away anytime soon,” said Kimble’s CEO Sean Hoban. “Professional services organizations that are able to quickly understand the direction they need to go – that can predict where the next wave is coming from – and that can effectively align their organization around that vision and crest that wave have been able to thrive. Those that lack that flexibility, agility, and balance have struggled. Kimble has designed the Summer 21 release to ensure businesses using Kimble are better able to anticipate what they need to do to consistently drive positive outcomes and value for their customers. Our goal is to help businesses overcome challenges that stand in the way of organizational scalability.”
Dynamic Availability Scoring is one enhancement included in Summer 21 that will put businesses in a position to be more proactive when addressing imbalances in their resource pool. Kimble has introduced numerous workflows in recent releases that put resource managers on the front foot when it comes to lining up the right resources for the right projects. These include automated resourcing capabilities that find the ideal resources for upcoming assignments based on factors such as needed skills and availability, and bench optimization screens that identify resources with upcoming capacity as well as projects they are suited to take on.
With Dynamic Availability Scoring, the Kimble solution more proactively surfaces the upcoming capacity of resources, with a color spectrum highlighting at a glance exactly how much work a resource does or doesn’t have on their plate in a selected period. Kimble users are also able to more easily determine which activities should make a resource unavailable and can quickly change the date range they are analyzing.
“The ability to score resources based on their availability across an upcoming date range, that was already something Kimble could do, but, as with so many of the new features available in Summer 21, we’ve built upon this capability based on feedback that we actively sought from our customers,” said Sarah Edwards, Kimble’s Chief Product & Strategy Officer who led the Summer 21 preview session at Kimble Connect alongside Kimble’s Head of Product Development, Mark Smith. “In the case of availability scoring, we really wanted to understand: How do we make it easier for you to understand that score, to see that score, and, critically, how do we make it easier for you to do something with that information?”
Kimble welcomed new roles and members to its Executive Team in April, with Sarah Edwards moving from leading Kimble’s International Business Unit to helming Kimble’s growing Product Management team as the business’s Chief Product & Strategy Officer. The Summer 21 release has been the first opportunity this new version of Kimble’s Product Management team has had to show Kimble’s customers how valuable their voice is – and will continue to be – in contributing to the evolution of the Kimble product. Through feedback calls, customer networking events, and enhancement requests, Edwards’ team has pinpointed common customer needs and business challenges and tailored Kimble’s product roadmap to ensure it aligns with those requirements.
According to Edwards, “Summer 21 is a reflection of the fact that we offer a very mature product to our customers, there is a lot of fantastic functionality within Kimble that has the potential to transform the way these organizations do business, and now it’s really about listening and engaging with our customers, constantly asking the question how can we ensure the market-leading functionality in Kimble is as easy to leverage as possible so our customers are able to quickly achieve positive outcomes.”
Other new resource management features in Summer 21 that have emerged from this ongoing dialogue with Kimble’s customers include added flexibility and automation in the skills approval and skills planning process – with managers able to approve multiple resources’ skills at once from the same screen where they already approve timesheets and expenses – as well as the ability to see, while reviewing proposed candidates for an assignment, what the utilization impacts will be if a candidate for an assignment is accepted. In addition, Kimble has made multiple user experience optimizations to the powerful Assignment Search screen.
“Assignment Search gives businesses a tremendous amount of insight and flexibility as they assess which assignments need to be staffed, and which resources are the right fit for upcoming work,” said Sarah Edwards. “In order to further unlock the power of this view, we’ve introduced even more flexibility and more depth when it comes to determining which information you want to see and which information you can see, so you can easily create views with multi-level grouping, you can see the precise usage for a resource by day, by week, or by month.”
“And we’ve applied this to consultant users as well so it’s not just project managers and resource managers who have access to the power this view provides – the same principles have been applied to a new calendar view for all Kimble users. So now consultants can customize and filter this view to suit their needs as they work across multiple assignments over the coming days, weeks and months.”
Kimble has also introduced a new design to screens that analyze the performance of projects against baseline projections. This new analysis interface as well as changes to the way baseline information is recorded ensure that Kimble customers are able to profile revenue, cost and usage by period and compare it to baseline expectations for those periods.
“For a long time we’ve provided the ability to baseline projects and to compare that baseline to actuals and forecasts in Kimble,” said Sarah Edwards. “But what is actually really important to me as a business leader is: When did my project start to overrun? Finding out it’s overrun at the end of the project is too late. I want to know now so we can do something about it. These changes we’ve made to the way we record and reflect performance against baseline mean that organizations will be able to surface deviations sooner and drive better decision-making. It also means organizations will be able to assess at which stage recurring challenges are emerging across projects that are bringing actual performance out of line with the baseline, that way they can identify organizational bottlenecks and find ways around them towards more consistent, profitable performance.”
Summer 21 also introduces new ways to manage rate cards, reducing the administrative burden of maintaining accurate rates. Kimble now allows for management of multiple concurrent active cards, including account specific rate cards that can be managed by account where client-specific rates have been agreed – this makes it easier to ensure rates applied to projects line up with reality, giving businesses a clearer, more accurate idea of what planned work will cost and what it will earn.
ABOUT KIMBLE APPLICATIONS
Kimble Applications helps professional service organizations run their project-based businesses better. Global leaders in consulting, software and hi-tech such as NTT Data, Sage, and Canon use Kimble to optimize resource utilization, profitability and business scalability. Kimble is the only leading software vendor that focuses exclusively on professional services automation (PSA), putting all its energy into innovating features and easy-to-use functionality that improve team collaboration and efficiency around the key services processes. Built to work seamlessly with CRM, Kimble drives a forward-looking focus and more timely decision making with intelligent insights and guidance.