Due to the scope of projects within the professional services industry, from the tasks involved to the resources required for successful completion, it’s crucial every aspect of them runs as smoothly and as efficiently as possible. But, how can you guarantee this every time?
Here, we break down six ways you can improve project performance so you can meet and exceed your clients’ expectations:
- Ensure your resources are readily available for the project
- Keep communication consistent across our teams
- Define the scope of your project
- Standardise your risk management
- Standardise your error reporting
- Improve your time and expense management
1. Ensure your resources are readily available for the project
Ensuring your resources are readily available for any project you’re undertaking prevents delays if there are any hiccups along the way. For instance, your less skilled workforce may lack the expertise needed for your project requirements, leading to issues if those with this knowledge like senior management aren't available to step in.
Additionally, you’ll need to identify where your consultants are quickly, just in case certain issues require further expertise. It’s found that 55% of employees want to continue to work remotely at least three days a week, meaning without the right communication tools, this can lead to uncertainty around where your clients are based. It can also cause confusion when trying to identify the best people for the job.
2. Keep communication consistent across your teams
Usually, several departments are involved in different stages of projects leading to complexities when communicating between them. To improve your communication, you should ensure that:
- Everyone is on the same page
- You can identify issues from individual teams before they escalate and take impact upon your wider teams
Project management software can assist with this. One feature you can use is file sharing, allowing your teams to gain visibility into all the progress made on different tasks for improved collaboration. Project teams can also get clarification on documents or discuss issues through real-time communication tools, improving your project performance as any errors can be reported and dealt with quickly.
3. Define the scope of your project
Spend time defining the scope of the project before you begin any work. This will help you understand the resources you need, map out the necessary tasks to make your project successful, and identify how you'll maintain project quality.
Project management software will come in useful when defining your scope, as it allows you to forecast how your project is expected to perform. Seeing the resources allocated towards particular tasks enables you to strengthen your project performance as you’ll be able to make better-informed decisions such as increasing the skillsets behind them.
4. Standardise your risk management
With any project, there’s always a risk of issues cropping up along the way. However, by standardising your risk management from the get-go through testing templates, you'll be able to identify these and resolve them before it impacts your performance.
One way you can do this is by using software that automatically picks these issues up beforehand, allowing your teams to be better prepared when they do arise and manage them effectively. The more projects you carry out, the more efficient your software should become at identifying issues from the previous times so that you can learn, retest, and become better with your performance on the spot.
5. Standardise your error reporting
Due to the number of tasks involved within projects, especially in the professional services industry, issues can be swept under the rug and forgotten about by your consultants. However, this will directly impact project performance if these are left incomplete.
By creating procedures where your teams raise errors to senior stakeholder management as soon as they occur, this will allow you to pinpoint issues and resolve them on the spot.
6. Improve your time and expense management
To improve your time and expense management in professional services, you should look for technology that can manage your teams billing and timesheets. Instead of consultants writing down the time taken to complete their tasks via traditional pen to paper methods, you can use online timesheets that can be easily accessible from any location on any device. This means that:
- Timesheets will be more accurate as project teams can fill them out on the go without any delays
- If there's more than one team assigned to a task, it prevents any confusion about whether certain parts of it have been completed
Additionally, to boost project performance, invoicing should always be done on time and correctly. Software such as a PSA tool will assist with this as you can better manage your invoicing cycle by:
- Streamlining billing options to automatically send invoices out
- Follow up on any outstanding payments on your client projects
- Escalate non-payment issues wherever necessary
Choose the right software to boost your project performance
With the professional services industry becoming more turbulent, including increased demands from customers and new ways of working, your firm must be able to successfully manage and deliver effective projects. Our infographic explores how project management software can help you navigate and overcome these challenges so you can keep one step ahead of your competition. Interested? Get your copy below.