Implementing Professional Services Automation - Where to start?

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    Written by HarmonyPSA on 2015-06-29 Last updated 2018-07-09 - 13 minute read
Implementing an all-in-one management system which will touch every part of your business is a daunting prospect.  However, with careful planning, and the right support from your vendor, it is possible to make it a smooth transition from current systems and to reap some real business benefits in the early stages of integration.

Initial considerations

Firstly, it makes sense to break the problem down into manageable phases, both from the standpoint of business disruption and also to get some early benefits.  When deciding which implementation sequence to adopt and how much to fit into each phase, the following considerations are key:
  • It should be a simple as possible initially
  • Each phase should make sense to the selected group of users, so it should be complete within the area it covers
  • It should provide business benefit
  • It should not disrupt your ability to process business
  • It should build on earlier phases
  • It should minimise duplication of effort (some degree of duplication is inevitable, but we should try to minimise it)
As a final consideration, it may be worth taking into account where the new system’s functionality most closely matches current practice and adopting that section first.  In this way, the employees do not need to deal with both a new system and changes to working practice at the same time.

Data considerations

No system is any use without data but with multiple systems data duplication is inevitable and master data management can be a real problem.  By placing all your data in a single solution, these problems go away.  However, first you have to get it in and working.
Data in the central solution has a logical sequence of population;
  • Employees
  • Customers (and suppliers/resellers etc)
  • Customer
  • Contacts Products
  • Contracts
  • Projects
  • Tickets
By populating the data in this sequence, the correct hierarchy of references is maintained and data only needs to go in once.  An early win for central data maintenance is that duplicate data entry should be eliminated.

Logical functional groups

The table below shows the optimum functional group sequences, depending on which aspect of the business has the most to gain.  The exact number of phases in the final plan will depend on how the subsequent phases are grouped together:
 
Starting
area
In
favour
Against
Subsequent
phases
Timesheets
(up to 6 phases)
v Gets most of
the company using the solution immediately
v Timesheets
without order integration (manual link) can be quick to get live
v Drives
immediate visibility of activity
v Commercials
are hard to model without orders
v Invoicing
likely to remain manual
v Timesheets
without tickets means that once tickets are added, a second bulk change in
behaviour is required
1.
Quotes and orders
2.
Contracts
3.
Tickets
4.
Invoicing & Accounting
5.
CRM (can be slotted in at any point, not critical)
Tickets
(Up to 6 phases)
v Ticketing
may be run in isolation
v If no
solution exists, this can really help organise work without disrupting other
existing processes
v Without
timesheets, time tracking on tickets is not useful
v Without
contracts and SLAs ticket reporting is isolated
1.
Contracts
2.
Timesheets
3.
Quotes and Orders
4.
Invoicing & Accounting
5.
CRM
 
Sales Opportunities
(Up to 5 phases)
v Simple to
model
v Only needs
data points 1,2&3
v Unifies and
cleans customer data
v Replaces CRM
system
v Low training
effort
v Low user
impact and so limited benefits on day one
v Can create
frustration as quote functionality not available
1.
Quotes and orders
2.
Contracts
3.
Projects, tickets and timesheets
4.
Invoicing& Accounting
Sales Opportunities, Quotes & Orders
(Up to 4 phases)
v Immediate
benefit is organising contract creation and management
v Places first
delivery into the heart of the organisations revenue maintenance
v Overall
fewest phases approach, shorter change period
v Requires
product and price book definition, can be tough to formalise
v Each phase
is larger and requires more coordination
v Without
invoicing, double entry is required
 
1.
Projects, Tickets and timesheets
2.
Contracts (populating the back-book)
3.
Invoicing & Accounting
 
There is no right answer.  Each option achieves benefits but leaves duplicate activity and data management.  The balance to be struck is all about the organisation’s ability to manage change.  A long and cautious implementation with many small phases will be easier to manage but leave an uncertain state persisting for longer.  A few large phases gets the job over with but can cause significant uncertainty if not very carefully managed.
For more information on how HarmonyPSA can help you optimise your business visit www.harmonypsa.com.  We can help you through the journey to a better, more streamlined future.
 

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See also:

At what stage of my business growth should I invest in a PSA system?
How to build a business case for a PSA solution
Implementing professional services automation - where to start?
The 5 golden rules for PSA implementation success
Assessing the ROI for implementing a Professional Services Automation (PSA) solution
Beyond Professional Services Automation – Are new breed PSA systems are changing the way technology providers do business?

 

About the Author: Harmony Business Systems Ltd (HBS) is the company behind HarmonyPSA, the most complete cloud PSA software on the market. Developed with functionality to cater for even the most complex needs of MSPs, VARs, ISVs and Professional Services organisations, HarmonyPSA truly is the next generation of PSA systems. HBS is an independent company based in the UK. Follow HarmonyPSA on


Tags: Benefits of PSA, implement psa solutions, implementation success with psa, implementing a psa solution, implementing management sysem, Professional Services Automation, General PSA

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