system-63768_640Let’s face it, employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction, and cost per resolution are all interrelated. In order to run a successful and profitable services organization you need to figure out how to manage all three to get the best possible results.

But what measures should you monitor to ensure you are achieving peak performance? There are generally two measures you can use to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of your services organization: key performance indicators (KPI) and key performance drivers (KPD). Most organizations focus on performance indicators such as billable utilization, distribution of utilization, and quality but do not have a process in place to evaluate performance drivers. Although performance indicators are important, tracking indicators alone is not likely drive the results you want or your team is capable of achieving.

Companies need to assess performance drivers in conjunction with performance indicators if they want to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of their service organization. Consider this, would a coach make strategy and player development decisions solely based on the score board? Not if he wants a top performing team!

Here are a few key performance drivers and why you should be tracking them:

Skills database

It is difficult to plan for future capacity without a clear picture of what you are capable of now. A centralized and detailed skills database can help identify what people, skills, and experience your team currently possesses. A centralized view of enterprise wide skills and transparent access (e.g. more than just the practice lead can access the data) to this data is critical to making effective use of what are and should be your most important corporate assets – your people.

Staffing process

A pre-planned staffing process is an extremely effective way to govern how and who gets deployed to projects. Preferably a process free from department or personality influences (i.e. ‘I want my favorite person syndrome’).


In order to get the maximum results from your services organization you will need a precise method to predict future staffing needs.

Candidate sourcing and development

The key to any good resource management process is to hire the right people at the right time and keep them trained with the right mix of the skills.

Professional Services Automation (PSA) system

Too many service organizations continue to manage their operations with spreadsheets or legacy systems that were poorly designed for today’s highly complex and fast paced markets. Integration of the various data sources such as your skills data base, project status and accounting information, and CRM systems all with real-time support is critical to be competitive.


In business we are what we measure. Gaining senior management agreement to clear accountabilities and a process for governing the various decisions relating to PS operations in the enterprise are important. This governance process will always cross organizational boundaries likely to include sales, product, finance, HR and delivery management.

Establishment of well-disciplined resource management processes are at least as important to a services operation as any quality or project management processes. In order to obtain or even exceed your desired projected results, it is critical that you implement best practice processes for managing and utilizing your human capital. If you are one of the majority of services organizations – you may have some work to do on this front. The good news is there are processes, automation tools, and consulting firms that can help you.

Our free whitepaper, “Self-Assessment Guide for Resource Management” offers more detail on how to use key performance indicators as well as resource management performance drivers and a scoring tool to help you determine your level of effectiveness when it comes to your resource management processes.

Good luck with becoming the most efficient and effective operation possible. Good resource management is the key!

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