Helping Project Managers Get Their Groove Back:
Of all the roles within a professional and consulting services organization, the role of project manager is the most misused, misunderstood and undervalued of all the delivery roles. In addition, PMs are facing changing delivery dynamics brought on by the rise of SaaS solutions and virtualization and globalization of project teams. Ask yourself… are your project managers in step with your delivery strategy?
The Top 10 Reasons Projects Fail:
While we all generally know what a pitfall is in the business world and understand that they should be avoided, the most obvious traps are still sometimes the ones we fall into – especially when managing projects with dozens of competing priorities that distract us and take our eyes off the trail ahead. This white paper will identify the top 10 reasons projects fail and focus on how to avoid these common project management pitfalls.
Successfully Managing Project Expectations:
We all want successful projects. Even with a good plan, a good team and a good client, projects can be viewed as failures or fall short due to missed or misaligned expectations. This paper lists top five practices for successfully managing project expectations. As you review the list, we challenge you to assess how capable and mature you and your organization are at executing these practices.
Making the Case for a PMO:
PMOs are misunderstood creatures. The first challenge in gaining acceptance of PMOs is conveying their value. The fact is there is a strong correlation between the existence of a PMO and project success. Second, not all PMOs are the same. Each organization is different, and PMOs can be structured to meet the unique needs of each organization. The bottom line is this: if you do not have a PMO, create one. If you have an ineffective one, double down and make it better. This paper will help you make the case for having a PMO and provide guidance on how to get started on your path to an impactful PMO.
Practical Knowledge Management – The Keys to Customer Satisfaction:
Your company’s reputation for customer service is important to acquiring new customers. Delivering great customer service is also key to keeping and growing those hard won relationships. More and more Knowledge Management (KM) is becoming the strategic tool of choice for achieving a customer centric approach to customer service. This paper will address two important and frequent reasons why KM solutions fail and how to avoid those pitfalls.
Taxonomy – A Critical Success Factor for Knowledge Management:
As the technology space grows, service offerings are becoming more and more complex. At the same time, the growth of unstructured data/knowledge capital is also growing at a very fast pace. With this kind of growth many companies are finding it difficult to maintain and manage capital effectively. A critical success factor in the creation, search, access and useful sharing of knowledge capital is the development of Taxonomy. This paper reveals the benefits of a well-rounded taxonomy and the key elements needed in the taxonomy design process.
Change Management – Key to Avoiding a Failed Knowledge Management Implementation:
This complimentary white paper focuses on the situations where companies failed when approaching Knowledge Management (KM) as a technology implementation. Technology is just an enabler in a KM solution, the key element is “people.” And to implement a successful KM solution, organizations need to address people’s needs, concerns and fears. This leads to Change Management. Any KM solution which does not have a strong Change Management strategy is doomed to failure.
Knowledge Governance – A Key Factor for Successful Knowledge Management:
Knowledge is power in the current information age. Organizations have realized that all forms of enterprise knowledge and knowledge management are becoming important aspects in a successful business strategy. Knowledge Management creates an ecosystem where employees can share their experiences and knowledge easily, leading to a smooth, seamless flow of knowledge across organizational boundaries enabling the true ‘learning organization’. This paper focuses on Knowledge Governance, including important implementation considerations and benefits of having a Knowledge Governance strategy.
Time to Get Serious about Knowledge Management for Professional Services:
In this paper, RTM Consulting CEO Randy Mysliviec shares insights gained from the company’s Knowledge Management practice on why the PS industry has not made inroads in KM needed for today’s highly dynamic environment, and more importantly what you need to do to make KM a reality for your Professional Services teams today.
Benefits of a Knowledge Management Powered Project Management Office:
This highly informative white paper provides details on how a comprehensive Knowledge Management practice helps Project Managers streamline and improve usable knowledge capital, enable knowledge sharing and leverage knowledge capital to provide a competitive advantage in the marketplace.
Professional Services Business Optimization:
PS Business Optimization: Driving Success Throughout the Organization:
As services professionals, we all spend considerable time thinking about our clients’ businesses and managing the tactical activities of our own organizations – often leaving little time for the critical strategic considerations around our own PS business model. This white paper is designed to help you systematically address the questions most central to your success.
PS Business Optimization II: Business Operations Team – the Plumbing of a Strong PSO:
In the white paper, PS Business Optimization: Driving Success Throughout the Organization, we mapped out the framework necessary to drive success within PS. Implemented correctly, the framework provides the foundation necessary to ensure an optimized PSO that moves from maintenance of the status quo to strategic expansion and growth. This white paper expands on just describing the framework needed to be successful to discuss how a Business Operations focus is essential to implement and enable the framework for a successful PSO organization.
Professional Services Forecasting:
Each year, services leaders are tasked with forecasting Professional Services revenues for the upcoming year – an exercise that is often easier said, than done. To help you address this challenge, this paper will outline a practical, five-step approach to creating a more predictive, accurate, and actionable annual forecast, including the methods, processes, infrastructure, and tools required to optimize delivery and make your numbers.
Is Everybody Selling?:
As technology companies look to make services a more strategic part of the corporate strategy (and an increasing portion of the company’s revenues), relying on a product sales force to sell a broader range of services has proven a significant obstacle to revenue growth. This complimentary paper provides Professional Services leaders with insights for overcoming selling challenges by employing the practices associated with ‘everybody is selling.’
TurboCharge Your Portfolio with Packaged Services – A Fundamental Building Block for Resource and Quality Management:
Services packaging is a very important building block for running an efficient and effective services operation in a technology company. Companies selling packaged services find they are growing faster and more profitably, while simplifying the job of resource management and delivering better quality. Power up your portfolio with packaged services! Download your complimentary copy of the white paper and learn more about the benefits of packaged services for your portfolio.
Creating a Value Dividend through Repeatable Service Delivery:
This complimentary paper details how defining standard service offers for proven delivery capabilities will allow your organization to maximize the potential margin and value of your services.
Smart Selling – Small Things Can Have a Big Impact on Organizational Profitability:
Learn about the smaller things that should be considered in the sales process that do not reveal themselves in the project economics, but impact the overall organization profitability.
One of the most common challenges facing Professional Services Organizations today is perpetually staffing successful project teams – or simply put – getting the right person in the right place at the right time. Learn how a handful of experts are killing your profits and what you can do to fix it.
We Already Have a Process – Why Doesn’t it Work?:
In this white paper, CEO Randy Mysliviec shares proven strategies for aligning key processes with your PSA and other tools to drive greater adoption and achieve maximum value from your process investment.
How to Implement Practical Metrics For Breakthrough Results:
Much has been written about killer KPIs, various ways to measure utilization and gross margin, benchmarks and more regarding metrics related to the needs of the PS operator. Receiving scant attention is the question of how to actually implement the metrics and make them work as intended? This white paper is devoted to the ‘how’ of effectively implementing metrics and governance systems.
Heroic Delivery: The Hallmark (and Death March) of Most PS Organizations:
This complimentary white paper provides a guide to building a scalable Professional Services organization and avoiding burnout of your best people.
PS Execs: Stop Fighting Fires – Start Staffing Teams:
This paper provides practical advice on how to effectively staff the right people and teams for effective project execution.
Professional Services from the Cloud: Beware of the Trade-offs:
While many professional services staff members enjoy the reduced frequent flyer miles and additional stress of implementing solutions in disparate client environments, PSO leaders should be mindful of some new management and operational challenges this model presents. Download this complimentary white paper and learn about some of the potential pitfalls the Cloud delivery model presents for PSOs and remedies for dealing with them.
Value Realization Effectiveness: Accelerating Technology Adoption to Bridge the Client Gap:
Today’s increasingly complex technology solutions are making it more difficult for customers to adopt all of the available features and functionality and achieve maximum value from their investments. This complimentary paper reveals the four key steps to moving beyond product implementations and support to become truly valued advisors.
Selling Value Add: Improving Services Sales Strategy and Execution:
As services increasingly becomes a bigger portion of the revenue mix for technology companies, effectively positioning and selling services becomes a more critical skillset for the PSO and its personnel to master. This paper details four critical things every PS executive should be focused on for themselves and their organization.
More Bang for Your Buck: Best Practices for Increasing the Effectiveness of Skills Development for PSOs:
In order to thrive in today’s technology services environment, PSOs need to get better at growing and developing the skills of their most strategic asset – their people. Simply put, skills development isn’t something that can be done in the margins. It’s a strategic initiative that requires thoughtful planning and a programmatic approach. This paper outlines six key elements that should be considered when developing your game plan for a holistic approach to learning and development.
Soft Skills: The True Life-Blood of a Healthy Consulting Organization:
This complimentary white paper explores what the PSO can do to enhance the Soft Skills of its PS practitioners and ultimately drive more value to both the client and the PSO.
From Technologist to Consultant – Soft Skills Make the Difference:
Technology companies of the future will no doubt be measured on the results they produce vs. the complexity and comprehensiveness of the technology they supply. The lynchpin between expectations and actual results will be services delivered by consultants equipped with the very best soft skills available. This white paper provides clarity around both the need and the methods to turn yesterday’s technologist into today’s consultant.
From a Tactical Resource Manager to Strategic Resource Manager:
Too often, the role of the Resource Manager can be relegated to an administrative role versus the much more strategic role it should be, given the importance of properly aligning talent to work to conduct successful projects and deliver superior services. This white paper provides clarity around both the need and the methods to turn yesterday’s tactical resource manager into a more strategical resource manager.
Professional Services Automation:
What They Don’t Teach You At The Services Business School:
This white paper introduces a new industry term and the concept of Integrated PSA (IPSA), the disciplined fusion of process and PS automation technology.
Professional Services Organizations Need Professional Services Automation:
This complimentary white paper will explore how PSOs can drive more enterprise value through the use of real-time project, resource utilization and other data. The paper is not intended to advocate the use of one platform over another. Rather, ultimately, it aims to help the PSO “eat its own dog food” in terms of acknowledging the benefits that automated information technology can provide the PS business.
Achieve Success with PSA Investment… Remember the Three ‘R’s:
This paper examines three ‘R’s for implementing and using PSA applications to emphasize some core tenets for success when automating professional services. By increasing your emphasis in these areas, you will increase the benefits of your investment and overall satisfaction with your solution.
Support / Field Services:
Workforce Management 3.0 – Redefining the Discipline of Workforce Management:
We have been studying best practices in both resource and workforce management for more than a decade. As discussed in this paper, there are clear distinctions in the marketplace between resource and workforce management. This paper will address some of those distinctions, and more importantly, the evolution of workforce management and how it will become part of a bigger ecosystem known as resource management.
The Fastpath to Optimizing Labor, Parts and Vehicle Fleets:
Field Services teams are constantly being challenged to reduce costs of labor, parts and vehicles. Same is true for improving all other aspects of customer service, e.g. first visit performance, depot repair operations, and mean time to repair. Do not allow time pressure, internal changes like reorganizations, and a lack of the right data to put you in the unenviable position of having to make judgement cuts to make quick reductions in costs. Sophisticated service delivery teams have figured out how to do this using Variability Reduction as a proven method to get results fast! Variability Reduction provides a shortcut solution that gets you fact based data fast to focus on where real and rapid cost reduction opportunities can be found, while also identifying customer service improvement opportunities.
The CFO’s Guide to Cost Effectiveness in Field Services:
Tech hardware margins are shrinking industry wide – that’s a fact! Hardware support revenues are also under pressure. Driving for lower field hardware support costs then just makes sense. The key is making cuts that don’t make the problem worse, or even better, lead to systematic improvements in customer service. Both are possible. If this is something you’re challenged with too, then this white paper is a must read.
First Call/Visit Resolution — Getting it Fixed the First Time:
In a nutshell FCR/FVR are about answering or solving the customer’s problems on the first contact or visit. Some companies have figured out the right combination of people, process and technology to accomplish superior first call/visit performance, and do it consistently. Unfortunately, too many companies have failed to achieve this resulting in poor customer satisfaction, high customer service costs, and ultimately negative competitive consequences of their inability to conduct FCR/FVR in a manner consistent with client expectations. This white paper contains the most effective approaches we have observed for how to get FCR/FVR right based on our years of experience on all sides of the table (customer, provider and now consultant).
Shift to the Left! — Delivering Discontinuous Improvements with Remote Solutions:
Shift to the Left is about moving high cost services delivery channels to lower cost delivery channels. It combines an innovative Strategic Framework and Transformational model, as well as the effective use of remote solutions to appropriately shift services delivery from on-site to on-call and on-line. This paper details how when Shift to the Left is done effectively, it enables companies to deliver step function improvements in cost and bottom line results and simultaneously provides a better and more personalized customer experience.
After the Shift — Steps to Successfully Execute on the Journey to (or Toward) an Outcome Based Services Model:
Field and Support organizations are challenged today to replace traditional service offerings, where technical services are provided for a fixed price, to new models where services revenues are earned by delivering positive customer outcomes. This white paper provides specific actions services leadership need to take now to ensure they can shift from a traditional service supplier to a differentiated and highly competitive supplier delivering improved customer out comes.
Better Onboarding to Enable Organizational Agility:
Today’s technology companies are tasked with delivering increasingly complex and more advanced solutions to market, with greater support than ever before. A key driver of every successful Support Services operation is the ability to hire, onboard and quickly make productive the people needed to deliver support services. The focus of this paper is regarding a crucial yet often under-performing function called onboarding – the activities required to make an agent productive.
Cloud-based Contact Center Application Integration Unlocks Time, Flexibility and Money:
No subject seems to have garnered more industry attention today than how to drive a better customer experience. Brand value is often determined more than anything else by the loyalty we build (or destroy) based on how the customer feels as a result of their experience with our company. This paper is for the business owner responsible for delivering a superior customer experience to develop an appreciation for cloud-based contact center automation as a way to increase competitiveness in delivering a superior customer experience at the lowest possible cost.
Enabling the Agile Contact Center:
A foundational element for delivering excellence in customer service operations starts with a well thought out service process. Surprisingly, few companies have really developed a company-wide targeted customer experience across the customer lifecycle, which is then translated to a company-wide customer service strategy and process. However, most companies do have customer service strategies and processes at the functional level e.g. help desks, customer service lines, sales support and such. Quite often the contact center is at the epicenter of customer service delivery and therefore a focus of this whitepaper. This paper will also focus on the need for customer service Agility!
The Data-Driven Contact Center:
Every day our contact centers have tons of data come through them. Call data, IVR interactions, emails, chats, CRM and customer support engagement notes, and more. What a shame if we are unable to capture, aggregate, correlate, analyze and put all that information to work in the name of strategic advantage, achieving that often elusive first call resolution and delivering a continuously improving customer experience. The evidence is clear that the need for developing a data-driven support operation is imperative to consistently deliver a superior customer experience. Thus, this whitepaper will focus on the data-driven Contact Center.
Margin Magic! A Logical and Disciplined Approach to Getting Control Over Pricing:
Focusing on how to improve the often under-developed discipline of pricing in professional services operations, this complimentary white paper examines and presents ideas on how to get control over pricing execution, enabling your operation to realize your pricing strategy and related margin objectives.
5 Hottest Tips for Top Performing Education Services Organizations:
This paper, covering five proven and practical tips for helping Education Services organizations improve overall performance, provides ideas for optimizing, streamlining and creating competitive advantage for the education services enterprise.