In the world of professional services, project performance management is absolutely vital to business success. By nature, professional services is a project-based industry that depends on delivering outcomes in the most efficient way possible.
Of course, performance management becomes even more critical when managing multiple accounts and projects. That’s where a solid performance management process comes into play. Having a robust process in place will help you stay organized while you analyze and assess all the projects under your charge.
Read on to discover why developing a performance management process is one of the best things you can do for your organization and how business performance management software can help you achieve optimal project outcomes.
Why is performance management important?
Simply put, performance management helps ensure that projects are running as efficiently and as profitably as possible. Service organizations miss out on opportunities for improvement when there’s a lack of visibility into the people and processes behind their projects. This can impact project outcomes and the overall bottom line.
By measuring and assessing key performance indicators throughout every project’s lifecycle, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of your team members’ unique strengths and weaknesses. You’ll also be able to identify workflow patterns and repeatable processes that you can templatize and automate in order to boost efficiency and maximize the amount of billable work your teams take on.
How do performance management tools help project management?
In order to monitor and optimize your projects for efficiency and productivity, you’ll need the right tools in place. Below are just a few of the ways in which business performance management software can help elevate project management in your organization:
- Tracking costs and monitoring budgets against baselines through the lifecycle of every project
- Clearly defining roles and responsibilities for every person working on the project; when expectations are clear, team members tend to do better, more focused work
- Prioritizing work and increasing billable hours with flexible scheduling capabilities
- Boosting performance rates by facilitating open communication between team members, managers, and stakeholders
- Protecting teams from working beyond their capacity with proper resource management and workload monitoring
- Measuring and tracking margins and cash flow
- Setting up key performance indicators to track across projects and individual tasks
- Measuring ROI and strategic alignment
- Enabling an end-to-end project performance management process
Different professional services organizations will find other, more specific, means of improving performance with the right software at their disposal. For instance, marketing companies may find time tracking to be a significant performance-boosting function. On the other hand, accounting firms may see better outcomes through the implementation of project sheets.
How can you measure project performance?
Along with maximizing efficiency through the project lifecycle, monitoring performance management trends will also help you properly assess final deliverables and overall project outcomes. Let’s take a closer look at precisely how to measure project performance.
Adherence to stated timelines and budgets are obvious performance indicators. But these metrics shouldn’t only be considered at the close of a given project. Setting achievable budget and timeframe goals at multiple points throughout the project lifecycle will help you monitor performance and make informed adjustments along the way.
Aside from budget and schedule, one of the biggest performance indicators is direct project impact. Every project your organization undertakes should be directly tied to a specific business benefit or goal — improved customer service, cost reduction, better quality, etc. Whatever specific goal your project is meant to serve, you should be able to directly measure that aspect of your business both before and after the project in order to determine its direct impact.
Another great measure of project performance is ROI, or return on investment. Obviously, if the cost of executing the project outweighs the value of its impact, that project did not justify itself via ROI. Therefore, it is unlikely that the project will be considered a success. ROI may also be determined through financial impact measures like income generated or costs saved.
Finally, stakeholder engagement and support may be useful measures of project performance. How did stakeholders perceive the value of the final outcomes? How much support did they provide through participation and feedback along the way?
How to choose the best performance management software
When it comes to choosing the best business performance management software for your company, you should start by identifying key features and functionalities you’ll need in order to deliver optimized project outcomes.
For instance, does the software allow time tracking for billable work? Can it easily templatize workflows and automate repeatable processes? What about customizable dashboards that provide clear team member roles, task statuses, and deadlines? Finally, does the software offer real-time communication between team members, managers, and stakeholders?
Here’s the thing: you’ll never know whether a given software solution will work for you until you’ve actually tried it out. At Wrike, we pride ourselves on providing the best performance management software for professional services companies. To help you in your quest for the perfect software, Wrike offers a free two-week trial so you can see for yourself why so many companies put their trust in us.
Give Wrike a shot and see the difference for yourself — tap the button below to get started with your free trial today!