The Now Tech Forrester Report on How To Select the Right Project Business Automation Software

As a professional services organization looking to boost revenue, you have it tougher than ever. It doesn’t matter if you’re a law firm, financial advisor, accounting practice, marketing agency, consultant, or otherwise. Your work involves:

  • Managing your entire client portfolio and meeting consistent deadlines. 
  • Determining billable versus non-billable hours while assigning the right people to projects.
  • Ensuring on-time delivery under budget, and tracking time and effort for every task.
  • Having visibility across sales, delivery, and billing.

It’s a never-ending cycle as you optimize your operating procedures while getting bogged down with administrative work. Too much manual work keeps your team from scaling and being more profitable.

Meanwhile, your clients always want more frequent project updates, greater transparency with deliverables, and better collaboration. Oh, and they often expect you to be responsive 24/7. It can be exhausting because it’s always more, more, more. Fortunately, there’s a solution to manage it all — Wrike for Professional Services. For customers like Kassandra Taggart, President & Owner, RTM, it elevated her team’s work better than ever: 

“Wrike naturally created efficiencies, so that we were able to handle 25% more accounts than forecasted, just because we can now handle it faster."

Before we get into more details, let’s introduce the emerging project business automation market. 

Say goodbye to PSA and hello to PBA

Until now, professional services automation (PSA) technology was able to meet these demand requirements but these solutions haven’t kept pace with customer expectations for greater transparency. As Forrester’s report, Now Tech: Project Business Automations Q3, 2020, states, PSA technologies typically focus on specific functional areas such as finance or compliance reporting instead of managing the entire customer-project lifecycle. What’s needed is a project business automation (PBA) solution that encompasses more aspects of the end-to-end project delivery lifecycle.

In the report, Forrester defines PBA tools as:

Technology that helps professional services and consulting organizations automate full-scale project and service delivery, including pipeline management, resource planning, customer collaboration, project delivery, and project financial management to help them deliver successful projects, which enables them to grow their business.

PBA software is expanding beyond people and revenue features to include the key capabilities necessary for consulting and services firms to run their businesses as well. To clarify, Forrester segments the PBA market with three core market segments.

The three PBA market segments

The PBA market comprises three segments: Pure-play PBA, DOP PBA, and collaborative work management.

Pure-play PBA 

This type of PBA targets firms that deliver projects as their core business and helps them identify new opportunities while developing and delivering project models to build consistent revenue streams. PBA places a strong emphasis on managing the delivery of successful projects and often integrates with digital operating platforms (DOP) for reconciling financials. Pure-play PBA’s sweet spot is midmarket companies where the customer base is 100 to 500 users. 

DOP PBA 

This group of PBAs emphasize robust financial capabilities and full-service DOP and, in particular, provide financial- and resource-focused PBA. Organizations that emphasize financial performance as their primary strategy and strong human capital management tend to choose these solutions. Firms use DOPs to adapt production and supply chains and to empower employees through automation. Vendors in this category usually target larger enterprises with more than 500 users but have solutions that apply to the midmarket, too.

Collaborative work management (CWM) 

CWM vendors provide flexible work environments that include robust content collaboration, approval workflows, and lightweight project management. These solutions are popular with marketing, advertising, and technology services firms. Vendors in this market are developing additional resource and financial management capabilities to support customers’ demand for these features but often rely on integration with DOP for more robust financial management needs.

Forrester tabs Wrike as a large, pure-play PBA

Wrike is a “large” PBA according to Forrester’s report, Now Tech: Project Business Automations Q3, 2020. As a pure-play PBA and collaborative work management provider, Wrike empowers companies to grow revenue quickly and maximize billable work by eliminating repetitive tasks, raising client satisfaction with complete project transparency and real-time updates, and increasing retention by delivering work on time and on budget.

Why you should read the Forrester report

Companies in the professional services industry can use PBA to act on new project opportunities, enhance project and service delivery, and optimize revenue. But to achieve those goals, you'll have to select from a diverse set of vendors that vary by size, functionality, geography, and vertical market focus. Fortunately, Forrester’s report includes charts breaking down segment functionality between the three PBA categories, identifying strengths and weaknesses.

To select the best PBA solution, you must: 

  • Carefully identify gaps in current PBA capabilities.
  • Stress customer collaboration and project controls as determining features.
  • Identify key differentiators with analytics and intelligence.

Manual project processes don’t meet your growing needs or client demands anymore. Implementing a PBA solution is the next logical action plan, which brings us to Wrike’s solution.

Wrike for Professional Services

Our tailor-made solution, Wrike for Professional Services, aligns perfectly with Forrester’s pure-play PBA definition because it helps firms identify new opportunities while developing and delivering project models to build consistent revenue streams. We’re able to do that because of core functionality that enables you to:

  • Get full portfolio visibility: Minimize the risk of missed deadlines with interactive Gantt charts that let you see tasks and projects at a glance.
  • Manage margins: Ensure on-time delivery under budget for every project and facilitate retainer billing processes by exporting time to your financial systems.
  • Scale quickly: With customizable workflows, dashboards, reports, etc., your team can work their preferred way so they can maximize billable time with clients.
  • And more...

Without a dedicated team solution for professional services organizations, Forrester wouldn’t have tabbed us a pure-play PBA or leading CWM provider.

Maximize your team’s productivity from day one

As the leader in project collaboration software, we can adapt to fit your unique needs. We have ready-made templates for professional services organizations that get you working smarter and more efficient. From meeting notes, client projects, scheduling, proofing and more, our templates help you turn action items into project planning, delegate work into manageable tasks, approve assets quicker, and maximize efficiency. Take it from Matt Blitzer, CEO & Co-Owner, Blue Magnet Interactive:

“Wrike illustrates the value that we provide to our clients. They get to see every little thing that we put into their campaign.”

Try it out for yourself and your team with a free trial of Wrike for Professional Services, today.

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