Qualities of an Effective Project Manager

Effective Project Management is at the core of great project-based firms. Here are 10 things every project manager should be doing to be highly effective.

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For major capital expenditure projects, every day late equates to thousands of dollars lost. In fact, for an average size project, even a 10% overrun can lead to a $5 million blow to project profitability. Extrapolate this out to the average 20-30% delay that most projects report and you are looking at a significant loss – one that impacts your company’s bottom line.

Download this white paper to learn more about the true cost of project delay, from profitability to company reputation, and the solutions you need to avoid and overcome overruns.

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So you put in a bid for a contract that has earned value management (EVM) requirements, and surprise you won! Now what? You have a short window to implement the tools you’ll need to support EVM, so the pressure is on. Wouldn’t it have been easier to control your destiny and plan out the implementation before you won that contract?

Whether you’re already in the thick of preparing, or are planning to bid on future work, download this white paper to learn more about the basics behind EVM, and why it’s so important to get started early.

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With a long history of stability and success, the legal industry may be tempted to continue business as usual. But you do so at your own peril. Disruptive business models, globalisation, new technologies and smarter clients are all driving firm leaders to evolve and innovate.

As a senior partner at CMS puts it, “We are modernising, innovating and globalising in order to be able to deliver ‘stand out’ legal services.”

Is your firm prepared to capitalise on these anticipated changes in the legal market? If not, we encourage you to read the Legal Sector Snapshot 2017, which takes a deeper dive into what clients are expecting from legal firms in 2017 and beyond, and provides guidance on how to deliver services that will differentiate your firm and delight your clients.

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How to Increase your Utilization Rate and reduce the need for subcontractors

“In today’s challenging economic climate…” How many times have you read that opening phrase in media articles? Yes, things have been challenging fiscally, and indeed remain so, not least for Professional Services Organizations (PSOs). They have perhaps suffered more than other types of organizations.

Why? Because they don’t manufacture products but rather sell consulting services, or more specifically, people skills – and that’s a much tougher sell today. But through good or bad times, the equation that defines business success for PSOs remains the same: optimizing people skills = increased profitability.

While the math may be simple, of course, the realization of this potential can be a lot more challenging. Resource Management is emerging as the solution to solving this equation. It effectively provides a framework within which PSOs can easily and effectively plan, implement and deploy their people skills. This White Paper explains what Resource Management is, and outlines the ‘Key Best Practices’ PSOs should adopt to optimize their resources and therefore maximize their profitability.

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Download the new Whitepaper (below) published by professional services think tank, Service Performance Insight, titled, Accelerate Professional Services Growth and Profit: Why the right PSA solution is critical to firm growth and profitability for insight into business applications that support the specialized requirements of project-based businesses:


The Challenges of Growth & Market Trends Driving the Need for Change

Understand the five prevalent obstacles faced by growing firms, along with key industry trends where having a PSA solution allows top performing firms to manage their business more effectively


Why the Right PSA Solution is Critical to Firm Growth and Profitability

Integrated to provide visibility and collaboration between sales, service delivery and finance


The Benefits of Professional Services Automation

Learn the top five business benefits your firm will recognize as a result of improved automation

According to a new study published by the leading professional services think tank, Service Performance Insight (SPI) which analyzes results from more than 250 management and IT consultancies, the most profitable consulting firms run their business on an integrated professional services automation (PSA) solution.

These firms increased their EBITDA by 6.2 percentage points, improving their profit margins by 56%.

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Succession planning has historically been a simple process reserved for small businesses focused on preparing children to take over the family business when it is time to retire. As businesses grew, the need to ensure a ‘quiet transfer of power’ became critical and a more defined succession planning ensued, but remained little more than a codified listing of the people being groomed for a particular position within an organization.

Astute executives and HR professionals realize that succession planning must also encompass mission critical positions with direct revenue or profit impact within an organization. They also realize the succession planning process should be an open process relying more on business need than on visibility to a select group of executives.

Download this Whitepaper below to find out the best ways for a more Effective Succession Planning.


Time & Expense registration for project control and profitability in your PS firm.

Introducing the Time – on Time concept

Getting employees to submit accurate time entries remains a challenge. There are probably as many reasons for delayed timesheets as there are employees supposed to submit timesheets. One reason for low quality time capture is the fact that many employees tend to submit their time at the last moment. At that point, time will certainly be entered swiftly – but not necessarily very accurately.

Deltek Maconomy’s Time – on Time concept is about capturing time immediately after the service has been delivered – not at the end of the week when only the broad picture remains. The result: when the time entered is accurate, more time becomes invoiceable because employees have a tendency to register more time on internal jobs when they are uncertain–or cannot remember–how many hours they spent working on a particular job on a particular day. Also, the Finance department can eliminate time spent on correcting registration errors and sending credit notes to the customer.

Learn the benefits that Deltek Time & Expense can bring to your company. Download the product sheet below:

This article explores why timesheets are important to professional services firms and how they can improve their time management processes. Below we look at the importance of timesheets from four different perspectives within the firm.


Principals and Managers

Principals are often the worst offenders for entering time, but at the same time are the ones that should care the most because poor timesheet practices negatively impact the company’s billing cycle, cash flow and revenue.  To see this impact, all a principal must do is calculate what the utilization rates must be to meet revenue targets. Inconsistent and late timesheets usually result in billable hour waste. Often this waste ends up in overhead because people can’t recall everything they did on the project when time entry is delayed. When a principle does the analysis and sees how much waste is costing the firm, the principal will be more motivated to enforce timely timesheet submission.

Project Managers

Are your Project Managers consistently relying on old project information for analysis on the job? Are they frequently having to write off work-in-progress (WIP) due to a lack of visibility into project entries or potential variances from pre-defined scope? If this is the case, ensuring that teams enter timesheets on time should be important to them.

When timesheets are entered frequently and on time, Project Managers get a better picture of project status, and can see much quicker when people are doing things outside of the original project scope.  If this is the case, it gives them time to negotiate change orders and additional services with the client.  If they don’t have this visibility due to timesheets being entered late, the result is often “scope creep”. Often scope creep results in additional hours being worked that the firm is not getting paid for if they can’t renegotiate as additional service revenue.

Accounting staff

No one has to remind the accounting team about the importance of timesheets.  They are usually the ones reminding everyone else to submit timesheets on time. They know firsthand that it improves the billing process and the firm’s financial performance.

Technical staff

The Technical staff usually follows management lead.  But to do so they need to be clear on their role, understand why time entry is important to the company, and have a clear understanding of what they need to do to comply with management’s expectations. This will help build staff accountability and lessen the work load on project managers.


Other important Timesheet Considerations

Good timesheet management software provides the option of enforcing “Notes” or that additional information be added to timesheets under certain circumstances. So when should you require your staff to add notes to timesheets?

For example, for additional services completed outside of the original project scope. Basic services already stipulated on the project usually will not require notes.

Notes are also useful when:

  • You have clients that tend to question charges on invoices. Notes can serve as a reminder and provide supporting backup.
  • You work on a fee-basis and are often get requests from clients for things outside of scope. Notes can help you build a case for charging as additional services.

Good timesheet management software is built to enable you to enforce notes to be added to timesheets under certain circumstances. Now that we have explored some practices to improve timesheet processes, here are a few ways companies can improve the timesheet submission and review process:

  • Emphasize the importance of timesheets for Resource Planning and Billing
  • Ensure staff are properly trained on when and how they should enter time
  • Simplify the timesheet process as much as possible through automation
  • Set up alerts in the system to notify individuals and their supervisors when timesheets are late
  • Start a friendly competition and give a prize to the individual or team that has the best timesheet submission record.
  • Make timesheet submission part of the annual review discussion, and tie it to performance related achievement and rewards.

Ensure you are using a timesheet management system that allows staff access to enter their time at any time, from any device and from anywhere – as long as they have an internet connection.

For speed and accuracy, ensure your timesheet management system is part of your project-based ERP system and not a standalone system.

Learn the Limitations of Generic Accounting Systems. Download this Whitepaper HERE



Use this document to help outline requirements for the solution for which you are searching. It will also provide guidelines to ensure your organization is prepared to handle the roadblocks that could put your project over budget and enable it to take on a life of its own.

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