Project Pulse for Service Delivery

Efficiently managing delivery resources is the most important factor in running a profitable service business.  As the number of staff members grows and the volume of concurrent projects increases, it is virtually impossible to do this well without an application designed to support this critical function.  If your company is experiencing any of the following concerns, you should be considering Project Pulse:

  • Do you have difficulty consistently delivering projects on-time and on-budget?
  • Do you have difficulty with resource planning and project staffing?
  • Are your projects not achieving the desired profitability and margins?
  • Is your current solution inefficient because of too many manual processes?
  • Does your team suffer from poor project collaboration?
  • Does management lack visibility into the quality of service delivery and the financial health of the business?

Project Pulse has been specifically designed to help project managers achieve their goals of consistently delivering projects on-time, on-budget and ensuring customer satisfaction with the delivered services.  Successful project management can only be achieved when a proven methodology is followed which ensures that each step of the process is well defined and the deliverables contribute value to both the project team and the customer.  Configero has delivered 800+ Salesforce implementations and has 2 Salesforce MVPs on staff who can help your company refine your delivery process to improve the performance of your service teams.

All too often, the sales process does not have the needed information or support to create proposals that accurately reflect the work to be performed, which results in underpriced projects or unrealistic timelines.  Project Pulse has powerful capabilities to address these issues which are described in the Features by Role – Sales section.

We want our project managers and staff to spend their time performing work related to completing customer requirements, not spending time inside a PSA tool.  The Project Pulse user interface is built with Configero’s Grid technology, which dramatically improves the user experience by eliminating page navigation, the ability to view master-detail information on a single screen and a host of usability features like multi-column filtering and sorting and in-line editing which makes access to data much faster and easier.  This technology is used by many of the largest Salesforce customers to optimize their business processes and increase user adoption.

In addition, Project Pulse is a role-based application, meaning each user of the app can customize their views to show only the information required to perform their job, eliminating page clutter and making usability much faster and easier.

View Personalization

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Creating Projects

Many of our customers create projects using our Opportunity Wizard. This feature enables account reps to enter all items and services sold to a customer.  This powerful solution has the ability to dynamically combine multiple service item templates and products into a single generated project. Alternatively, Project Pulse also provides a project creation wizard that supports cloning projects from templates when Opportunities are not used.

Notice that all items sold to a customer (products and services) are supported by the wizard. Project Pulse becomes the single source of truth for all financial information related to a project.

Once the quote has been created, the PMO office will receive a notification for the technical review to be performed.  The financial process is run which computes total estimated project hours, cost, revenue and margins.  With these capabilities, management can be ensured that each quoted project will be complete and priced properly so revenue and target margins are achieved.

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Validating & Updating Projects

Before projects are ready for execution, the plan must be adjusted to account for specific customer requirements. Project Pulse provides a Gantt view with full drag/drop capability, which makes adding tasks, adjusting task start dates, task duration or predecessor relationships very easy and fast. As tasks and phases are complete, the task bars will shade proportionally with the completeness of the task. The Gantt view can be exported to be used in project status reports.

After the technical review of the project is completed and the financials calculated, the account manager can finalize the proposal before sending it to the customer and be confident that the customer commitments can be honored.

Project Pulse provides baselining features at the Project, Phase & Task levels.  This provides a rich set of data that can be used to compare estimated vs actual project performance with respect to hours and project cost.

Resource Capacity & Utilization

Staffing Projects

Project Pulse contains powerful resource management capabilities to support capacity planning, project staffing and determining future hiring needs. This same view also provides resource utilization metrics which are key to running the business at optimum profitability levels.

Rather than having to select a resource and drill into details to make a decision about availability, Project Pulse provides a heat map view which shows all resources and their forecasted and/or actual utilization. This view is color-coded so it makes it very easy to see which resources are available to be assigned to a project.

The view also shows resources who are overloaded. This situation leads to project delays as this work is not likely to be completed on-time, not to mention unhappy employees and customers. Project Pulse provides an easy way to transfer work from one person to another for optimal resource loading. It goes without saying the underutilized resources increase overhead costs and reduce profitability; Project Pulse makes it easy to see who needs to be assigned more work.

The resource management view is very flexible and can be rolled-up by project role, region, division, staff skill or any other user defined categorization. As an example, one of our customers uses this feature to compare the performance of their various staffing locations. This is also an excellent view for management to see how efficiently resources are being utilized which directly effects profitability.

Project Pulse continuously recomputes future resource capacity as work is performed against task assignments. For example, on a task with 40 estimated hours and a duration of 1 week and assuming no other task assignments for this person, the resource view will show 100% forecasted utilization for the entire week. If no work is performed against this task on Monday, then the forecasted resource metric will increase from Tuesday thru Friday as now 40 hours of work that must be completed in 32 hours of normal work hours. This powerful feature is a leading indicator as to tasks that may not be completed on time and gives project managers an opportunity to address scheduling issues before they become a problem. Project Pulse provides a color coded stoplight indicator on the task list view which makes it very easy to identify where problems exist.

Many of our customers create projects for Opportunities not won, but likely to close. The reason for doing this is two-fold 1) Project Pulse will provide advance notice of future resource requirements which can drive hiring decisions and 2) Project Pulse will compute future revenue streams based on the sales pipeline.

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Managing Projects

It is not uncommon for project managers to have many projects to track, which makes focusing attention on those underperforming projects difficult as it is time consuming to open each project and wade through volumes of information in order to make judgements and take corrective action.

Project Pulse has powerful KPI tracking indicators which display on the project list view. These tracking indicators will show at a glance which projects are not meeting expectations with respect to logged hours, cost, revenue, and project schedule. Since time tracking is so important to many service companies, Project Pulse provides a tracking indicator that shows projects with lagging time entries. These indicators are generated by the system dynamically, eliminating the need for project managers to spend time on administrative functions and enable management to have a real-time view of service delivery performance.

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Logging Time & Expenses

Getting project staff members to log time is an ongoing challenge for many companies, yet this process is critical as it drives completion and financial metrics. Project Pulse has optimized the time entry view, making entering time quick and easy. Users can see how much time has been logged by day or week across all of their assigned projects.

Project Pulse provides the ability to enter forecasted and actual project expenses, which add important data when calculating project costs and revenue. Project Pulse can also be easily integrated with other expense management applications like Concur.

For both time and expenses, Project Pulse optimizes the approval process and saves project managers time and frustrations. Multiple records can be selected with a single click and mass approvals entered with just one more click.

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Project Collaboration

Many companies still use excel spreadsheets and manual processes to execute their projects today, making project collaboration very difficult. Without your team having timely access to important information, mistakes and rework will hurt profitability and morale, not to mention the negative impact on customer satisfaction.

Project Pulse has implemented the Salesforce Chatter social functionality throughout the application, making it very easy to share information amongst the team. Because this information persists at the record level, past discussions, action items and other useful information can be reviewed during each project status meeting, ensuring corrective actions can be taken and reducing the time spent reviewing project performance during status meetings.

For companies that have hundreds of projects in-flight, weekly project status meetings become very arduous and time consuming. PMOs really want to focus their attention on those underperforming projects and not spend time discussing projects that are on-time and on-budget. Using the Project Pulse real-time KPI tracking indicators, you can quickly zoom in on projects that need discussion and corrective action. These decisions are logged in Chatter, providing historical reference to project discussions. This capability is another example of how Project Pulse can improve the efficiency of your project teams.

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Issues and Risks

During the sales process and after project execution begins, risks may become known that could detrimentally affect the project from successful completion. When risks are realized, they become project issues that need to be assigned, tracked and resolved. Project Pulse provides views for both issues and risks which can be customized uniquely for each customer.