FinancialForce PSA Winter 14 Launches, Hits Major Project Management Milestone
Yes, milestones have been met, and visions have become reality. Yesterday we launched FinancialForce PSA Winter 14 introducing the latest Gantt project management interface, along with powerful new functionality to seamlessly track time against task. To fully appreciate why this release is so significant, it’s important to understand the vision for professional services and where we believe project management needs to evolve for companies to move at customer speed.PSA was born to solve the most important problems in professional services, mostly focused in the areas of project portfolio management, governance, and visibility. These areas hit the most obvious cost, profit and revenue related pains. Professional Services managers needed better tools to understand profitability across projects and teams and regions. They needed the ability to effectively manage resources, keep bench time down and track utilization effectively. They also needed robust tools to manage the opportunity-to-project process along with the sales-to-delivery handoff. But we also knew we had to help companies solve pervasive problems around project management. One of our key principles has always been to keep strategy and financials separate from execution. Too often projects struggle because the people managing the business (who don’t have the deep day to day insight into the execution) would drive the tool selection and usage to solve key strategic and financial problems. Teams end up struggling to use those same tools and features to manage resources, billing, and project portfolio. Or they would be forced to rely on external project management tools or spreadsheets for day to day management of project execution. That often led to a mess! How do you solve this problem? One solution has been embracing the cloud which has enabled more access to project plans and tools by everyone on the team – enhancing collaboration, accommodating rapid team updates and freeing up team members who might be locked behind firewalls.The other solution is to separate the strategic and financial from the day to day execution, to empower project teams to focus on service delivery. In FinancialForce PSA Winter 14 we have officially laid the foundation to do both – by introducing a robust Gantt view with robust project management functionality. This interface and project cockpit is designed to empower project managers to get projects done on time and on budget and include all non-billable stakeholders, e.g. the customers, partners. However, we also knew it would be unacceptable to ask project team members to both update project tasks for their project manager, and also have to enter timecards for billing and utilization purposes. With a common interface in the existing Timecard, we have added the ability for users to directly update time on project tasks and update other aspects of the project (which is configurable based on business process). These hours automatically roll up to the timecard for Billing and Utilization but in the instance these numbers need to be different, you can override timecard hours to support and not slow down the details the company needs to handle the financial and strategic management of the business. This is going to be huge for all those involved and let’s the business focus on the business and project managers focus on the project. These aren’t the only enhancements. We take-in all customer feedback so we can deliver the most valuable features that will help you grow your professional services businesses. Additional highlights include: * Offline expense entry * Revenue forecasting enhancements * Utilization enhancements * Timecard enhancements * Expanded customization of some PSA pages * More granular scheduling capabilities * Daily time restrictions across all resource timecards * Restrict assignments to chosen Phase/Methodology records on Project For more details on the release read here. For now, enjoy the Winter!