Project-Based Solutions: Recommendations for Project Workforce Managers

Forrester Research Analysts R “Ray” Wang and Andy Salunga have published a new report entitled "Trends 2008: Project-Based Solutions" which is highly relevant to project workforce managers and the executives who run project-based organizations. Project-Based Solutions (PBS) is Forrester’s term for the array of software products, including Project Workforce Management, that enable companies to deliver services and projects. The full report is available here.

Here are my key take-aways for project workforce managers who seek a solution:

  • "Traditional approaches segmented by internal or
    external stakeholder orientation and product or service delivery no longer make
    sense," states Wang. Companies that have a good solution for serving either internal or external customers are doing their best to leverage their project-based systems to the other type of customer and project. Companies who are looking for a solution should consider the solution’s ability to help deliver both internal and external projects.
  • "Metrics have also emerged as a critical focus for project-based solutions. Companies continue to need performance measurement tools to help them understand how well they are executing projects and programs relative to plan." This means that companies are relying more heavily on these solutions for actionable, real-time information—not just weekly or monthly updates.
  • Wang recommends: "Align your requirements with project-based processes. In fact, some of the vendors we interviewed indicated the opportunities for smaller organizations (200-1,000 employees), particularly in the services delivery automation space, to quickly standardize their project management methodologies." Implementing a project workforce management solution gives a company a rare and critical opportunity to standardize product methodologies and many other business processes using templates and workflows.
  • Integration to, or inclusion of, other enterprise processes is critical. Wang mentions specifically "core financials, core human capital management, or other project-related systems." Companies rely more heavily on their ability to share and use the information they gather with project-based systems, but also need to prioritize IT spending for custom integrations more carefully.
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