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Streamlining Success: How Standardization Elevates Project Management


Professional services project management is a diverse and dynamic field that requires a high level of flexibility, creativity, and customization from the project managers and their teams. However, many professional services organizations (PSOs) face challenges with managing their projects, which are often unique, complex, and unpredictable, and which involve multiple stakeholders, such as clients, consultants, vendors, and internal teams.

 

One of the key factors for successful professional services project management is standardization, which is the process of establishing and following a common and consistent way of managing projects, by using a set of rules, guidelines, and best practices, that are applicable and adaptable to various projects, situations, and contexts.

 

In this blog post, we'll discuss the importance of standardization in professional services project management, and how it can help PSOs achieve better quality, efficiency, and profitability, as well as greater customer satisfaction and loyalty.


What is standardization?

Standardization in professional services project management refers to the process of applying and adhering to a standardized and uniform way of managing projects, by using various methods and tools, such as:


  • Project management methodology: A project management methodology is a systematic and structured approach to managing projects, that defines the phases, processes, and activities involved in the project lifecycle, such as initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and closure. Examples of project management methodologies are Agile, Waterfall, Scrum, Kanban, etc.

  • Project management framework: A project management framework is a set of principles, concepts, and practices that guide and support the project management process, and that provide the knowledge, skills, and tools needed to manage projects effectively and efficiently. Examples of project management frameworks are PMBOK, PRINCE2, ISO 21500, etc.

  • Project management software or platform: A project management software or platform is a software, system, or platform that helps to automate and integrate the project management functions, workflows, and data, and that provides a single source of truth and a centralized repository for all the project information, documents, and communications. Examples of project management software or platforms are Continuum PSA, Microsoft Project, Asana, etc.

Why is standardization important?

 Standardization is important in professional services project management for several reasons, such as:


  • Improving quality and customer satisfaction: Standardization enables PSOs to ensure that their projects meet the quality standards and specifications agreed upon with the customers, and that their projects deliver the expected value and outcomes to the customers, by ensuring that the project components are aligned, integrated, and synchronized, and that the project quality, scope, schedule, and budget are managed effectively and efficiently. Standardization also enables PSOs to communicate and collaborate with their customers more effectively, by providing them with transparent and up-to-date information on the project status, progress, and results, and by soliciting and incorporating their feedback and suggestions.

  • Enhancing efficiency and productivity: Standardization enables PSOs to optimize their project management process, and to save time, effort, and resources in the project management process, by reducing or eliminating the variability, complexity, and uncertainty in the project management process, and by streamlining and simplifying the project management process. Standardization also enables PSOs to leverage their project management knowledge, experience, and expertise, and to reuse and replicate their project management assets, such as templates, checklists, and lessons learned, across different projects, situations, and contexts.

  • Increasing profitability and competitiveness: Standardization enables PSOs to reduce their costs and increase their margins, by avoiding or minimizing the errors, defects, rework, and waste in the project management process, and by avoiding or minimizing the losses, penalties, and fees in the project management process. Standardization also enables PSOs to increase their value and differentiation, by providing their customers with more consistent, reliable, and professional services and solutions, and by delivering their services and solutions faster, better, and cheaper. Standardization also helps PSOs to increase their profitability and competitiveness, and to grow their market share and reputation.

How to standardize

Standardizing professional services project management is not a simple or straightforward task, as it requires a strategic and systematic approach, as well as the right tools and technologies. Some of the key steps and best practices for standardizing professional services project management are:


  • Define and align the project objectives, scope, and expectations: Before starting any project, it is essential to have a clear and shared understanding of the project goals, deliverables, requirements, and success criteria, among all the project stakeholders, and to document them in a project charter or contract. This will help to ensure that everyone is on the same page, and to avoid any confusion, ambiguity, or misalignment later on.

  • Select and adopt a project management methodology and framework: Having a standardized and consistent way of managing projects, such as using a project management methodology and a project management framework, will help to ensure that the project is planned, executed, controlled, and closed in a structured and disciplined manner, and that the project quality, scope, schedule, and budget are managed effectively and efficiently. PSOs should select and adopt a project management methodology and framework that suit their project characteristics, features, and outcomes, as well as their organizational culture, values, and goals.

  • Use a project management software or platform: Using a project management software or platform, such as Continuum PSA, will help to standardize and automate the project management functions, workflows, and data, and to provide a single source of truth and a centralized repository for all the project information, documents, and communications. A project management software or platform will also help to facilitate the collaboration and coordination among the project team members and stakeholders, and to provide real-time visibility and insight into the project status, performance, and results.

To Sum It Up

Standardization is a key factor for the success of professional services project management, as it can help PSOs achieve better quality, efficiency, and profitability, as well as greater customer satisfaction and loyalty. However, standardizing professional services project management is not a simple or straightforward task, as it requires a strategic and systematic approach, as well as the right tools and technologies.


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About Continuum PSA

Continuum PSA is a cloud-based professional services automation (PSA) solution that helps PSOs standardize their project management, as well as their resources, finances, and customers, in an integrated and intelligent way. Continuum PSA enables PSOs to:

  • Standardize their project management, by using best-in-class project management methodologies and frameworks, and by leveraging project scheduling, budgeting, and forecasting.

  • Standardize their resources, by using smart resource planning, allocation, and utilization tools, and by enhancing their resource skills, competencies, and development.

  • Standardize their finances, by using automated and integrated invoicing, billing, and expense management functions, and by gaining real-time visibility and control over their revenue, margin, and profitability.

  • Standardize their customers, by using seamless and secure customer communication and collaboration tools, and by delivering consistent, reliable, and professional services and solutions that meet or exceed their expectations.

 

Continuum PSA is designed to help PSOs standardize their project management, and to help them grow their business, increase their profitability, and enhance their customer loyalty. Book some time today for a free discovery call or demo. 



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