When you connect your people and your operational systems by integrating your HCM and Professional Services Automation (PSA) solutions, you ensure growth. Find out how.

Professional Services firms are dependent on their people to deliver projects, build a reputation among clients, and grow the business. While everyone makes an earnest effort to achieve the above, they can perform only to the extent that the systems and technologies in the business allow them to.

To take your business to new heights, you need to implement Professional Services Automation (PSA) and Human Capital Management (HCM) systems, and also integrate the two.

What do you get by PSA and HCM integration?

Having visibility across the pipeline, project backlog, progress of current projects, consultant’s availability, allocation, and hiring will help you plan more efficiently, deliver projects on time, ensure higher billable utilization, and ensure project profitability.

How are you able to do that? When you integrate the PSA system with HCM, you will know what projects are in the backlog and what specific skills are needed to deliver that project. Since you have a connected system, you will be able to check the current skills your consultants have and identify any skills gap that needs to be filled. This forms an input for the HR team to go to the market and hire consultants with the relevant skills.

When you have a connected system, you move away from being a reactive business to meet immediate needs. You make better decisions with the ability to forecast needs and prepare to meet future needs more efficiently, thus ensuring that all projects are staffed faster and with the right people. This will be the foundation to delivering projects on time while meeting client expectations. You also ensure that projects are profitable with improved billable utilization.

Take this a step further and you can imagine the project manager getting notifications on when consultants are taking a vacation and knowing who has resigned. The information can then be used to track the affected projects and ensuring that backups are in place to keep the projects on track.

When you don’t have a PSA or don’t have it connected to the HCM, you have manual and inefficient processes, with multiple emails, calls, and meetings. You also have a situation where different employees spend more time entering the same information in multiple systems. This is precious time wasted which could have been spent delivering more value to clients.

Some of the benefits of integrating PSA and HCM include:

  • Improved delivery efficiency
  • Faster project staffing
  • Increased billable utilization
  • Proactive systems to address issues quickly

It’s more than PSA and HCM integration!

While the benefits of the integration are evident, it is more than just connecting the two systems. You need to know exactly what kind of information needs to be stored where and what information should be shared with whom.

The HR teams are owners of the information about all the employees. They do track all the skills and certifications of the consultants, but the reason why they do that is quite different from the information a project manager would need. So, the HR team will continue to be the owners of this information, but they need to be given the inputs about the kind of information others need to ensure smooth project delivery, improved resource utilization, and improved project profitability.

A simple connection of the two systems without a deeper understanding of the goals that the integration needs to achieve will be of little value to the business.

There’s something in it for the HR team too

The benefits of integrating PSA and HCM seem to be tilted towards project delivery, which is true on the surface. If you look at the overall benefits of this connected system, HR teams will find that it helps them meet their goals and KRAs too.

Some of reasons why HR teams too should demand a PSA-HCM integration are:

  • Better project staffing will help reduce imbalances like overburdened consultants and consultants on the bench. These imbalances are the reasons why people quit. By addressing this issue, HR teams can reduce employee attrition.
  • With a 360-degree view of consultants, HR teams are empowered to recognize and reward the right employees, keep them engaged, and retain top performers.
  • Visibility into project backlog and skills requirements will help HR teams plan the hiring process early instead of facing the pressure to hire consultants on short notice. You will also be able to staff more efficiently by matching the skills to the project needs, increasing your reputation both within the business and outside, in the job market.