Full Sail Partners Blog

How to Guide: Find the Best Talent for Your Firm

Posted by Joel Slater on Wed, May 27, 2020 @ 11:45 AM

Recruiting

If you’re an HR or recruiting professional, you’re probably tired and maybe completely annoyed with the overly used and abused term… “war for talent.” Today, we will bury that term deep into a grave with no headstone. Why do you say? Simply, because there isn’t a “war” to win. Instead, let’s think about recruiting like dating and the desire to attract the perfect fit. These days, many people meet their potential mates via relationship sites. Therefore, when a person is looking to find the right match for life, he or she goes to a source of available quality candidates.  Shouldn’t a firm look for the best employee to meet its needs using a similar system. So, how does a firm go about finding the right mates for its business purposes?

Utilize Internal Resources to Attract Talent

We’ve all been there - single with a group of friends who want to help us find our soulmate. They always have someone in mind who is the “right” person to match with you, and they know you really well. All that has to happen is the introduction and finding commonality, and bam, you’ve got your fit.

Well, if your role at the firm is to find the right match for business purposes, sometimes the best place to look is internally. You’ll first want to let everyone know what you are looking for so fellow coworkers can be matched with these internal job requisitions. Employees might also know others from outside the firm that are good fits as well. Did you know that studies suggest that new hires sourced from internal referrals lead to reduced time to hire, reduced cost per hire, improved quality of hire and reduced turnover rates?

When internally advertising a new job requisition, here are some items to consider:

  • Can your staff easily access this information?
  • Are there incentives for employees to recommend your firm to their friends/acquaintances?
  • Are these new job requisitions advertised in a way to attract existing employees looking for internal change?

Use Your Website to Evaluate New Talent

Using your company website for matchmaking? That’s a bit creepy if you think about it. But there are people using TV shows to find their potential mates so not too much of a stretch, huh? In a world of fast-moving internet connections, why should firms miss out on “speed dating” for their new job requisitions? Firms want to quickly separate those who may potentially be good fits from those who are absolutely not worth pursuing any further.

Let’s focus on the careers section of your website. Here’s the shocker, and I genuinely ask you to visit with your webmaster to ask what percentage of your website traffic is driven by the careers section. You’d be surprised that up to 50% of your traffic goes to your career page if you’re a professional services firm.  

With that said, your careers section should not be controlled by your on-staff or contract website guru. As the HR or recruiting person at your firm, you want the control to create and update your job requisitions as needed and when needed. You must have a simple format that is easy for potential matches to input the required information. Additionally, you need to be able to track the analytics of this page to know how many are reviewing the job requisition postings and how many of those convert to applying for the advertised open positions. Above all, with these job applications accessible on your website, you should easily be able to evaluate who may jive with firm culture and who is definitely a no-go.

Using Social Media to Connect with New Individuals

“Hey, I’m single and #ready to mingle!” Or better yet, “I’ve never met you before, so let me slide into your DMs.” Believe it or not, this works great for finding a potential romantic mate and for generating interest in your new job requisition. The power of social media is amazing for so many reasons.

First connections see your post, then they share or like your post, and then their friends see and like the post, and from there…it continues to grow. Better yet, your firm probably uses several social media platforms on a daily basis. What better way to attract new talent than harnessing the power of social media? Additionally, social media allows your firm to add personality just like it does for an individual looking for a date or a mate. When using social media, you can make your messaging fun and personify your firm. Just think about the hashtags and who you might want to @ to bring more attention to your job requisition. Once you grab the attention of a perspective candidate, you’ll likely get them to apply.

Stand out Above the Competition on the Web

If you’re tired of being single, you’re likely trying everything you can to attract and find the right mate. This means you’re likely using multiple dating apps and websites. Even more, you are probably using the best photo you can find of yourself for your profile. You want to stand out, right?

Yep, there’s a connection here too with finding the right person for your new job requisition. First off, you probably want to post it to as many job boards as possible. Sure, this takes time, but the more the better, and having the right tools can make cross-posting a new job requisition across multiple job boards simple. It even helps ensure the posting is consistent across all listings. Most importantly, you want your job requisition to stand out among the crowd. Make sure to use exciting job descriptions that emphasize the benefits of working for your firm over the competition. Lastly, you want potential candidates to be able to easily apply for your open position.

Quit Playing Games and Get Serious

Just like dating unimpressive potential suitors, interviewing underqualified or less than desirable talent can be frustrating. Technology has changed how people find dates and potential mates. Similarly, firms have access to better hiring management platforms. For many, the concept of an applicant tracking system (ATS) is nothing new, but people are still unaware of the benefits and the time-saving capabilities that these platforms offer. It is time to get serious about attracting and hiring the best talent for your firm.

Automate Job Postings

Topics: HR, Employees, Deltek Talent

Empower Your Firm with Better Email Management

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Wed, May 20, 2020 @ 11:35 AM

Email management

What do you think is the most widespread office tool used amongst your peers and coworkers? If you answered email, you are correct! Employees use email throughout the day to communicate with coworkers, clients, vendors, and the list continues. In fact, a study by McKinsey found that employees spend 28% of their workweek managing their email, the equivalent of 11 hours if we assume that an employee works 40 hours a week. So, how can we help employees more effectively manage their email?

Email Management Pitfalls

Let’s start where most people do when they read and write an email - the subject line. The fact is, there is not a global standard to email subject lines, and most companies don’t establish predetermined subject lines either. As a result, searching for a specific email about a certain topic wastes a lot of time especially if the email is never found leaving some to wonder if the email ever actually existed.

For some savvy email users, they have learned to create a folder system to improve their email organization. According to a study by Microsoft Research, 30% of email users create a folder structure to organize email. However, ironically, 90% of those that create folder structures don’t actually use them.

Here, we just discovered two email mismanagement issues, but if you want to dig deeper, there are many more. There are other simple things like not using reply all so that everyone on the email chain has access to the communications and decisions made based on the email content. Also, not using convenience features such as setting reminders to follow-up or complete an assigned action item. All these examples are things that can be improved, but how does a business get everyone on board with practicing better email management?  

Put the Right Email Management Solution in Place

Email tools such as Gmail and Outlook contain intuitive features and functions that allow users to improve their email management. However, these tools by themselves are not enough to be able to improve firm-wide email management. While these email tools are great for facilitating communication especially for person to person, where they fall short is when emails contain specific details and information about a project that requires multiple people from multiple departments to know about changes and statuses as they happen.

An effective email management solution will have the ability to store uncategorized emails with important information in a database that makes these emails more searchable allowing employees to find the information they need, when they need it, with only a few clicks. Additionally, the emails should be in one centralized location for all relevant staff to be able to access and obtain the pertinent information. An effective email management solution integrates your firm’s email platform tool with the firm’s ERP solution to ensure all data is stored in one place.

Unravel the Email Management Mess

There’s a lot of confusion about email management solutions versus email tools. In layman’s terms, email tools are what you use to create and respond to emails. On the other hand, email management solutions allow you to quickly categorize an email from your email tool that will then add the email to a general database that lets others access the information. Furthermore, email management is more than an individual process and requires an email management system in conjunction with FIRM-WIDE established processes to ensure proper email management success.

Most importantly, email management solutions can change the culture of your company and open up the ways we communicate. They help eliminate inadvertent gatekeepers of information and ensure everyone within your firm has the information needed for client satisfaction. Lastly, they create time savings for your firm by providing easy access to the information your teams need to deliver a great client experience.

Deltek PIM

Topics: Project Management, Technology Solutions, Project Information Management (PIM)

Why NOW is the Time to Move to the Cloud

Posted by Amanda Roussel on Wed, May 13, 2020 @ 11:35 AM

Cloud computing

Leadership teams and firm owners have countless business elements to focus on and decisions to make. Some decisions are no-brainers, others are hard, and some just need to wait for the “right time.” There are often firm improvements pitched for consideration that may not make it to the priority list, or that are labeled as a luxury rather than a need. The word “value” can often determine where an initiative may fall on that labeling scale. One initiative that is proving to be a need is moving your firm’s ERP solution like Deltek Vantagepoint or Vision to the cloud. Now is the time, and it should be an easy decision. Let us identify some of the many advantages of moving your ERP solution to the cloud.

Make it Easy for Your Teams

Professional services firms have data… lots of data. Much of this data is centered around your people and projects and should be safely stored and easily accessible. With a device and an internet connection, teams can securely access their solution from anywhere. This allows for great flexibility with office, remote, and field team members. The cloud is not only flexible with location, but it is also flexible with firm size. Growth is a leading driver for many firms, and it is important that systems put in place now allow for scaling up when the time is right. The cloud offering makes it easy for teams to get their work done, providing value for the firm.

Reduce IT Burdens

Another benefit the cloud offers is removing the burden on your IT team, whether internal or external. On-premise hardware requires system maintenance and server upgrades which take time and money. Moving to the cloud, IT resources can be reallocated, and your firm will have confidence knowing that your ERP system is running on enhanced security, using updated hardware and software, and requiring zero maintenance from your IT team. You can also rest assured that a disaster recovery plan has been established and is ready to be deployed, if needed. The value of the cloud ultimately improves firm efficiency because you can now focus on what you do best, providing value to your own clients.

Fixed Costs vs Unexpected Costs

Planning for and managing expenses is a significant part of a firm’s financial health. Opting for a subscription-based fee for cloud services, firms can have confidence in budgeting a fixed cost. Otherwise, a best-guess amount would be budgeted for on-premise hardware needs. Another factor that should be considered is potential downtime. On average, downtime with a traditional IT system can be four times longer than the cloud alternative. Unexpected expenses and downtime can put an unfortunate burden on a firm. Choosing to be in the cloud ensures value with increasing reliability and reducing operating expenses.

Everyone is Invited to the Cloud

Small and large businesses alike have the same access to the cloud. The cloud can give businesses a competitive edge as they use the latest ERP solution like Deltek Vantagepoint for project management, financial management, and other streamlined processes. With proven tools accessed easily from the cloud, project managers, accounting teams, marketing groups, and executives can stay integrated and informed, no matter the firm size. The cloud does not discriminate on who gets value.

Continuity is a Necessity

Now is the time to make the move. Firms should be proactive in protecting their valuable data and seamlessly move it to a safe place. Do not wait until something goes amiss with your traditional IT system. Because cloud solutions are reached via the internet, users have greater flexibility with computer upgrades and mobile devices, too. The cloud is the leading choice for data storage because it is secure, reliable, and always available. With all these benefits, it should be an easy decision that NOW is the time to move to the cloud.

Thinking Out Cloud

Topics: Technology Solutions, Cloud, Communication

Using Goals to Improve Employee Engagement

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, May 06, 2020 @ 11:35 AM

Employee Engagement

While many consider satisfied clients to be the most important factor for a business to be successful, they often overlook the significant contribution that satisfied employees make to the bottom line. Employees need to feel that they are not only a part of the process but see their efforts result in positive results. If employees are left in the dark regarding firm strategies and outcomes, they are more likely to just go through the motions in their jobs rather than be engaged. The best way to make sure your staff is engaged and therefore motivated towards firm success is to set goals. Let’s see what this entails.

Set Clear Expectations

If employees know what they are expected to achieve in their roles, they will be more inclined to work hard. When you clearly state goals and explain the strategic direction your team will be taking, you provide needed guidance which forms a connection. The individual employee goals established should be aligned with the overall firm goals whether short-term or long-term. Short-term goals work particularly well as the results can be more quickly seen by both employees and managers and provide a way to offer more continuous feedback ensuring employee engagement.

Stay SMART

In identifying particular objectives, it is best to be SMART about them. The guidelines for setting goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound. A specific goal should address what is to be accomplished and what resources are involved. A measurable goal looks at when it will be accomplished while achievable focuses on how realistic the goal is. A relevant goal decides if it is timed correctly and if it meets a firm’s current needs. Finally, time bound establishes when the goal should be met. Goal milestones should be set to hold employees and teams accountable, and there should be a way to track the goals using a talent management system like Deltek Talent.

Recognize Employee Impact

Employees want to see how their contributions impact their team and their firm overall, and it is easy to become disillusioned when they cannot see the end result of their actions. With a tracking system in place, managers can show employees what they have accomplished, and employees can understand how their meeting of goals benefits the company at present and down the line. When you recognize the efforts of employees, they feel like they are part of firm success and will be motivated to continue these efforts.

Put a Goal System in Place

Employee engagement is necessary for the success of your firm and setting of goals is the best pathway to ensure such engagement. This way, employees will be informed of their expectations and given an opportunity to show what they can accomplish. Tracking these goals with a talent management system like Deltek Talent will keep employee goals aligned with firm goals and provide a way for employees to see their contributions to firm growth. Put a goal system in place today.

Employee Engagement

Topics: HR, Employees, Communication

Chris Simei Joins Full Sail Partners to Lead Business Intelligence Development

Posted by Amanda Roussel on Tue, May 05, 2020 @ 12:05 PM

Chris Simei

Full Sail Partners hired Senior Consultant, Chris Simei to head up their Blackbox Connector between Informer and Deltek Vision and Vantagepoint. Chris is known as a business intelligence (BI) expert in the Deltek ecosystem and will focus on expanding Full Sail Partners’ BI capabilities including connecting with other solutions. His wealth of knowledge will help ensure Deltek clients maximize the value of their product and reimagine how they use their data to reach optimal efficiency.

Chris is always looking to help clients and leverage creative concepts to drive innovation. Additionally, Chris delivers automated solutions with a well-versed perspective, having been in the A&E industry for over a decade. His work has taken him across the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and the Middle East.

“The landscape of ERP data management is changing swiftly. I collaborate with clients and use Deltek solutions to help firms get to the next level. The solutions are endless and I’m excited to guide firms along their success journey," commented Chris Simei.

Professional services firms are starting to reap the benefits of business intelligence. However, the most effective analytics take some collaboration and preparation. In this role, Chris will help firms get the data they need to make key business decisions by using the Blackbox Connector to integrate Informer, or other business intelligence software, with their Deltek system. Informer is becoming the desired choice among the Deltek community because of its drill down capabilities, ease of use, and ability to combine other data sources. The Blackbox Connector team has made it easy for firms by providing pre-built datasets, visuals and dashboards to every user within the firm.  

“Many firms are looking for ways to streamline their business intelligence data to stay on top of projects and business decisions. Bringing Chris on board allows Full Sail Partners to help more firms get connected with Informer and other solutions. Deltek is a robust, cohesive system, and it takes technical experience to integrate these systems correctly. After connecting the systems, firms can have confidence in their data and have an intuitive system at their fingertips,” stated Scott Seal, Vice President of Consulting.

For more information, please email Full Sail Partners’ Marketing Communications Department.

Topics: Press Release

Improve Project Planning with Deltek Vantagepoint

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Wed, Apr 29, 2020 @ 11:35 AM

Project planning tools

For professional services firms, having a reliable project planning tool is critical to ensuring projects are profitable. Therefore, a project planning tool needs to be intuitive for users and must improve project scheduling and resource planning. With Deltek Vantagepoint, project planning has been taken to the next level with a focus on the features and functionality that project managers need. Here are some key features of Vantagepoint that will assist project managers with delivering successful and profitable projects.

Use Project Templates in Deltek Vantagepoint

Before your firm actually starts a project, it must first propose how it will deliver the project for the prospective client. Therefore, a project plan must be created during the project proposal development process. Furthermore, your firm will want to ensure its proposed project plan is aligned with its typical project delivery method. With project templates, firms can quickly create a project plan based on the type of work being requested by the client.

Aside from the ease of creating a project plan, using a project template ensures that project managers are using the correct work breakdown structure (WBS) that aligns with their firm’s project delivery model. In addition to containing all the WBS levels, the plan created from the project template will include all the required pre-defined data fields. In summary, project templates:

  • Save time when you create new project records
  • Guarantee data uniformity in your project records
  • Ensure new projects are set up with the proper WBS

Take Advantage of Labor Codes in Deltek Vantagepoint

With Deltek Vantagepoint, the ability to plan labor resources down to the labor code on a project is now possible. This additional functionality, which is seldomly seen in other project planning tools, allows project managers to better manage their project labor planning. With this increased level of granularity, firms can more accurately create internal budgets and improve labor tracking by department, service, or staff level.

The benefit of using labor codes is that the same labor codes are used across the board for all projects. As a result, project reports can include additional and meaningful labor detail that can be sorted by labor code. Additionally, firms that use labor codes can allow employees to bill time at multiple rates if they perform different jobs during a project.

Adjust Project Timelines with the Interactive Gannt Chart

Gantt charts are a great visual assistance tool for project managers, and Deltek has gone a step further by making them interactive in Vantagepoint. For those that are unfamiliar with Gantt charts, they use bars to illustrate a project schedule which can also include dependency relationships between activities and their scheduled time. With the project Gantt chart in Vantagepoint, project managers can adjust the project schedule from any level of the project by simply dragging and dropping the timeline bars.

As a result, project managers now have an easier way to adjust dates as changes to the project occur. Additionally, Deltek has included the ability to export the project Gantt chart in various formats. Among the options are PDF and PNG, and all can simply be attached in a project contract or proposal.

Take Control of Your Project with Deltek Vantagepoint 

As you can see, there are several valuable features in Deltek Vantagepoint’s project planning capabilities that other project planning tools are still lacking. From providing project templates, to offering labor codes to the interactive Gannt chart, Vantagepoint is taking project planning and delivery to the next level. Now is the time to step up your project planning and delivery with Deltek Vantagepoint.

New call-to-action

Topics: Project Management, Professional Services, Deltek Vantagepoint

What Makes a Great Project Information Management System?

Posted by Amanda Roussel on Wed, Apr 22, 2020 @ 11:35 AM

PIM Puzzle

In this digital age, project information management is crucial to efficiently maintain firm documentation. With projects that may have a duration of five or 10+ years, project files are plentiful, from large drawing files to Word documents and email correspondence. The organization of those files can be challenging for firms of any size. Therefore, established document management practices are necessary to keep projects running smoothly. So, let’s see what a great project information management (PIM) system would look like.

Challenges to Project Information Management

In order to ensure the setup of a great PIM system, let’s first evaluate the project information management challenges faced by firms:

No Two Projects are Alike - Projects are unique. They can be similar, but there will be at least one detail that sets each one apart. Firms need to create and save project files that contain the specific project details for the benefit of all team members and others in the firm that may need to reference a document, such as a contract or correspondence. The numerous drafts and revisions as a project progresses are important and should be saved in one place as well.

Many Hands on a Project - Team size can vary from a small few to over 50. No matter how much time team members spend on a project, they need access to the files that are applicable to their work and their hours should be recorded on a timesheet. It is also no secret that employees come, and employees go, so team members get added and others get shifted. If team members change, how can the project seamlessly be handed off with no interruption in service to the client without proper documentation in an accessible place?

Information Overload can be Overwhelming - We are all familiar with the yellow folders that you can sift through on the network as you hopelessly search for that one email from the client with a very particular request from three months ago. It is somewhere in there amongst the other documents - contracts, correspondence, drawings, scope of work, photos, reports, supporting data, deliverables, etc. While firms do have various ways to save their files, they are usually not saved in one cohesive location. Furthermore, varying naming conventions also create problems regarding files since not all team members have the same naming logic.

Overcoming Documentation Difficulties

Teams can better use their time executing a project rather than searching for the latest version of a file. So, it makes sense that all relevant project documentation should be easily accessible somehow. Now, what document management practices should be set up by firms to ensure all team members have the correct tools in their toolboxes?

Proactively Manage Emails – Email is a universal form of communication in project-centric businesses. It is communication, but it also can be considered important documentation. Therefore, email can be leveraged to improve productivity, and it should be managed in a secure central location with your project information.

Inclusion of all Project Documents – Project drawings, reports, deliverables, and any documents related to the project should be saved in one location. This includes contracts and change orders as well. Having all information in one place improves efficiency and can ultimately keep projects on track.

Tagging for Searchability - Tagging documents with the correct information allows a system’s search feature to retrieve related documents quickly. As a result, this saves you valuable time and allows you to easily find the document you need to continue your work.

Mobility is a Possibility – Project information management needs to happen from anywhere – office, home, or on site. Be certain that your teams can access the data they need no matter where they are. This is a vital component to a great document management system.

Auditability – Just like accounting data, your project documentation should be auditable as well. Allowing tracking helps keep the data safe and always available.

Investing in a Great Project Information Management System

A quality project information management system is a wise investment for the future of your firm. Having best practices in place regarding accurate and easily accessible project information ensures project data is an asset to the firm, rather than a liability. Even more, a well-planned system can boost team communication and collaboration as well as project efficiency, bringing your team to the next level of excellence.Deltek PIM

Topics: Project Management, Technology Solutions, Project Information Management (PIM)

Continuous Performance Management

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Apr 15, 2020 @ 11:35 AM

Continuous feedback

For years, annual performance reviews have been the standard way to evaluate employees. Usually, these evaluations take place at approximately the same time each year. They often discuss issues from the distant past then try to address future goals which are not brought up again until the following annual review. This dated process is static and useless when motivating and engaging staff. With the competitive talent market in the project-based world, firms need to actively nurture and develop their staff using continuous performance management. Here are some key components of a continuous performance management program.

More Than Just a Check-In

Continuous performance management involves more than just an occasional manager “check-in” with employees. It goes much further by incorporating input from other team members such as project leaders, human resources and other co-workers. With continuous feedback, employees can be kept abreast of how project milestones are being met while also examining outcomes that don’t go exactly the anticipated way. Furthermore, using technology, these frequent conversations between team members become an easy occurrence.

Goal Management that Flows

Another part of continuous performance management entails the fluid management of employee goals. Hiccups and successes should not be stagnant but should be evaluated as they occur during an employee’s tenure at your firm. Growth occurs constantly and employees meet their goals in various time increments so managing these goals should be just as fluid. This adaptable management of goals benefits the firm since project requirements change as well. Therefore, goals should be altered as needed rather than absolutely set in stone.

Clear Development Plans

Continuous performance management also incorporates career development plans for employees. From getting new hires productive at onboarding to upskilling or reskilling them several years down the road, development plans should be authentic and intentional. When employees have the opportunity to drive their careers, they become more engaged with their firms. As a result, this engagement leads to more productive projects which will benefit the firm in the end.

Transform Your Performance Management Process

Based on a SHRM/Globoforce Survey, a whopping 89% of HR leaders agreed that continuous feedback had a positive impact on their businesses. However, a Gallup study showed that only 19% of millennials surveyed said they got routine feedback with only 17% revealing that it was meaningful. The project-based workforce of the present and future wants authenticity and autonomy from its employer. Yet, the same workforce desires a way to showcase its skills and advance. Continuous Performance Management offers firms the ability to fully utilize the best talent, adapt to changing needs and ensure they grow with the firm.

Deltek Talent Management

Topics: HR, Employees, Communication

Amanda Roussel Joins Full Sail Partners as Marketing and Business Development Specialist

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Mon, Apr 13, 2020 @ 11:30 AM

Amanda Roussel

Full Sail Partners is pleased to welcome Amanda Roussel to our marketing team. As a Marketing and Business Development Specialist, she will be involved in Full Sail Partners’ brand management, client communication and outreach, as well as identification and pursuit of opportunities with potential clients.

Amanda has fourteen years of experience marketing for engineering and environmental consulting firms. Her industry experience includes working with executive teams on strategic business initiatives; project managers on teaming opportunities, proposals, and CRM; and staff to cross-sell and show themselves in the best light. Amanda has used Deltek products throughout her career and recently assisted an engineering and environmental firm with the upgrade from Deltek Vision to Vantagepoint.

“I have seen the benefits of Deltek Vision and Vantagepoint on the firm side and want other firms to know what resources are available to their teams. I've always viewed Full Sail Partners as Deltek experts, and I'm thrilled to join them. I have an understanding of what professional services firms may need and look forward to sharing and promoting the solutions that we can offer," noted Amanda Roussel.

With both Vision and Vantagepoint experience, Amanda will be a great resource in helping to promote these Deltek products in addition to Full Sail Partners' solutions including its Blackbox Connectors and Informer to improve firm processes. Many firms are looking for ways to tighten processes and scale up with growth, and these products offer the technology for firms to do so.  

“With so many firms looking to upgrade from Vision to Vantagepoint, Full Sail Partners is committed to supporting our clients through the transition process. Now more than ever, we want to expand our outreach to ensure our clients are aware of our 3-step Vantagepoint Transition Process. With Amanda’s in-depth knowledge of the Deltek world and the AEC industry, her background is a perfect blend of experience to help both our business development and marketing team. We are thrilled to have her join our team,” stated Sarah Gonnella, VP of Marketing & Sales.

For more information, please email Full Sail Partners’ Marketing Communications Department.

Topics: Press Release

What Metrics are Important for Your Firm to Track?

Posted by Amanda Roussel on Wed, Apr 08, 2020 @ 11:30 AM

business metrics

“What gets measured gets done” is a common phrase heard in the business world. This thought process relies on business metrics that can be tracked and focused on within an organization. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are the critical measurements which business leaders pay close attention to consistently. There are many leading and lagging indicators that can be analyzed to gauge a company’s health and employee productivity. So, what are KPIs that leaders and employees use to determine if their firm is operating effectively?  

Leading Indicators Look Forward

Firm leaders must always be looking to the future. New business is crucial to maintain a successful operation of a company. Likewise, appropriate staffing is necessary to ensure employee productivity.

New Business Pipeline – This measures the opportunities in the pipeline throughout the business development or sales process. The process typically covers efforts to attract clients, engage clients, then secure clients. How is a pipeline goal determined? Look at the firm’s hit rate – the ratio of wins to the number of projects pursued – and work backwards to determine the number of calls, meetings, and proposals needed to meet pipeline goals. Other metrics include client touch points, new leads, web visits, blog views, and dollar of proposals submitted, which all feed into the new business pipeline.

Full-Time Equivalent – This number shows if a firm is properly staffed for current and future work. The concept includes hours worked by part-time employees and full-time employees to determine the full-time equivalent (FTE). A firm can look at the total number of hours worked by all staff combined for a given time period and divide it by the number of working hours in that same time period. The FTE metric could trigger human resources to ramp up recruiting efforts or signal to business developers to target work for a specific time to keep utilization where it should be.  

Lagging Indicators Evaluate the Past

To keep a firm running successfully, business leaders must constantly measure results against goals. Were the goals met? Why or why not? There are a number of factors leaders analyze here.

Utilization Rate – Many firms use utilization goals as the benchmark for employee productivity. These goals are usually set by team managers and consider billable time, employee development, and administrative time. Employees can bring their highest value to the firm when they are operating at their optimal billable utilization goal. This metric is widely used at the individual employee level and group level.

Overhead Rate – This measures a firm’s non-billable costs compared to billable costs. Overhead expenses can be monitored and adjusted if this number is higher than desired. Examples of non-billable, or overhead, costs include leases, supplies, and non-billable professional hours, to name a few.

Revenue – This popular metric is the number that sits at the top of the income statement and measures the income a firm generates before subtracting expenses. This can be measured against revenue goals to determine how the company is performing. This number is important, but it should not be the only source of motivation.

Gross Profit Margin – This metric tells the firm’s process efficiency. The higher the number, the more efficiently the work is being completed. This can be measured overall for the firm as well as at the project level.

Revenue Growth – Is your firm on the desired growth path? This comprehensive view shows leaders the growth trajectory year-over-year. If it’s not on the desired path, course corrections can be made to get back on track.

Ongoing Pulse Checks Monitor the Present

It is also important to keep abreast of the general attitude towards your firm by both clients and employees. Both clients and employees contribute to the ultimate success of your firm. Thus, both should be assessed for current satisfaction levels.

Client retention and satisfaction – Repeat clients are vital to a firm’s success and can be tracked against new clients. Keeping clients satisfied helps ensure they will continue using the firm’s services. Tools such as the Client Feedback Tool can be used to gauge how satisfied clients are with the firm’s work and communication. The Client Feedback Tool can also be used to the employee’s advantage, learning where improvements can be made, or assistance requested.  

Employee satisfaction – The employee experience is just as important as the client experience. Satisfied employees are typically more productive, resulting in a stronger bottom line. It is best to keep lines of communication open and engage with, survey, and collaborate with employees regularly.

Using Metrics Ensures Firm Success

There are hundreds of metrics that can be tracked on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis. It is key to find the proper balance of metrics that works for your firm type and structure. Knowing how to get the right data is also important. Solutions such as Deltek Vision, Vantagepoint, and Informer can provide business intelligence showing real-time KPIs, giving leadership teams the data necessary for effective decision making and business management. Clear data can be used to identify the most successful areas as well as those that need attention and improvement. This is the most effective way to regularly stay on top of your firm’s performance.

Key Performance Indicators

Topics: Technology Solutions, Professional Services, Business Intelligence