Full Sail Partners Blog

Why Continuous Performance Management is Better than Annual Reviews

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Feb 24, 2021 @ 11:30 AM

Relying on annual performance reviews as the main performance evaluation tool often feels like employees are given one big dose of criticism that has been saved up all year long. This process does a lot more harm than good as it is generally a collection of out-of-context feedback received long after projects have ended, and no improvements can be made. According to a 2019 Workhuman Analytics and Research study, 55 percent of workers believe annual reviews did not improve their performance, and a study from Gallup indicated that nearly 30 percent were so put off by a negative review that they started looking for a new job.

People Meeting

Annual Reviews are Obsolete

In actuality, many HR leaders are dissatisfied with annual performance reviews and find them obsolete. They realize that continuous and supportive feedback with more frequent reviews can help spur employee growth and development. While negative feedback is unavoidable, it should be given in small manageable amounts letting employees digest and make proactive changes. For project-based firms in particular, it is important to let team members know where they are doing well and indicate areas of improvement as the projects are happening rather than waiting until year end when it is too late. Additionally, continuous performance management is much better tailored to meet the needs of the modern workforce.

Reflects How Work Gets Done

Continuous performance management is reflective of how the work really gets done, and it increases employee engagement. Feedback is quite effective when check-ins are frequent, and according to Workhuman, employees who checked in with their manager at least weekly are five times less likely to be disengaged than those who never check-in. With the pandemic and remote working in 2020, the need for consistent feedback became even greater as the virtual nature of business made it harder to connect personally.

Shows Employees Their Value to the Firm

As employees are given continuous input on their performance, they begin to see how they are providing value to their firm. Motivated employees get their work done faster, are more creative and collaborative, and go above and beyond what is expected. Even given areas of improvement, motivated employees will work harder to make sure their goals are met. And when employees are more efficient, there is a positive impact on the firm’s bottom line.

Focuses on Career Development

When having more frequent conversations about performance, employees can be considering their next steps in career development. Talking about performance development is much more forward thinking, positive and employee focused. Doing this shows employees that their work is appreciated and that they are valued. When employees are invested in getting to another level in their career, they are motivated and harder working.

Communicates Expectations Clearly

In the past, employees often did not know what their expectations were, and the annual review was the first time they were able to see the bigger picture. When communication is increased in a continuous fashion, employees are able to understand immediate priorities and the firm’s ultimate goals and plans. These discussions provide a meaningful pathway to success for both employees and the firm as a whole. Therefore, employees feel engaged and are motivated to meet goals.

Offers Timely Feedback

If employees are not aware that something is wrong, they do not know to fix it. Without direct conversations regarding areas that need improvement, employees cannot be held accountable for not making corrections. Especially with projects, team members need to know what aspects of the project could be adjusted more appropriately to meet the firm’s goals. Not addressing these issues until year end does not provide any way to resolve them. As a result, continuous performance management is truly a necessity for project-based firms.

Continuous Performance Management is the Future

The modern project-based workforce demands a performance management system that focuses on autonomy, development, feedback and engagement. Shifting to a continuous performance management system simply requires effective processes and a technology solution that can facilitate them throughout the firm. With an effective talent management solution, your firm can realize project team success while truly engaging your quality talent using continuous performance management.

Continuous Feedback and Goals

What You Need to Know About OCR and ICR Technologies

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Wed, Feb 17, 2021 @ 02:29 PM

For project-based firms, document management is vital, and with a document management system in place, these firms can organize all relevant information with ease. However, many firms use scanning technologies that only create an image of the document. As a result, the image lacks the metadata contained within the document such as client name, dates, invoice amounts and more unless a firm associate adds this information manually.

Artificial Intelligence

Today, new scanning technologies have been introduced to the market that have the capabilities to “read” a document and collect the pertinent metadata making the file searchable. This technology eliminates the time required by an employee to manually gather and enter that information. Before your firm decides to invest into this technology, it’s important to get a basic understanding of how these technologies work.

What is OCR and ICR?

In short, OCR, or Optical Character Recognition, is a software that scans text in documents and is usually used for translating long documents into electronic files. ICR, or Intelligent Character Recognition, by comparison, is a software that recognizes fonts and styles of handwriting. With this basic understanding, let’s take a deeper dive into the differences.

It is commonly accepted that OCR technology was first introduced by Emanuel Goldberg in 1914 to read characters and convert them to a telegraph code to help the blind read. During the following decades, OCR capabilities continued to grow to what we have and use today. You may not even realize it, but you probably use OCR technology on a weekly basis. If you travel through an airport, send a letter in the mail, or deposit a check in the ATM, you have used OCR technology. While OCR technology is used regularly and effectively, there is a newer technology emerging as the leader.

In the early 1990’s, ICR technology took OCR capabilities to the next level. Basically, it is a smarter OCR which can focus on details. While OCR is normally used for retrieving typed documents that can be categorized and searched, ICR handles handwriting with more complicated styles than OCR can manage. Even more, ICR is a self-learning technology that teaches itself to recognize new handwriting patterns and improve data capture from scanned documents.

Benefits of ICR

OCR software is generally less expensive than ICR because you get fewer features. For some firms, the advanced features of ICR may not be necessary. However, for the majority of project-based firms, the cost of ICR is worth it as it will save countless hours spent on document management. Since ICR can read handwritten notes, and virtually any font, it can be used to manage many more documents than just OCR alone. Not to mention, the automatic retrieval of this relevant data no matter the handwriting prevents human input error which is a common problem with manual entry.

ICR and Accounting Data

Specifically, when it comes to accounting data, using ICR is extremely beneficial. ICR can be used for scanning various accounting documents such as accounts payable, invoices, purchase orders, onboarding payroll forms, and travel expenses. Larger firms that process hundreds of forms each month will be able to reduce numerous hours spent by team members having to manually enter all that data.

Expense Retrieval on the Go With ICR

Since Deltek is the leading provider of project-based ERP systems, it has already begun adopting ICR technology in Deltek Vantagepoint. Currently, Deltek is utilizing ICR in its mobile expense feature which allows users to take a picture of their receipts which can be read by Vantagepoint. The printed or handwritten text auto populates into the fields in Vantagepoint eliminating the manual entry of this information. Accounting can then see where the budgets stand throughout the project lifecycle keeping everyone on track. Stay tuned as Deltek is continuing to test this capability in other capacities to help streamline your business operations!

Watch demos of Deltek Vantagepoint now!

Human Capital Management Remotely – No Office Required!

Posted by Sarah Gonnella on Wed, Feb 10, 2021 @ 02:22 PM

Since the spring of 2020, many firms have had to transition to a remote only working environment. Learning to deal with this new operating style was certainly a challenge at first, but hopefully, these same firms are embracing the changes which could help to streamline the whole Human Capital Management (HCM) process. Let’s check out how HCM can be successfully done remotely with no office required based on our own experience at Full Sail Partners.

Human Capital Management

Pre-Hire

First off is the interview process which can still be done face to face, just virtually. Searching for talent is different when you work remotely. The location of potential new hires doesn’t really matter. It is more about skillsets and the fit of the person with the company.

You will also want to ask different types of questions about working from home such as questions towards working autonomously and communication skills. You need to see signs of motivation and the ability to self-motivate with any candidates you interview. Some key questions are “Why would you want to work from home?” and “Can you handle IT issues on your own?”, “Do you have internet?”, and “Do you have a quiet place to work from”. These types of questions will help you determine whether a particular candidate can handle a remote only position.

Onboarding

Once you’ve found the talent that seems to fit your remote work environment and the offer letter has been accepted, it is time to prepare for this new hire. Working remotely, a very important place to start is with the IT aspect. Having a standard online checklist of items that IT should prepare for is super helpful. Deltek Collaboration and Microsoft Teams are great solutions that allow you to copy a template that includes a list of standard tasks or assignments. Don’t reinvent the wheel each time you have a new hire. Everyone needs a computer and login info for different types of software. Send that info ahead of time so new hires can be ready day one to start learning more about the company. Also be sure new employees are provided with contacts within the company that can be approached for different needs. Working remotely puts the onus on the new hire to seek out the answers, but they should have a list of resources.

Another significant way to start on good footing remotely involves setting goals. These goals will have details about expectations to accomplish. The goals should focus on steps that are required to be successful. We find establishing 45-day, 3-month, 6-month, and 9-month goals can ensure the employee knows exactly their priorities and allows them to proceed forward with confidence. A supervisor should meet with the employee at the end of each of these time increments to discuss where they are in meeting their goals and determine if further mentoring or training is required.

Retention

Full Sail Partners Team Fun Meeting CallNow that you have the right people for remote work up to speed, think about ways to engage employees and offer professional development. Since you can’t just walk down the hall to see what is happening, you have to trust them and their desire to perform their duties. Continuous feedback and performance discussions are key. It is a good idea to check in to see how things are going in frequent intervals.

Finally, day to day is different in the remote world with no monthly team lunches or birthday cake. However, time can be taken to meet virtually over Zoom, have phone conversations or even text. Just recently, Full Sail Partners had a virtual happy hour to get the gang together with a little bingo time. Being comfortable in a new position at the outset also promotes retention. New hires can learn about the roles of the various company positions through shadowing them. Once employees have shadowed certain firm members, they can then take the lead knowing that there is a built-in safety net still shadowing them. Offering professional development opportunities and trainings is another means to ensure retention. There are plenty of online resources available.

Learn More From Full Sail Partners' Sarah Gonnella

Sarah is interviewed by another Full Sail Partners' Crew Member about the onboarding process at our firm. Watch the video below.

Remote Going Forward?

Full Sail Partners has been a virtual company for more than two decades and has proven that HCM can be done remotely with success. For those firms who have seen the benefits of working remotely, there may not be a return to the way before. Let Full Sail Partners’ experience guide you going forward. If your firm is interested in learning more about remote working, feel free to reach out to an employee to learn more about their experience.

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The Best Business Intelligence (BI) Tool for Deltek Vantagepoint Users

Posted by Chris Simei on Wed, Feb 03, 2021 @ 11:35 AM

One of the topics that keeps arising from the Deltek user base is utilizing business intelligence (BI) tools. Firms are seeking out BI tools for different reasons, but all are seeking to provide further analysis and visibility to employees within the firm. Some of the key products firms are investigating include Power BI to Tableau to Informer. So, what is the best BI tool for Deltek Vantagepoint users? Let’s dive in and discuss why firms are seeking out BI tools and discuss what we have found to be the best solution.

BI info 2

Clients Want More

The Deltek Vantagepoint product is robust and provides many out-of-the-box visuals and dashboards, but there are some further capabilities that require users to turn to a BI tool. Some of the most common features include:

  • Report upon any table or field not just pre-selected datasets
  • Create visuals combining different hubs or tables (For example, Project and GL Reports)
  • Drilldown capabilities from a visual
  • Combine outside data from payroll, marketing solutions, etc.
  • Track against goals, KPIs, and industry benchmarks

Why Informer Stands Out Amongst Other Business Intelligence Solutions

  1. Cloud Compatible – Deltek users in the cloud need not worry. A benefit of Informer is that it is Deltek cloud compatible. The API is pre-configured, and the data connection is already established. For your technology team, this is an important point since this would require a significant effort to establish.

  2. Ease Burden on IT – Deploying a BI tool can be cumbersome for technology teams. Our streamlined approach to deploy a BI solution saves time and resources. Most tools require in-depth data base programming skillsets, such as SQL. One of the key benefits of Informer is its intuitive and user-friendly capabilities, including dataset and visual design.

  3. Integrated Security with Deltek Vantagepoint – Informer utilizes the same security protocols utilized with your Deltek product streamlining the login process. A key advantage is user data is synchronized so you can mirror security preferences used in Deltek. As an example, when users are disabled within your Deltek product, they are also disabled within Informer.

  4. Combine Outside Data – Users can combine multiple outside data sources. For example, firms can bring in payroll data or other third-party solution data for further analysis.

  5. Out-of-the-Box Standards – No more starting from scratch and spending months and even years building out something that could be available to you day one. Our team has built what we call the gold standard, a starting point for project-based firms. On the first meeting, our team will show you how your data looks in our out-of-the-box datasets, visuals and dashboards. We will then work with your team to tweak datasets to your definitions and work with you to validate the data. Our gold standard includes visuals from the Executive down to the Employee and every role in between.

  6. Drilldown Capabilities is Built-in – Informer offers built-in drilldowns to transactional data on visuals. The drilldowns are automatically configured on visuals. In other BI tools it is just another thing you have to design, but not in Informer.

  7. Send Reports and Alerts Based on Conditions – Informer allows users to tap into their data and email certain filtered views to internal or external recipients. Emails and alerts can be scheduled on any conditional criteria. For example, as Project Managers utilize 80% of their budget, an email can be sent with a link to their dashboard and a breakdown of time on their project.

  8. Schedule Data Updates On-Demand – Users can schedule data to be refreshed on-demand or at specific time intervals. Datasets can also be scheduled on separate intervals. Some BI tools lack this flexibility, and all data is refreshed at one time. For example, opportunities may be updated every two hours, projects updated nightly, and income statements updated monthly after postings.

  9. Mobile Accessibility – Dashboards can be viewed on-the-go on any mobile device. One of the key differentiators between Informer and other BI tools is its drilldown capability. Informer content is automatically configured for mobile viewing without any additional development.

See Informer in Action

If you are ready to see more, we recommend checking out this previously presented demonstration webinar to see highlights of the capabilities of the product. Firms that have moved to Informer are finding tremendous benefits. Check out this case story to see how two firms moved from clunky and time consuming methods to up-to-date data with the click of a button. If these two webinars don’t provide you enough information, please feel free to email info@blackboxconnector.com to schedule a demonstration or discuss your specific needs.

Learn More

Power BI, Tableau, and Informer each offers unique features, but our clients believe Deltek users will find Informer to be the best business intelligence tool option. Be sure to join our upcoming webinar providing a more in-depth analysis of the capabilities of each of these products and learn what the future holds for BI tools.

Webinar: Informer - BI

Top 10 Blogs From 2020

Posted by Jennifer Renfroe on Wed, Jan 27, 2021 @ 11:27 AM

Full Sail Partners works very hard to provide our clients with the most up to date, valuable and interesting content relevant to the professional services industry. One convenient avenue for disseminating information is through our weekly blogs. We know that with everyone’s busy schedule, not everything in the inbox can be read upon receipt. With that in mind, we make our content accessible online so it can be reviewed and digested on the client’s timeline. So, in case you missed them and to pique interest for further discovery, here is a quick summary of the top 10 blogs of 2020.Top 10

2020 Trends in the Professional Services Industry

Firms in the professional services industry must adapt to compete in today’s world. Through acquisitions and other partnerships, many professional services firms have been entering into new markets and now have the need to offer a wider range of services to a larger client base. What are the top trends as they deal with evolving client expectations and staying competitive?

  • On Demand Workforce
  • More Flexible Service Rendering
  • Perception as Advisors
  • Leveraging Automation

>>>Click here to learn more!

Deltek Vantagepoint – A New Era for Project-based Professional Services Firms

A two-decade era of Deltek Vision is winding down, but it will continue to be supported through at least January 2023. Its legacy continues under a new name - Deltek Vantagepoint. Just like Vision, Vantagepoint will continue to help your people manage your projects from start to finish, but with a reimagined, intuitive interface focused on efficiency.

  • Available Resources at Your Fingertips
  • Preparing for Success
  • Bring Everything and Everyone Together

>>>Find out what you need to know abut Vantagepoint! 

The Value of the Deltek Vantagepoint Readiness Report

As the launchpad to Deltek Vantagepoint, the Full Sail Partners’ Vantagepoint Readiness Report can be used as a guide for your firm’s cleanup efforts and next steps. This valuable resource is such a strong starting point for firms as they consider when and how to upgrade from Deltek Vision to Vantagepoint.

  • How to Get There
  • Start with a High Impact Tool
  • Benefit from the Results

>>>Be more prepared to may the upgrade to Vantagepoint!

The Value of the Deltek Vantagepoint Transition Copy Scripts

During the Vantagepoint testing process, firms will need to address some key areas including workflows, saved searches, reports and configuration settings before moving forward with a production environment. Our Vantagepoint Transition Copy Scripts are a valuable resource to ensure the work you put into addressing issues does not require rework when you move from test-to-test environment or to your final production environment.

  • Vantagepoint Preview Environment
  • Vantagepoint Preview Becomes Testing Environment
  • Benefits of Using Transition Copy Scripts

>>>Learn how copy scripts help ensure a seamless upgrade!

Improve Project Planning with Deltek Vantagepoint

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
  • Take Advantage of Labor Codes
  • Adjust Project Timelines with the Interactive Gannt Chart

>>>Learn about the features in Vantagepoint that improve project delivery!

Easily Capture Project Information Using Deltek Vantagepoint

Gathering accurate project details in a timely manner is a nearly everyday challenge of marketing and proposal managers at project-based firms. Fortunately, with Deltek Vantagepoint, teams can easily capture project information and reference it quickly when it matters most– during proposal crunch time. 

  • Identify Key Project Information
  • Capture Information While Pursuing the Project
  • Move from Pursuit to Billable Project without Losing Key Information
  • Access Data You Need When You Need it

>>>Tracking critical project information has never been easier! 

The Value of Vantagepoint for Business Development

When firms can successfully manage interactions, identify projects that add to our pipeline, and collect the right information to position our firm better than our competitors, we win more projects, improve client satisfaction, and increase loyalty. The abilities of Deltek Vantagepoint CRM can provide business developers, project managers, marketing staff, and executives with real-time information on client touchpoints, project pipelines, marketing and service efforts.

  • Record Interactions On-the-Fly
  • Easily Uncover Client and Contact Relationships
  • Support the Entire BD and Project Lifecycle

>>>When more business with Vantagepoint!

The Value of Deltek Talent for Human Resources Professionals

More and more professional services firms are finding value in having a methodical human capital management (HCM) practice in place. Deltek, the leading software solution provider for professional services firms, noticed that this specific market vertical has unique needs and released Deltek Talent, an HCM designed for professional services.

  • Recruit and Hire Top Industry Talent
  • Provide Development and Advancement Opportunities
  • Performance Management
  • Seamless Integration with Deltek Vantagepoint

>>>Improve the employee experience with Deltek Talent! 

Creating the Intentional Client Experience

When it comes to your clients, building strong long-term relationships is priority, and the quality of these relationships can make or break your business. Most importantly, clients desire an overall exceptional experience, and the intentional client experience benefits your company.

  • Begins with a Plan
  • Takes Being Client Centric
  • Leads to Efficiency
  • Ensures Positive Client Feedback

>>>Learn to create an experience that will delight your clients!

Key Findings from the Annual Deltek AE Clarity Report

The 41st Deltek AE Clarity Report provided a comprehensive assessment of the 2019 performance of AE firms. This year’s study collected responses from more than 415 firms of all sizes within the AE industry and provided a summary of trends in:

  • Technology
  • Financial statements
  • Business Development
  • Project Management
  • Human Capital Management

>>>See how your firm measures up against your peers! 

We’ve Got You Covered

Into 2021, we have all sorts of interesting ideas for relevant industry content just bubbling out of our experts’ heads. So, while you’re trying to stay afloat with your responsibilities at your firm, please know that Full Sail Partners is working to make your job easier. In the months to come, keep an eye out for future blogs on what is new and exciting for professional services firms. And, as always, feel free to check out our content online.

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What’s New in Deltek Vantagepoint 3.5

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Wed, Jan 20, 2021 @ 02:31 PM

Delivering successful projects requires having the best project management tools available. Luckily for Deltek Vantagepoint users, more features and improved functionality continue to be added in each new version release. And recently, Vantagepoint version 3.5 just rolled out and it includes some incredible enhancements. Here’s a look at what’s new in Vantagepoint.

Deltek Vantagepoint

Dashboard Enhancements

A key feature required to effectively manage projects is having project performance information right at your fingertips. With the Deltek Vantagepoint dashboard enhancements, users can create informative charts, graphs, and lists to easily display your business data. This allows firm staff to quickly make critical business decisions that can positively impact project delivery performance.

In version 3.5, Deltek has taken the dashboards to a new level by allowing users to drill down to detail for hours, labor cost and labor billing on the project dashparts. Additionally, new options for planning data have been added, and the pipeline dashpart now includes the option to show total compensation. If you’re already using Vantagepoint 3.5, make sure to check out these improvements and start visualizing your data in ways you never imagined.

Improved Revenue Forecasting

Revenue forecasting accuracy is essential to delivering a profitable project and Vantagepoint users now have improved insights to ensure a successful project. Firstly, Deltek has now added more accurate and granular views of potential revenue from a project. Additionally, users can create revenue forecasts for individual projects. Deltek also is taking revenue forecasting to the next level by adding a feature that allows users to enter estimated to completion planned revenue at any level and easily update forecasts. With all this new functionality, users can now run reports to show pipeline and forecasted revenue periods.

Project Review Drill Down Capabilities

Project managers need to be empowered to better monitor project details. Now in Vantagepoint 3.5, project managers can easily review direct, indirect and reimbursable expenses as well as direct and reimbursable consultant fees. Additionally, all this information is available in a single location making it easier and faster to access.

Accounting and Billing Improvements

Cash flow is essential for any business to be successful and Deltek knows that their project-based clients rely on having easy and accurate billing to ensure they get paid by clients. For this reason, they have streamlined the billing and invoicing process in Vantagepoint 3.5. Now, the accounting department has better visibility of bill-through dates in interactive billing. Also, accounting and project managers have the option to resubmit draft invoices with new dates. Fast and accurate billing is important to any business and Vantagepoint is helping project-based firms streamline this process.

Expenses Simplified

Employee expenses are a cost of doing business, but these shouldn’t be surprises. Deltek recognized that making expense submission easier can speed up the process. Now in Vantagepoint 3.5, the mobile expense feature has been greatly enhanced with the addition of an intelligent character recognition (ICR) technology. What this does is allow users to take a picture of a receipt which Vantagepoint can read. The printed and handwritten text information from the receipt auto populates into the fields in Vantagepoint. The typical information collected is where the expense occurred, the date and the total amount of the purchase. Therefore, eliminating the manual entry of this information.

Do More with Deltek Vantagepoint 3.5

Each version of Deltek Vantagepoint will continue to grow upon the previous iterations. While we are only at 3.5, be on the lookout for more enhancements as more versions come out. It is truly exciting to learn and see where Deltek is taking Vantagepoint in the future and how it will make successful project management more intuitive and intelligent.

Deltek Vantagepoint 3.5 Webinar Series

New Year's Resolutions for Project-based Firms

Posted by Amanda Roussel on Wed, Jan 13, 2021 @ 11:35 AM

A new year often brings new goals to set and work toward and doing so helps you focus and improve behaviors to better yourself. Personal goals are a must – health, organization, time, etc. – the list can go on and on. However, professional goals have great importance as well. There are always areas we can work to improve upon in the workplace. These can be personal, for a team, or even for the firm as a whole. Let’s take a look at some new year’s resolutions that project-based firms may consider in 2021.

new-year-resolution

New Year’s Resolutions for Professionals

1. Use technology more efficiently

Firms may have numerous software options available, various calendars, and maybe a plethora of tracking files. Try consolidating and mastering a different resource, one at a time. Master it, share with your team, and promote a wider usage for consistency. By focusing on one new tool each quarter, four cleaner processes may be established by one employee alone!

2. Make technology accessible by all

The last year has taught us the value of being able to work from anywhere. Some IT groups were ready to roll, and others had to pull together additional resources to get employees the access needed for business continuity. If your firm has not invested in accessibility, this is the time.

There are numerous cloud options that firms can consider to be more accessible by all. There may have been IT projects put on hold, but perhaps moving forward with them will see a greater outcome once complete.

3. Be adaptable

There may have been some frustrating moments in 2020 when plans suddenly had to change. With many scenarios out of our individual control, our reactions make a huge impact on the future. Therefore, being adaptable and open to change can actually lead to great things for firms. It allows us to change the narrative instead of using the workplace curse words of, “This is how we’ve always done it.” I never liked hearing those words anyway.

Being adaptable allows employees to have a quicker rebound, with less downtime as they try to figure out each little detail. Modifications can be made along the way as needed. Also, try to see things from another’s perspective. We all have our own challenges and can work together for effective solutions.

4. Promote employee growth

Don’t forget about training, mentoring, and collaborating. Executives, managers, and employees alike should have opportunities for learning and growth regardless of what the office looks like. Employees can still be paired with a more senior position to continue learning, executives can collaborate and check in on teams, and managers can continue training on a virtual platform. This goal will always be important for a firm’s success.

5. Support local communities

Communities need each other. Find ways to use local businesses and support community-based organizations. By doing this, more money can stay within the community and help other small businesses and families directly in your area.

6. Adopt a new habit as a team

There are many tools at our fingertips that can help teams communicate and collaborate. As new information or details emerge about opportunities or projects, do yourself and your colleagues a favor and record them properly. Think of the new information as a shared company resource and use technology to make it accessible to others. I encourage you to collaborate with your colleagues to modify some professional processes for a more streamlined workday. New year = new technology habits.

7. Time management

Be intentional with how your time is spent. We can all get caught up in mundane tasks but identifying important professional tasks can keep us on track. Block time off on your calendar for various projects to ensure chunks of time are available to focus on independent work. This helps protect your own work time while working efficiently for clients too.

8. Keep learning and add value

Let’s face it – we know a lot, but we do not know everything. Even an expert in a particular field has more to learn and room to grow. Step out of your comfort zone and dive into something new. It can be a new hobby, a new skill, or sharpening and fine tuning a skill you are already promoting. There are ways to add value to your life and to your work. Allow yourself to be inspired and empower others to learn and grow. Personal development expands your horizons and what you have to offer!

Keep Pressing On

A new year does not necessarily equal a new you. Instead, it welcomes the opportunity for improvements over time. Our work is never complete and that’s part of the fun. Our personal and professional lives can be so intertwined. Improvements in one area may bring success to the other as well. Best of luck with your resolutions – you can do this!

Reach Full Sail Partners

Top Watched Full Sail Partners’ Webinars of 2020!

Posted by Ryan Felkel on Wed, Jan 06, 2021 @ 11:30 AM

Last year kept us busy with all the new developments of Deltek Vantagepoint, not to mention the large number of firms upgrading from Vision to Vantagepoint. However, we planned for this back in 2019 and decided to roll out a series of mini demonstrations focused on specific features and functions available in Vantagepoint.

Webinars

This new format proved to be overwhelmingly successful. Therefore, as you review the top 10 watched webinars of 2020, you will likely notice that many of them are part of our “Powering Project Success with Deltek Vantagepoint” mini demonstration series. Enough with the introduction, here are the top 10 webinars you and your peers watched in 2020.

Top 10 Full Sail Partners’ Webinars of 2020

  1. Deltek Vantagepoint – The Best All in One Package – This webinar is an ideal webinar to watch if you are new to or have very little knowledge of Vantagepoint. If you watch this webinar, you will learn what Vantagepoint is, what resources and information are available, and you will learn more about the steps to upgrade from Vision to Vantagepoint. Make sure to check this traditional one-hour webinar out to also learn about our favorite new features. Did I mention that this webinar aired live in 2019? It made the 2020 top watched list since the on-demand video was downloaded by so many people.
  2. Powering Project Success with Deltek Talent – Candidate Engagement – Professional services firms are quickly realizing that acquiring and retaining industry top talent is becoming a necessity to stay competitive. Deltek has recognized this need as well and created Deltek Talent to assist firms in automating the employee experience and lifecycle. This mini demo hosted by Joel Slater features Deltek Talent and the specific tools within this human capital management system that support the candidate engagement experience to help attract the future leaders of your firm.
  3. Powering Project Success with Deltek Vantagepoint – Update Your Timesheet Using the Deltek Calendar– Billable employees struggling with staying organized with meetings and client appointments will benefit from this mini demo. No one wants to worry about completing the dreaded timesheet. With Vantagepoint, the challenge of keeping up with all your daily tasks has been simplified with the Deltek Calendar. During this mini demo, Nicole Temple will show how the Deltek Calendar helps users keep up with their billable engagements and how this information easily transfers over to a user’s timesheet.
  4. Powering Project Success with Deltek Vantagepoint – Quickly Build Project Plans – Maintaining successful projects requires all team members to have the information they need when they need it most. Furthermore, project plans often necessitate adjustments during the life of the project and this must happen quickly and easily. This mini demo is hosted by Rana Blair and shows users how to quickly build project plans and update them in Vantagepoint. This is a must watch for project managers.
  5. Tale of Two Firms: Tackling Business Intelligence –Business intelligence (BI) is booming in all industries as more and more BI tools enter the market. But you don’t have to take our word for it! During this webinar moderated by Sarah Gonnella, two of our clients that represent different firms share how the Informer 5 BI tool has revolutionized their business analytics capabilities. Make sure to watch this webinar on-demand to learn ways your firm can embrace the power of BI.
  6. Powering Project Success with Deltek Vantagepoint - Mobile CRM – Getting out and talking with existing and prospective clients is a standard part of business development and essential to winning new business. With Vantagepoint’s mobile capabilities, updating touchpoints while on-the-go has never been easier. Watch this mini demo hosted by Kevin Hebblethwaite to see how Vantagepoint streamlines the business development process with mobile functionality.
  7. Powering Project Success with Deltek Vantagepoint – Create Flexible Billing Terms – Not all projects are the same, nor are project billing terms. However, this is not a problem for Vantagepoint users. During this mini-demo, Scott Gailhouse shows how simple it is to create unique billing terms for projects in Vantagepoint.
  8. Powering Project Success with Deltek Vantagepoint – Streamline and Expedite the Invoice Review Process - In any business, getting paid is the name of the game. However, professional services firms have a lot to track to create accurate invoices that can be sent to clients. With Vantagepoint, the old days of printing invoices and marking them up by hand are long gone. Now project managers can use the invoice review features to streamline the review process. If you are in accounting or project management, you will want to see Rick Childs’ demonstration that is available on-demand.
  9. Powering Project Success with Deltek Vantagepoint – Capture Project Information for Proposals – As many of you know, having high quality proposals that address all the requirements contained in an RFP is essential for winning new projects. Even more, proposal teams are usually up against tight timelines to draft and finalize a winning RFP response. With Deltek Vantagepoint, this struggle can be better managed. This webinar is a guided tour by Lindsay Diven to show users the features in Vantagepoint that enable the quick creation of winning proposals.
  10. Powering Project Success with Deltek Vantagepoint – Project Templates and Plan Settings – The most popular webinar of 2020 was part of our Vantagepoint mini demonstration series. During this presentation, Theresa DePew shows users how to quickly create templates that have the correct pre-defined WBS so that entering data into the correct fields is the only task a user has to complete. Watch this outstanding demo to see how Vantagepoint has made planning a new project quick and easy.

What to Expect in 2021?

In 2021, we are planning on hosting a mix of traditional one-hour webinars and continuing to add to the “Powering Project Success with Deltek Vantagepoint” mini demonstration series. We will continue to promote these webinars using our newsletter and email notifications. Please make sure to pay attention to the amount of time allotted for a specific live webinar event on the registration page. Mini demonstrations are typically 30 minutes long with the actual demonstration being from 7 to 15 minutes long followed by live QA with the presenter.

We hope to see you at our live virtual events in 2021! In the meantime, catch up on past webinars you may have missed that are available on-demand. Enjoy learning!

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Deltek Vantagepoint – A New Era for Project-based Professional Services Firms

Posted by Sarah Gonnella on Wed, Dec 30, 2020 @ 11:35 AM

As 2020 draws closer to the end, we reflect on the past and think about the future. A two-decade era of Deltek Vision is winding down. Deltek Vision will continue to be supported through at least January 2023, but its legacy continues under a new name - Deltek Vantagepoint. Just like Vision, Vantagepoint will continue to help your people manage your projects from start to finish, but with a reimagined, intuitive interface focused on efficiency. Throughout 2020, our firm has communicated with more than 250 firms about their plans to upgrade from Vision to Vantagepoint. In 2021, we look forward to continuing the conversation with many more firms and demonstrating why Deltek Vantagepoint is the gold standard for project-based firms.

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Available Resources at Your Fingertips

As the Deltek Vision product continues to evolve to Deltek Vantagepoint, clients are looking for answers and clarification on how the change will impact them. The foundation of this new solution is based on Vision with enhanced features and capabilities that users should be aware of before they upgrade. Full Sail Partners has dedicated two years to providing firms with resources to help answer questions and simplify the upgrade process. If you are just starting this journey, be sure to review these resources:

In 2021, we plan to continue educating firms about the latest features as new versions are released. Be sure to sign-up for two webinars focused on the latest release of version 3.5. Both of these webinars will be an hour long and experts will be available to answer your questions.

Preparing for Success

For firms that are ready to jump into 2021 with a plan in hand, we recommend checking out our webinar Preparing for a Successful Move from Vision to Vantagepoint and our Vantagepoint Transition Services to learn more about our 3-step process. Full Sail Partners is helping firms navigate through the upgrade process to deliver a smoother result. Our process reveals the “sins” over the years that might need to be addressed and helps answer the questions of where to start. We have dedicated resources ready to help you outline a plan, train your staff on new features, and make the process more efficient.

Bringing Everything and Everyone Together

Deltek Vantagepoint is designed for the needs of everyone throughout the project lifecycle. The solution was built specifically for professional services firms to improve productivity, boost collaboration, and increase profitability. Suffice to say it was purpose-built with people and projects in mind, bringing all critical business processes into one unified platform. Deltek Vantagepoint brings value to all roles within your firm:

The Future is Deltek Vantagepoint

We understand there are other products that your firm may consider, but we suspect none of them will match the superior levels of project intelligence, management and collaboration needed to grow your business. In 2021, we look forward to helping existing and new project-based businesses better understand the power of Deltek Vantagepoint. Wherever you may be in your Deltek journey, let Full Sail Partners help you navigate your way!

Vantagepoint Transition Services Webinar

The Value of Deltek Talent for Human Resources Professionals

Posted by Joel Slater on Wed, Dec 23, 2020 @ 11:35 AM

Professional services firms have historically overlooked the importance of a formalized and systematic talent management process. However, more and more firms are now finding value in having a methodical human capital management (HCM) practice in place. In fact, 74% of AE firms reported that they are tracking revenue per fulltime equivalent and other financial metrics that are related to HCM according to the 41st Deltek AE Clarity Report.

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Even more interesting, technology companies have become aware of this desire for HCM, and a countless number of HCM software packages have flooded the market. Nonetheless, most of these HCM software offerings are generic to serve any industry. But Deltek, the leading software solution provider for professional services firms, noticed that this specific market vertical has unique needs and released Deltek Talent, an HCM designed for professional services. Here are some ways Deltek Talent adds value for human resources (HR) professionals.

Recruit and Hire Top Industry Talent

Finding and attracting top talent in the professional services industry is becoming extremely competitive. Essentially, firms are realizing that the quality and experience of their people has a significant impact on the quality of projects they deliver. Therefore, quickly enticing the “right” people is becoming priority.

Deltek Talent offers benefits such as:

  • Faster talent acquisition
  • Enhancing visibility and insight into the applicant pipeline
  • Improving communication with applicants, candidates and hiring managers
  • Putting new hires to work faster with an automated onboarding process

Firms likely receive numerous submissions from potential candidates for new job openings, and unfortunately, not every applicant meets the minimum job requirements. However, those applicants can still be good fits for different positions that may open in the future. With Deltek Talent, HR managers can create “talent pools” which organize applicants based on their qualifications and provide a group to target for new positions that are within their skill sets.

Provide Development and Advancement Opportunities

To retain top talent, firms must show that they are invested in their people. This could involve coaching and learning opportunities, certifications, or laying out a clear path for career development. Deltek Talent provides the perfect platform for firms to demonstrate that they are invested in the advancement and professional development of their employees.

The Learning Management System (LMS) within Talent allows HR professionals to:

  • Reduce compliance risks with expiring certifications
  • Create individual learning plans to ensure employees achieve their goals
  • Improve employee engagement

Even more, the Deltek Talent LMS is designed to support the continuous educational needs of professional services firms. Some key features of Talent LMS include:

  • Easy tracking of required industry specific training and certifications
  • Maintaining organizational compliance and managing certification programs
  • Using automatic reminders and notifications about expiring certifications
  • Creating and tracking individual learning plans with industry specific courses from RedVector
  • Storing internal training documents creating a one-stop shop for all learning materials

Performance Management

Long gone are the days of annual reviews. Today, HR professionals view annual reviews as an antiquated method for performance management. The trend now is for ongoing improvement by providing instant feedback about performance. With a continuous improvement model, firm leaders and managers can recognize positive or handle less than acceptable performance on an ongoing and regular basis. This ensures employees are always aware of areas they excel at or need to improve upon.

The performance monitoring tool within Deltek Talent significantly benefits HR professionals by:

  • Reducing performance management cycle times
  • Recognizing and rewarding top performers
  • Greatly improving employee engagement and motivation

Seamless Integration with Deltek Vantagepoint

A huge benefit of Deltek Talent for Vantagepoint users is that it fully integrates with the following Vantagepoint modules:

  • Accounting
  • Resource Planning
  • CRM
  • PSA

From the moment a new applicant’s information is captured, it is stored within the Talent platform. Once a candidate becomes an employee, Vantagepoint creates a new employee record from that information. The integration collects data such as first, middle, and last name, email, home address, phone numbers, and social security number, eliminating duplicate entry of information across firm departments which saves time and reduces errors.

Manage the Entire Employee Lifecycle with Deltek Talent

HR professionals will finally get the tools they require to make them more productive and efficient in their roles. With Deltek Talent, professional services firms can enjoy the benefits of an HCM solution designed to meet their unique industry needs. Is it time for your firm to formalize an effective talent management strategy? Find out more about how Deltek Talent can help create an automated, employee focused HCM plan.

Deltek Talent Management