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Experience with PSA/scheduling tools for consultants?
Last Post 09 Nov 2011 05:08 PM by msink. 8 Replies.
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Joyce Svoboda New Member New Member Posts:1

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19 Aug 2010 11:40 AM
    Do you have experience with any of these tools for scheduling/tracking consultants?

    I work for a company that has approx 40 consultants, and we're outgrowing MS Outlook calendaring and tracking with Excel spreadsheets. In fact, we're looking to upgrade to a tool for Professional Services Automation (PSA), which will incorporate scheduling, time tracking, and submittals for invoicing. So far these four tools are on our short list:

    1) Changepoint by Compuware
    2) DreamTeam Project Management
    3) Projector Professional Services Automation
    4) Appirio Professional Sevices Enterprise

    Does anybody have any experiences, good or bad, with these apps?

    Thanks,
    JM
    Michael McCurdy New Member New Member Posts:1

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    08 Sep 2010 06:12 PM
    I do have experience with Changepoint. I evaluated several tools (not on your list) and chose Changepoint because of its features. I also implemented and managed the solution. The biggest challenge, which you will find with any centralized tracking solution, is the need for users to input data. For example, resource management requires both actual as well as estimated hours to be input by each resource. This can be a daunting task for the resource, especially if the task list is unnecessarily too long. Resources want to get on with their job and do not want a lot of administration work. The next challenge with Changepoint is the added administrative effort to create your task list. You will also need to have Microsoft Project for importing and exporting. If not, your job as a PM will be more difficult.

    Changepoint is a very good solution as is Clarity and others, but for less money. It can provide some value rich output providing the input is there. Remember the old adage - garbage in, garbage out. Good luck.
    barsun123 New Member New Member Posts:2

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    03 Oct 2010 06:21 AM
    I have experience with ChangePoint as our company utilizes it for project time and expense tracking along with invoicing for of all of our services resources. The tool is very good and flexible. The key will be to understand your process before starting with the tool. It has many features and you must be prepared to either follow their process or customize.

    Overall I highly recommend it.

    Barry Sunshine
    Sr. Project Manager
    MSI System Integrators
    Stephanie Picardi New Member New Member Posts:1

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    17 Mar 2011 12:19 PM
    I am not sure if you are still looking for a solution, but another product is Unanet (www.unanet.com). It is a PSA software suite offered OnDemand and OnPremise including collection of actuals as well as scheduling, forecasting, reporting, and invoicing. The integration is flexible and TCO is low for either model. Let me know if you would like to discuss in further detail.
    Lay Jing Gan New Member New Member Posts:31

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    06 Jul 2011 12:55 AM
    if you talk to those practitioners out there, they would tell you that this is chore - updating time sheets and charges on a regular basis. Yes - there are tools like manual paper-based (which is cumbersome), some of them use SAP for time tracking, some cullies their reports from Oracle after period end reportings and realise that their data do not jive.

    Tell me, if you find something wonderful.
    Primavera Project Management Software - is difficult to use and not easy to link time management to PM tasks

    Email me : roses2tree@yahoo.com.sg

    Maureen
    Chandrasekar Ramakrishnan New Member New Member Posts:13

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    19 Jul 2011 12:18 AM
    Apart from Change Point, i found Microsoft Project 2010 very useful as a scheduling tool
    Chandrasekar Ramakrishnan New Member New Member Posts:13

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    19 Jul 2011 12:19 AM
    Primavera could be useful for larger projects. For smaller projects, it is an overkill!
    rmhines New Member New Member Posts:1

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    06 Nov 2011 03:47 PM
    I too am interested in PSA for a consulting firm primarily to track people utilization. I saw data entry mentioned as a disadvantage and I agree. Our current solution is Excel which is extremely fast at data entry due to table entry. However, detailed tracking and projection is painful. Yet, we are able to accommodate uncertainty in project starts which gives us a "discounted" view of staffing quantities. This is important and I'm not sure if any of the packages allow for this or not - comments appreciated. I cannot see that MS Project for example accommodates the discounted calculation of resource loads when assigned to projects with probabilistic starts (does it?).

    For time & expense, we are a Unanet shop. They are a friendly and helpful group. Unanet does have a resource request and management module. However, I find that each project & resource must be updated individually via a wizard. For blocks of changes, this is very time-consuming.

    Compared to a table, this approach is arduous to say the least. I also find their technology base to be form-based rather than having a more thick-client look and feel. This means everything has to be 'submitted' to see changes. As an alternative, one of our newer managers recommends http://www.projectorpsa.com/, Project Projector. I haven't looked yet but will.

    I appreciate the alternative names provided above as a starting place to look. Any other thoughts are welcome.

    Thanks, Rob
    msink New Member New Member Posts:1

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    09 Nov 2011 05:08 PM
    Rob-does Unanet fulfill your needs from a standpoint of tracking the tasks that each resource works on? We are looking for a system that will use the task ID, actual hours, and calculate reports on burn rate, and time/money left.
    We too are looking from information about PSA Projector.
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