January 22, 2013
In the Fall of 2011, TSIA surveyed PS organizations to find out how cloud computing was beginning to impact their businesses. The results were stunning. A previously complacent industry was clearly beginning to see the coming wave and was beginning to brace itself. PS organizations that were not already being impacted, were learning and gearing up. Those for whom the effects were already being felt were launching initiatives to meet the opportunity head on.
So where are we now, 18 months later? That’s what TSIA’s new member survey on the Cloud Professional Services is going to address.
- What unique new offerings are being developed?
- How are they being priced?
- How are they being staffed?
- How are they performing financially?
- What is there delivery mix?
- How do all of these things compare to traditional professional services?
To find out the answers to these and many more cutting edge questions, all you have to do is complete our survey.
Only TSIA PS member companies that complete this free member survey will have access to the full study results/report. TSIA may make high level, summary results available to the non-participating PS members after a quarantine period (and I’m sure I’ll be blogging on the topic). Your company’s responses will be kept 100% confidential; only aggregate results will be provided from this study. The survey will only be available to complete for a short period of time, so please complete it at your earliest convenience.
September 6, 2012
(I’m here in Vegas getting ready for the first day or TSW and I thought it made sense to update the post highlighting my “Power Hour” session later today. The presentation puts unprecedented industry benchmarks on four key areas of project performance on the table and updates — with a larger data set — previous correlation analysis on the benefits of having a PMO involved in project support. Come and see me!!!)
For all of the justifiable buzz in the industry about what is new in tech services and about services transformation, technology professional services businesses remain heavily focused on driving better performance at the project level. Project performance remains the most common denominator and the key determinant of overall PS financial performance.
Understanding this enduring concern for PS executives, TSIA puts a huge amount of effort into benchmarking PS project performance along dozens of measures. The result of the recently completed TSIA 2012 Project Performance Study is an unprecedented repository of industry data about what drives better project outcomes: financial performance, schedule performance, customer satisfaction performance and much more.
Until now, this data set and all of its path-breaking findings have been available only to the study participants (and faithful readers of my blog). If you want to be let in on some more of the secrets, come to my session at TSW Las Vegas: Navigating the Project Metrics Menagerie: Learnings from the TSIA 2012 Project Performance Study! For those that can’t make it, or for those that just can’t wait, I’ll provide some tidbits from the study here.
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July 30, 2012
It’ll be August in a few days and much of the summer is still left for us to enjoy. But at TSIA we’re totally in conference prep mode already. In fact, the agenda is more or less set already. It can be viewed HERE.
For my part, I’ll be presenting some of the very cool data that we just finished collecting from the TSIA 2012 PS Project Performance Study. The session description can be found HERE.
As interesting and as useful as I hope and expect my own session will be, there are literally dozens of other sessions that will give mine a run for its money and then some. Just a few I’d like to highlight from the rich PS track:
And this is just to name a few. So I fervently encourage you all to go to the TSW website and check out the agenda. Hopefully you’ll be convinced, if you haven’t already been, that it’s not something you should miss!
July 10, 2012
Having benchmarked hundreds of PS organizations and now having conducted quite a few in-depth diagnostic audits, it has become clear that there is a persistent and wide-spread problem in the industry: defending the value of project management. Making matters worse, the problem is self-perpetuating. If PSOs find they have trouble monetizing their PM capability, they don’t invest in improving it. When they don’t invest in its improvement, the PM capability languishes. A languishing PM capability is more difficult to sell than one that is robust and up to date. And the cycle continues.
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June 15, 2012
The one thing that keeps PS executives coming to me and to TSIA is their need for detailed industry data. At TSIA, we make our living separating fact from fiction, simply because there’s so much fiction out there … and PS executives know it. What’s true for the industry in general is truer still for narrower slices of PS practice and performance. That is, you might be able to find some tidbits here and there (however inaccurate) about, say, average PS project margins, but what if you’re really trying understand PS at a regional or even a country level? How and where are you going to find legitimate industry data for that?
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June 11, 2012
There’s fiction on what practices lead to better PS results and there’s fact. In an upcoming TSIA Member Webcast, it will be just the facts!
I know that you want to learn from your peers and understand what they are doing and not doing. That’s why you joined TSIA. If your peers are achieving strong results around some business process, you want to see if you can take that back to your organization and achieve similar results. If you’re evaluating a variety of initiatives, you want to know whether experience from your peers can help you prioritize the investments.
Against goals such as these, I think this webcast will be a huge accelerator. It will look not at individual examples, but at benchmarks and correlation analyses that derive from hundreds of examples.
Join me on Thursday, June 14th at 12pm Eastern as I discuss the state of professional services as of 2012, with a special emphasis on the practices that lead to better performance on critical industry performance measures. I will cover the gamut of PS processes, including operations, sales/marketing, service development, delivery, and partner management.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to gain insight from TSIA.
May 9, 2012
Wow, it’s the last day of TSW Santa Clara 2012 already and here I am writing my last conference blog. One thing that is almost invariably validated at this conferences is the age old adage … “the more things change the more they stay the same.” The beauty of these conferences for me is that I get to talk to dozens – hundreds even – of member companies and clients. I always ask them two questions:
- How’s business? and
- What’s keeping you up at night?
The good news is that virtually to a person, people are saying that their businesses are doing very well. The fact that what’s keeping people up at night remain the same things that have always kept them up at night … well … we can debate about whether that’s a good thing or not. On the one hand, you’d like to think that the industry is progressing, changing and so running into new problems. But we’re not. But the positive to that is that there’s a lot of collective experience with how to contront these recurring problems.
That brings me to the session that I want to highlight for today. Mentor Graphics is hosting a breakout session that essentially deals with how to get product reps interested in selling services. This is a huge problem for most PS businesses because most PS businesses do not have dedicated services sales, or pre sales for that matter.
Now we know from benchmarking on this topic that there are some very basic things that most PS organizations do to handle this issue. Some of those things include:
- Compensating product reps to sell PS
- Allowing product reps to retire quota through PS sales
- Paying them (or retiring quota) for PS on a dollar for dollar basis for services relative to product
Yes, these are pretty basic principles, but I can tell you that not everyone has them in place. What else can we do to get product sales interested? I’ll let you know after the Mentor Graphics session!
May 8, 2012
Day two at TSW Santa Clara and I’m getting ready to hear EMC talk about “Transforming a Service Business for the Cloud.” Yes, I admit it, it’s all cloud all the time and folks in the tech industry are certainly already on the verge of being on cloud overload. But we have to keep coming back to it because, as J.B. Wood said yesterday, this is not a war we’re in, but a potential revolution. On one way or another, tech companies are going to have to adapt and learn how to make money in the cloud.
The problem is that we don’t have a lot of good examples of this. In one sense, the “cloud revolution” very much resembles a “race to the bottom.” Based on data from the survey that we did last year on Cloud and PS, cloud offerings are often less profitable than traditional offerings.
And based on data from our TSIA Service 50, we also know that companies that are mostly cloud-based already … companies like Salesforce and Taleo, are essentially break-even businesses.
So this is a code that we, as an industry, clearly have not yet cracked. That’s why I’m excited to see what happens later today in our PS Workout Session, “Developing Cloud Based Service Offerings.” A workout session is unstructured discussion in which attendees agree to bring their problems and questions to the table and agree to provide feeback and insights to one another. So it’s basically a crowd-sourcing play in which we’ll learn together from the group’s collective experience. I’ll post after the conversation to let you know what we found out!
May 7, 2012
As I watch JB Wood deliver the opening keynote at TSW Santa Clara, I have to admit I’m also getting excited about my own Power Hour session that is taking place later today. Consider it to be entitled, “Dude, Where’s the Bar Redux.” Now, I don’t really mean “the bar,” as in the bar that is in the Hyatt hotel lobby … though I think many of us might be ending up there later this evening. What I mean is the industry bar … that is, what’s the current industry standard for processes and practices for an embedded PS organization. That’s what I’m going to be talking about later this afternoon.
Now, I realize there are many ways to think of a “bar” or standard. We could be talking about the bar set by high performers. We could be talking about the bar set by other PSOs that look exactly like me. We could be talking about the bar set by other PSOs that I WANT to look like in the future. These are all useful conceptions of the bar and we actually do spend a lot of time trying to understand where those bars (and others) are.
But I also believe there’s a lot of value in simply understanding where the overall industry bar is. That is the view that I will be talking about today. Here’s a sneak preview of the industry bar – that number and quality of processes and the level of achievement on key metrics necessary to be about where everyone else is – for the PS delivery function.
The chart above is from the very presentation. The good news with the PS delivery function is that the bar is relatively low. You don’t have to be doing that much to be doing what the average company is doing. The better news is that you only have to be doing a little more than that, to be outdoing the industry and likely your competitors.
Come to the session (or download the presentation after the conference) to find out where the bar is across the PS life cycle.
May 2, 2012
I started this blog in September 2008, not knowing at all what to expect; not really sure what I was going to blog about. So I just started writing about things that I thought PS readers would be interested in and things that interested in me. Over the ensuing three and a half years, it’s become pretty clear that people looking for information on and help with technology professional services are pretty focused on really just a handful of topics. When I analyzed my blog traffic last year (click here to view that entry), a very similar conclusion emerged. By far the most viewed and the most popular topics were:
- Revenue per Headcount
- Market Rates/Pricing
- Financial Performance, and
Now, after 100 blog entries and nearing 20,000 page views, the results are even more stark!
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