The Biggest Challenges Project Managers face And How PSA helps

July 17, 2023


The Biggest Challenges Project Managers face And How PSA helps

This article answers the following questions:
What are the biggest challenges that confront project managers?What do the project managers need to overcome their challenges?How does PSA software help in meeting the challenges?What kind of PSA software do the project managers need?

IT service projects are inherently complex. Managers who oversee these projects face multiple challenges. Project managers have to achieve conflicting goals like timely delivery and quality, customer satisfaction and meeting project budget, resource utilization, and avoiding burnout of resources.

What are the main challenges that the project managers face?

  • Formulating the risks, assumptions, issues, and dependencies framework known as RAID.
  • Preparing a work breakdown structure (WBS) and a realistic project plan.
  • Managing scope creep.
  • Allocating the right resources and effective resource management.
  • Ensuring timely deliveries.
  • Providing information for invoices in compliance with contracts. 
  • Tracking budgets and timelines.
  • Adapting project plans according to changing circumstances, 
  • Maintaining proactive and responsive communications with customers.
  • Leading the project team

If the above seems like a project manager’s job description, indeed it is. Any project manager in IT services companies battles on multiple fronts. Customers are clear about their overall goals and expectations but sometimes there is not enough clarity in their detailed requirements. As the project progresses, customers realize that they need project scope changes. Project leaders must also overcome technical issues that arise from time to time.

In this article we shall explain how PSA software helps project managers in improving their project deliveries.

What is PSA software?

Professional services automation (PSA) software digitizes, interconnects, and automates business workflows in IT services companies. 

PSA software integrates existing standalone software like CRM, HRMS, ERP or accounting software used by IT companies. PSA software eliminates the spreadsheets that the managers use to bridge the gaps in the above packages. PSA is in indispenseable professional services automation tool that provides live dashboards. 

The live dashboards put the right operational information at managers’ fingertips. Managers can access historical and current information easily. They can collaborate with others without wasting any time in collecting, validating, or processing the information.

Let us understand how PSAsoftware helps.

How does PSA help in preparing WBS and RAID?

Work breakdown structure (WBS) is the foundation of project management. It is a hierarchical structure of tasks at top level needed to complete specific deliverables. It breaks down the top level tasks into smaller tasks that are easier to manage through fewer resources. 

Granular the individual tasks are essential for more realistic project  planning and tracking and for optimal resource ustilization. 

A granular WBS makes it possible to identify more risks, assumptions, issues, and task dependencies ( RAID).  If done comprehensively, RAID makes the project planning and execution process more robust and resilient to shocks. 

PSA software provides project managers with information about similar projects undertaken in the past. Project managers can use the experience of similar projects and consult domain experts and technical specialists to prepare a granular WBS. Project managers can identify various risks, assumptions, potential issues, and dependencies and determine the critical priorities and dependencies of tasks. Project managers can also take into specific requirements of industry and customers to refine the WBS and RAID.

How does PSA help dealing with scope creep?

A good PSA software includes a change management module that tracks customer change requests with reference to the contract specifications. It flags various changes that arise from time to time. Without the PSA’s change management module, project managers have to manually check for scope creep if any. If they miss to capture some changes they miss billing for extra work.

Scope creep can be a major additional revenue opportunity in multi-year projects. Project managers need the best PSA to ensure that the opportunity is not missed.

What is effective resource management?

Effective resource management is making available the right resources at the right time for every project at all times. It ensures that resource costs are optimal, no revenue is lost, and the cost of benched resources is minimal. Effective resource management avoids overloading employees and goes a long way in retaining talent.

Resource management is another area where PSA software excels. It takes  the best PSA software to make resource management efficient.  PSA consolidates information from various project schedules, resources’ skills and competencies, and allocations. It provides dynamic resource utilization charts and forecasts per resource and project. Project managers need all such information in an actionable form to allocate or reallocate resources.

PSA provides the above information so that the project managers can coordinate with other project managers and the resource management group to allocate resources, leveraging the commonly available information.

What is project tracking and why is it important for invoicing?

Project tracking is monitoring the progress of various tracks, identifying potential problems, and identifying tasks linked with billing. Continuous project tracking is crucial to keep invoicing on schedule.

As mentioned above, granular WBS helps in tracking projects more precisely.

By integrating timesheets and various project tasks, PSA software provides tools to project managers to monitor the progress of multiple tasks.

PSA software assists project managers in determining which deliverables are eligible for invoicing. 

During the above process, project managers can ensure compliance with the contract, minimizing customer disputes.

Raising invoices and reconciling them is time-consuming for customers and project managers, and accounting people in IT services companies. PSA software prevents wrong invoicing and disputes.

How does PSA help in meeting project budgets?

Without PSA software, project managers can know their projects’ costs only after projects are closed. 

PSA software helps track project costs as they occur. It provides current and estimated costs based on the project plan and resource allocations.

With real-time access to all information, project managers can adjust project plans, introduce parallel activities, reallocate resources based on changing circumstances, and meet delivery timelines and project budgets. 

Further reading: Achieve your project budgets using PSA software

How does PSA software help in communicating with customers and team members?

Having comprehensive and actionable information at the project, task, deliverable, and resource levels, project managers can communicate with customers about the current status and anticipated issues in a proactive manner.  

Awareness of current and potential issues helps them in supporting their project teams through regular dialogue.

Which is the best PSA software?

PSA software that puts all necessary real-time information at the project managers’ fingertips, that helps them collaborate with other managers, assist in making realistic project proposals, achieve project budgets, meet customer demands, and communicate proactively is the best PSA software.  

Read : A wishlist for the best PSA software

ProductDosssier PSA  is the best PSA software because it does all the above and more. ProductDossier PSA is project managers’ indispensable tool to meet the complex challenges the face.

For more information or a demo, please get in touch with us.


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Project managers as CEOs of their projects

Hemant Karandikar


Hemant Karandikar, a Product Marketing Strategist and an IIT Bombay graduate in Electrical Engineering, weaves decades of experience in R&D, engineering, and management. He initiated a successful industrial electronics startup and subsequently built a thriving consulting practice. As an author of management books, Hemant propels leadership, innovation, and content creation. He collaborates with Design Directions Pvt. Ltd. to shape UI/UX design. A fervent runner, he coaches individuals towards a healthier lifestyle through running