We’re all familiar with the engineering mantra, “If you can measure it, you can improve it.”
Yet, when it comes to SaaS implementations, we’re more in-line with the late business management guru Peter Drucker, who said, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”
If you’re still using spreadsheets to plan and execute your implementations, you can’t possibly measure and improve your onboarding processes as quickly and effectively as you can with a project management system custom-built for SaaS implementations.
Here’s what you’re missing:
The power to make revisions on the fly
Accelerating your SaaS implementation timeline is all about collecting and analyzing process data, from client feedback to on-time completion rates by task and everything in between.
Depending on the project’s size and scope, a typical SaaS implementation can have up to 100 tasks, steps, deadlines and/or milestones that take anywhere from three to 18 months to complete. Each step represents, therefore, a potential opportunity to improve your onboarding processes. The key, then, is identifying the opportunities.
Consider the following scenario.
Client-side approval delays have always been a major challenge. Imagine that during an implementation team meeting, you’re told obtaining log-in credentials has become especially time-consuming for certain industry-specific, enterprise level clients.
Seems like a simple request, right? So you open your project management software and pull up similar (past and present) onboardings. You find that 1) your teams often rely on client-side personnel to get their IT team to deliver the credentials; and 2) this type of delay is occurring quite frequently—especially with this type of client.
As an experiment, your implementation team moves the request back to the project’s early discovery phase—rather than the actual point in the deployment when it is needed. As it turns out, adding plenty of buffer time eliminates what had been a one-week delay and keeps the implementation on schedule.
Would you be able to identify the problem by sorting through all your current and past spreadsheets? Maybe. Would you be able to complete the analysis—and devise a solution—as quickly and easily? Not a chance.
With today’s sophisticated project management software, your entire book of business—from completed projects right up to those in the queue—is just a mouse click away.
Seeing the client’s perspective
Project management software also provides you with critical time-saving tools. The “Notifications” tool, for instance, allows you to reduce delay times by automatically notifying participants when their approval is needed for a specific onboarding task.
You can also use the tool to automatically notify and collect super valuable customer satisfaction data throughout the onboarding process—essentially letting customers help you uncover time-saving process improvements that may be hiding in the shadows.
A survey email is automatically sent at the completion of every project milestone to the client-side individual(s) doing the work. It arrives right after the work has been completed so the information is still fresh in the individual’s mind. The client is asked to give a 1- to 5-star performance rating to your team and may also leave comments. Over time you can aggregate the milestone scores and accurately measure your performance. Granted, some issues may be one-offs, but you may also uncover valuable improvement opportunities.
Think about it. Over time you can assemble a bevy of rich, powerful client feedback data and use it to identify and drive further onboarding improvements. And the system is doing all the work for you! Can you gather data this valuable via spreadsheets?
And by the way, this approach blows the doors off the NPS (Net Promotor Score) surveys most SaaS providers are using. Why? NPS surveys are introduced after the implementation is complete and that’s way too late for any in-the-moment insights. An individual who performed a task six months ago probably won’t even respond.
In fact, we’ve heard some SaaS NPS response levels can be as low as 15 percent. Automated milestone notification surveys, on the other hand, have generated response rates in the 90 to 100 percent range.
Keeping tabs on project health and status
Finally, project management software gives you a fully customizable data dashboard, which allows you to analyze any number of trends, by project, task, or milestone, over a specific period. You can, for example, easily scroll through and see up to the minute contract values for all active, completed, and queued projects.
You can quickly check on how many projects were due this month versus how many were completed, along with the percentage of projects that are on time, at risk, or delayed. Select a delayed project and drill down to determine where the delay is occurring and then develop your solution.
Was the latest implementation completed on time and in accordance with your team’s best practices? Is the overall median time for your implementations trending up or down? Are most clients renewing after their contract is up?
It’s all right there on your dashboard. There’s even a color-coded gage that reflects the overall health of your implementations. Can you conduct financial and performance data analyses this comprehensive using spreadsheets?
In today’s cutthroat SaaS market, it’s all about time to value. Project management data analyses help accelerate the onboarding so the client can derive value from your product sooner. The faster the implementation, the better the customer experience and the more money you make.
That’s why most of your competitors are making the switch to platforms like Baton. And that’s why you should too.