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Professional Services Automation KPIs, Benchmarks & Examples (Webinar Attendee Questions)

What are the top metrics that companies use to successfully track and manage professional service projects (e.g. utilization, profitability, customer satisfaction)?  Are good benchmarks available?


This question was asked by an attendee during the Proformative webinar "Revenue, Risk, Repeatability: What CFOs Need to Know about Revenue - Generating Projects" held on January 29, 2013.  Please join the discussion and add your insights below.

A video of the webinar can be viewed here:


Topic Expert
Doug Thompson
Title: Director of Revenue
Company: Castlight Health
(Director of Revenue, Castlight Health) |

Utilization certainly.
Profitability by project - split costs into direct, indirect, overhead and track each.
Average bill rate by region/role.

Lynne Holloman
Title: Accounting Manager
Company: Woodside Equine Clinic
(Accounting Manager, Woodside Equine Clinic) |

The best book ever on this subject is Managing the Professional Services Firm by David Maister. It maps out how to best construct each project for maximum profitability and expertise. And in that, you will find your best costing structures. Great read.

Topic Expert
Bob Scarborough
Title: CEO
Company: Tensoft, Inc.
(CEO, Tensoft, Inc.) |

Revenue per person is often better than utilization - since utilization can hide write-offs and unbillable but customer linked events.

Customer satisfaction is critical to model and measure - since it is a business driver in a number of ways.

Unless you are doing A&E or A&D type projects most folks find profitability by group or team or department is a better measure than profitability by project. Revenue and customer satisfaction are the ultimate drivers here - too much focus on specific project details usually does not meet cost/benefit trade-off requirements.

Tying compensation plans to both revenue and customer satisfaction - along with your measurements - is beneficial.

Bob Scarborough

Topic Expert
Regis Quirin
Title: Director of Finance
Company: Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP
LinkedIn Profile
(Director of Finance, Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP) |

One of the best management tools is a Dashboard with Key Performance Indicators (KPI) showing trending. The KPI's should be closely aligned with your current year business plan and strategy. While the KPI's are very specific to your business, company and strategy, make sure you include the following -

-Financial - Revenue measure, expense, cashflow;
-Operations - Utilization measure, productivity;
-Sales - Churn measure; Accounts Receivable;
-Customer - Customer Satisfaction Measure, Market Share;
-Risk - Compliance Measure

Assemble and distribute the dashboard monthly to every Senior Manager in the organization.



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