Project Management

The Top 6 Pressures Facing Services Firms Blog Series: Expectations of Greater Transparency

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The services industry is experiencing new types of pressures that are changing businesses around the world. In this blog series, we will examine the six major pressures facing services firms today, their causes, and how you can successfully respond.

Read our previous entries about short-term, project-based work, remote teams, and increased competition.

Pressure #4 - Expectations of Greater Transparency

According to Mavenlink’s 2019 State of the Services Economy report, 85% of businesses worldwide have experienced an increase in client expectations. Those expectations don’t just concern the quality and timeliness of the work they receive, but the process behind the work, as well.

More and more clients want to be involved in the project delivery process, providing their input to ensure that the services they contracted a firm for are delivered to their exact specifications. However, client involvement in the project management process can disrupt tasks and put unnecessary pressure on teams. Today’s services firms will need to respond to client requests regarding greater transparency into the project process and provide visibility in ways that satisfy clients while still protecting the integrity and productivity of their teams.

What’s Causing This Pressure?

Many of today’s project management solutions have the ability to quickly provide clients with a window into projects. While this can help keep clients informed of project progress, due date changes, and the ways in which services firms are approaching projects, it can also mean that the ups and downs of daily business life may become too transparent.

Clients who understand transparency capabilities will most likely not tolerate being cut out of the process and may want a complete view of the entire project management process, including asking for involvement in business processes during contract negotiations. This means that services organizations will need to use their project management solutions to invite clients into the process while leveraging permission levels to determine the exact amount of insights they will be provided.

Alleviating The Pressure

The greatest transparency pressure is caused by disagreements between clients and service providers regarding just how much, if any, transparency is allowed. It is highly recommended that your business have standard parameters regarding client involvement in business processes and the tasks that make up projects. Have this outlined in the Statement of Work provided during contractual agreements and then provide clients with limited access to the project management solution that controls your everyday work. Providing permission levels that work for you and your team helps each client can stay up to date and understand what is being delivered, the amount of effort being applied, and when they can expect project updates. This can reduce miscommunication and lead to higher levels of client satisfaction on a project by project basis.

Succeeding in the Modern Services Industry

Each services firm will need to determine just how much transparency to provide to clients regarding their projects. However, when implemented well, clients will find increased satisfaction and continued support in the ways they want for long-term, successful relationships.

Learn more about today’s greatest industry pressures in our report, The 2019 State of the Services Economy.

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