Future State Success Story

“With Clarizen, we reduced time to process payroll by 50% and time to create portfolio roll-up reports reduced 150%. Plus, one of the key reasons our stock price increased in 2011 was the Clarizen implementation, showing that we are serious about establishing tools and process to scale up to meet our growth goals.”

Kathy Krumpe
Chief Operating Officer
Future State

Company overview

Founded in 1982, Future State provides specialized consulting services and has thirty years of experience supporting Fortune 500 clients, non-profits, SaaS providers and start-ups across all industries. With clients ranging from corporate to government organizations, their portfolio includes clients such as Genentech, Wells Fargo, Dolby, FedEx, Cisco, Yahoo! and PayPal. Future State focuses on a variety of consulting practices ranging from organizational change management, transformation, engagement and communications, instructional design and delivery, learning 2.0, learning portals, technical writing and documentation, single-source solutions, DITA. Led by a team of passionate problem solvers that understand people and change, Future State, brings strategy and compassion to all projects and helps companies and their people thrive and remain productive in a constant state of change.

The challenge

In order to drive more strategic consulting services, rather than pure staff augmentation, and become a more mature professional services organization, Future State realized the importance of implementing tools and processes that would streamline the vision. Future State enlisted goals to manage a portfolio of projects, gain visibility into real-time activity and trace visibility into inflight project performance at the project and portfolio levels.

As laid out by the Future State team and Project Director, Kathy Krumpe, the requirements for the tool and processes included a smooth Salesforce integration, the ability to accommodate robust customizations, management of project financials, an integrated time reporting system that would all be bundled into a SaaS solution with graphical reporting capabilities.

In addition, Future State wanted to gain more control over gross margins on projects, and increase repeatability and consistency across projects. As part of this, Future State was seeking improved project financial data that could be accessed frequently and easily with roll-up data based on project, division, industry and customer. With a goal of reducing risk and project budget overages, Future State envisioned attaining a forward view into project performance, rather than the rear-view mirror provided by prior financial systems.

Requirements

  • Easy Salesforce integration
  • Project Management SaaS
  • Flexible and graphical reporting
  • Able to accommodate robust customizations
  • Manage project financials, not just tasks
  • Integrated time reporting system

Why Clarizen

  • Speed of Implementation
  • Cost
  • Clarizen’s robust customization engine
  • The Customer Success team’s know-how and expertise with advanced customizations

The solution

In order to reach the company objectives and goals, Project Director at Future State, Kathy Krumpe, formally established a PMO and implemented Clarizen project management SaaS as the primary tool to capture project management and project financial data. After consideration of several SaaS solutions, Clarizen was selected as it best fit the set requirements and stood out to the team with the best speed of implementation, most reasonable cost, and the ability to work on required customizations.

Once Clarizen project management SaaS was selected as the preferred project management tool, Future State divided the transformation into four key phases. In phase one, the team focused on faster and more accurate time reporting data with the new time reporting module. Phase two included customizations to handle multiple pay rates and user training on PM features of Clarizen. In phase three, all projects transitioned to Clarizen to have portfolio view and in phase four, Future State moved forward with all financial data based on hours worked for all projects. Overall, the launch time to reporting capability took less than three weeks and all four phases spanned over two months.

The Clarizen implementation has had a tremendously positive business impact. Krumpe mentions, “We finally have project data in one place for all our projects; at any given time we can see how ANY project is performing.” She continues, “We can handle increased business volume and feel confident we have control of the project details and outcomes. Clarizen has laid the foundation for us to move beyond heroics to work as a team to drive our business forward as a strategic consulting firm. Tangible business results and improvements include reduced time to process payroll by 50% and time to create portfolio roll-up reports were reduced 150%.” In addition, Kathy mentions, “one key reason our stock price increased in 2011 was the Clarizen implementation, showing that we are serious about establishing tools and process to scale up to meet our growth goals.”

Coupled, the professional services approach along with the Clarizen Salesforce integration, have proven a tremendous asset to Future State. Krumpe shares, “One large project went from 10% gross margin in 2011 to 35% gross margin in 2012, it is currently tracking at 45% gross margin by using the resource planning and project budgeting features of Clarizen. The project had been troubled with the inability to know when we needed what resources and how much they were going to cost.” In addition, with Clarizen, “resource utilization increased by 10%.”

With Clarizen’s project management SaaS, Future State is providing improved customer satisfaction with improved reporting on project budgets and activities. In the near future, Future State will use Clarizen to tackle additional arenas within their professional services organization. The team will use the workflow rules and triggers to increase integration with Salesforce thereby creating increased project governance and improved risk planning.

Results

  • Reduced time to process payroll by 50%, time to produce reports reduced by 150%
  • Resource utilization increased by 10%
  • Increased gross margins on projects by 350%
  • Improved customer satisfaction
  • Improved reporting on project budgets and activities
  • One central location: “We finally have project data in one place for all our projects; at any given time we can see how ANY project is performing”

Fast Facts

INDUSTRY:
Professional Services

LOCATION:
California, USA

PREVIOUS SOLUTION:
FileMaker Pro system, Excel, Task Management Tools, Time Reporting That Was Not Integrated With Any Project Management Tools

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