Great PSA Jedis Know How to Use “The Force” Correctly… Just Ask Yoda

4 minute read

Upland Admin

As the entire civilized world continues to go crazy over the latest Star Wars film, I think there are great messages we can glean in the PSA world, from the iconic characters that have been idolized over the last 38 years. Becoming a Jedi Master in Professional Services Automation (PSA) requires more than a technical comprehension of what is possible to better streamline a services firm’s business processes. It requires a careful managing of stakeholder expectations and the ability to overcome the challenges of resistance and major change often inherent in the deployment of enterprise solutions.

In light of this reality, here are my top five Stars Wars quotes I feel best describes an organization’s ability to get the most out of their PSA solution:

“Do. Or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda

Often organizations under-estimate the commitment involved in a successful PSA deployment. In many cases, both process changes and solution adoption are core to its success and require persistent hard work. Organizations who are committed to sticking to their PSA plan will eventually reap the benefits of their labor.

“In my experience there is no such thing as luck.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi

Coupled with commitment, the time and effort required for success must be invested by the organization. Carefully executing on the PSA strategy requires hard work by both the delivery team and the recipients of the solution. User adoption cannot be left to luck. Leading professional services firms understand that the changes presented by PSA are inevitable and there is no substitute for hard work to overcome the challenges of change.

“Never tell me the odds.” – Han Solo

In general, the odds for a successful enterprise software deployments is risky. Statistics have shown that a high percentage of IT projects fail. That being the case, you can never be too prepared. Organizations that plan well will most likely beat the odds. The main thing is to keep your eye on the goal of success and not get distracted and/or discouraged by the challenges that lay ahead.

“So this is how liberty dies…with thunderous applause.” – Padmé Amidala

This quote is to be used in sarcasm when an organization comes up with a new policy or process that looks appealing on the surface but in reality has negative repercussions. One of the major setbacks for a PSA failure can be attributed to analysis paralysis in which automation is seen to address all the issues a professional services firm faces. Too many processes can actually cripple the projects’ progress by setting unrealistic goals. Mature organizations know how to focus on quick wins by identifying their core PSA needs and avoiding biting off more than they can chew.

“Use the Force, Luke” – Obi-Wan Kenobi

More than anything, an organization’s success will be dependent on the harmonious front (aka “Force”) of the entire organization’s ability to push forward the PSA strategy as a team. Stakeholder buy-in is a key success factor in this equation. Successful PSA firms understand that both the practical effort set forth by the team along with the positive energy in the project can mean the difference between imminent failure and ultimate success.

As a final note, your organization can never have too much knowledge on the benefits of PSA. Education and preparation are essential components in preventing your investment from turning into shelf-ware. To quote Yoda, “A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack.”

About the Author: Neil Stolovitsky has over 15 years of IT experience with end-user, consulting, and vendor organizations, along with extensive expertise in business development, software selection, and channel strategies. He has published numerous white papers and articles covering Professional Services Automation, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) for service industries, Project Portfolio Management, IT Governance, and New Product Development to a global audience. Neil currently holds the position of Senior Solution Consultant with Upland Software.

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