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New Forrester Report Endorses Move to Project Business Automation

A new Now Tech report from Forrester firmly establishes Project Business Automation as the next category of software solutions for project-based companies.

Forrester’s adoption of the Project Business Automation category is a strong signal that the market is moving toward Adeaca’s vision of one integrated business system for project-driven organizations. As the creator of the first Project Business Automation solution on the market, it clearly validates Adeaca’s groundbreaking approach to transforming Project Business with PBA.

Project Business Automation (PBA) is a distinct business process management software designed specifically for project-based organizations (e.g. construction, engineering, ETO manufacturing, professional services) that integrates all core project business processes into one, end-to-end system. PBA completely upends the status quo of how Project Businesses typically operate and promises to dramatically improve their bottom line as a result.

The best way to learn about PBA is to Download the Project Business Automation Blueprint. It is the Definitive Guide to establishing a comprehensive business system for project-driven companies.

The impact of this report by Forrester is twofold. First, PBA is disrupting existing categories of software solutions that many of these companies use today, and second, it proposes the new macro-industry of Project Business, which changes how these companies see themselves.

Disrupting Project and Enterprise Software

The point of PBA is to replace the wide array of disparate applications that a project-based company normally uses to manage its business with one comprehensive system. PBA integrates the functionality found in many point solutions, including ERP, project management, enterprise PPM, professional services automation (PSA), and more.

Therefore, PBA promises to disrupt the markets for these existing categories of software solutions. As PBA gains in popularity, the need for these applications and how they are used will change significantly.  

The core processes PBA addresses can be categorized in three main functional areas:

  • Project Financials and Accounting
  • Project Management and Operations
  • Project Insight and Analytics

The key point of PBA is that all these functions are integrated in one system, providing real-time data streams and KPIs that facilitate the acceleration and automation of processes that is not possible when managed in separate applications.

To get a better understanding of the comprehensive functionality that should be contained in a PBA system, Download the PBA Requirements Document. This template provides over 400 criteria by which business systems for project-based companies can be evaluated. As such, it provides an overview of all the functionality PBA replaces from other point solutions.

As a result of PBA’s comprehensive approach, standalone applications such as project management, portfolio management, estimating software, and of course spreadsheets, can be eliminated. Additionally, ERP and accounting systems are now fully integrated into PBA as well. This approach not only reduces the costs associated with these other applications, it also creates massive efficiencies by eliminating the need to manually move, manipulate, and reconcile data between these systems.

Moreover, it greatly improves visibility throughout the organization, enabling executives and managers to make data-driven decisions with real-time insights at their fingertips. This capability is revolutionary in itself for project-based companies.

As more companies adopt PBA, the need for these standalone solutions will diminish greatly. They may still serve a purpose in non-project-based industries, but Project Businesses will find them wholly inadequate in the future.

Project Business as a New Industry

PBA also implies a new type of industry – Project Business. PBA looks at all project-based companies (e.g. construction, engineering, ETO manufacturing, professional services, etc.) as fundamentally similar – they deliver products and services to their customers through projects. 

This label is similar to Retail or Manufacturing. If we think of a Retail Business, it is about reselling goods to consumers. It doesn’t matter what goods you sell. You could sell clothes, tires, cars, light bulbs or stuffed animals. Whatever it is, if you sell it to consumers you are a Retail Business.

If we think of a mass Manufacturing Business, it is about producing products and usually selling those products to a distributor or retailer. It doesn’t matter what products you make. You could make clothes, phones, furniture, or televisions. Whatever it is, if you manufacture it you are a Manufacturing Business.

Project Business is the same. It is about running projects as your business. It doesn’t matter what the end product or service is. It could be a building, a bridge, an airplane, custom software, a corporate tax report, a new business strategy, or an engineering design. Whatever it is, if you produce it by running and delivering projects to your customers you are a Project Business. Therefore, you should look for a Project Business system to support your business.

PBA is a system for Project Business.

The report by Forrester is an update and replacement for the previous Now Tech report on Professional Services Automation (PSA). This move underscores two conclusions.

First, PBA expands the addressable market beyond traditional professional services to include other industries such as construction and ETO manufacturing. As a result, and second, PBA extends the scope of what this type of solution should address.

PBA should address the entire needs of the business, not just project and resource management. In some businesses this may require direct integration with supply chain and manufacturing processes. PBA also includes client collaboration as a key aspect of the Project Business.

The point of PBA is to manage the process needs of the entire business in one system

The Need for PBA

Adeaca invented PBA as a solution and a software category. Our success and Forrester’s adoption of this category proves that PBA is needed in the market and companies are adopting the PBA approach.

Project Businesses have been operating unproductively for decades. We see PBA as a catalyst for a sea-change for Project Businesses to demand more from their business systems, and for technology vendors to step up to the plate and deliver accordingly. Now that Forrester has adopted the mantle of PBA as well, that change is happening.