Detailed Review of Klient PSA Salesforce App

Robot Using Klient PSA Salesforce project management app

Klient PSA is reviewed against 200+ Salesforce project management software requirements on a downloadable spreadsheet. Klient PSA is scored overall for each of the ten project management processes. This post provides a summary of the key strengths and weaknesses for each of the processes.

Summary Findings

Klient PSA is a good overall PSA tool, though it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of some of its larger competitors. Some key positive differentiators are:

  • Great Gantt chart scheduling tool. Even supports ‘fixed effort’ scheduling.
  • Invoicing functionality.
  • Standard integrations with 4 accounting packages.
  • Proposal/SOW functionality.
  • Supports Agile process (except for prioritizing tasks on board).

Some of the negative differentiators are:

  • Not directly integrated with Salesforce Opportunities to forecast resources and revenue based on opportunities.
  • Doesn’t support daily or weekly rates.
  • Cannot re-order tasks within a Kanban column.
  • Can’t limit visibility of confidential projects.
  • Can’t share tasks with external team members.
  • Doesn’t support inter-project dependencies.
Klient PSA
Total Score50%
Communications Management9%
Cost Management66%
Integration Management42%
Procurement Management13%
Quality Management8%
Resource Management62%
Risk Management83%
Schedule Management63%
Scope Management6%
Stakeholder Management17%

Download Klient Evaluation Spreadsheet

Click here to add the Klient Excel spreadsheet to your basket and continue reading. Visit the basket page to complete the download.

Pricing

Klient PSA is $49/user/month but this includes the Salesforce licenses. I’m assuming the Salesforce licenses they are referring to are Platform Starter for customers who aren’t already on a Salesforce solution.

Platform Starter is $25/user/month, so if you are planning on using Platform Starter for other solutions your net Klient PSA cost is $24/user/month. Please note that a Platform Starter license allows you to install an unlimited number of purchased apps but you can only create 10 custom objects yourself. To create up to 110 custom objects you need Platform Plus at $100/user/month.

Scoring Methodology

I’ve been evaluating all of the Salesforce project management software and sharing the results to help others save time in making an informed decision. I started the evaluation as marketing research for the Salesforce project management app I built: Project Lifecycle Pro. I’m doing my best to give a unbiased review, but I’ve attached the detailed Excel spreadsheet which you can use to perform your own analysis. Here are detailed instructions on how to use the spreadsheet to weight requirements and compare multiple software packages side-by-side.

I structured the analysis around the Project Management Institute’s (PMI)© project management process. This is outlined in the PM Book of Knowledge (PMBOK)©. First, I listed the project management processes and then the activities within each process. Finally, I developed a list of requirements related to each of the activities. The list of requirements is based upon my thirty years of project management experience and experience evaluating project management tools for clients. When I come across novel functionality in the software I’m evaluating I add it to the requirements list. Of course, I’m sure I missed some requirements and welcome any suggestions.

I gave all processes and requirements equal weights, but you can adjust the scoring weights in the Excel spreadsheet to suit your needs. Each requirement was rated as either:

  • Yes – As Is – Meaning, the requirement is met with out-of-the-box functionality. This rating is awarded four points.
  • Yes – With Configuration – Meaning the requirement can be met with minimal configuration or no-code updates. Since, Salesforce is highly configurable I used this rating for simple things like changing picklist values, adding a field to an existing data object, creating a report, etc. This rating is awarded two points.
  • No – Not Available or Requires Customization – Meaning the requirement cannot be met without significant investment of time or money. I assigned this rating if custom coding would be required, or a new custom data object, or a new custom flow. This rating is awarded zero points.

Finally, the scoring spreadsheet totaled the ratings by process to show how the apps compare by process. Therefore, you can assess the apps based on which processes are the most important to you.

Here are some links to help you research the app:

Download Klient Evaluation Spreadsheet

Click here to download the Klient Excel spreadsheet.

Communications Management

Like most PSA tools, Klient PSA does not have functionality to support change management and the related communications. However, it does have good project status communication functionality.

Nothing to discuss in detail here.

Cost Management

Klient PSA has the standard PSA functionality to track labor costs and expenses. Two key differentiators is that it has the internal capability to generate an invoice and to integrate with four accounting packages. There are several gaps:

  • Can’t rollup multiple project costs to a program.
  • Doesn’t support daily or weekly rates.
  • Supports expense approvals but the approval process must be built.

Strength: Integration with 4 Accounting Packages

It has standard integrations with the following accounting packages:

  • Quickbooks
  • Sage Intacct
  • Xero
  • Accounting Seed

Weakness: Costs Can’t Rollup to a Program

It doesn’t support programs for groups of projects. You can create a parent project with several sub-projects, but the values of the sub-projects don’t rollup to the parent.

The parent/sub-project relationship is only intended for reporting. So you could create reports with totals using the parent project as a filter.

Weakness: No Daily or Weekly Rates

It appears all the rate cards assume hourly rates. Daily or weekly rates have become popular in consulting. So if you often use daily/weekly rates, you’ll probably want to consider a different PSA tool.

Weakness: Must Build Approvals

This seems fairly common in the PSA apps. The app supports marking an expense or timesheet as approved and configuring who should approve it. However, you must build the approval process yourself. This should only take several hours to build and test.

The PSA apps don’t provide the approval processes pre-built because approval processes can’t be packaged in a managed app. However, there is a workaround where they could support a manual install.

Integration Management

Klient PSA doesn’t have any standout features in this area, but it does have some gaps.

Weakness: No Change Orders

Most PSA tools don’t support documenting detailed scope line items. However, Klient PSA also doesn’t support creating change orders and routing them for approval.

Weakness: No Confidential Projects

You can mark a project ‘global’ so any resource can view it and record time against it. However, you can’t make a project confidential so only team members can view it. You can manage who can record time against the project.

Weakness: Task Notifications

It is missing useful notifications available on other PSA tools:

  • Alert to owner when task is assigned.
  • Alert to owner when task is ready to start because preceding task was finished.
  • Alert when no time has been entered on a completed task.

Procurement Management

Like most PSA apps, Klient PSA does not really support purchasing outside services or materials. You cannot create and track purchase orders. You can forecast cash flows through expenses, and track total vendor payments.

Quality Management

Klient PSA doesn’t have any testing or quality functionality.

Resource Management

Klient PSA has all the resource management functionality you’ll need to run a professional services project. One unique feature is the ability to search resource availability directly within a task. But there were also two gaps in functionality that are offered by other tools.

Strength: Search for Available Resources Within a Task

When you create a task and are ready to assign a resource, you can click a button to search for resources with the same project role that have availability. This makes it easy for the project manager to assign available resources in real time.

Weakness: Doesn’t Publish Resource Openings

Some other PSA tools allow the publication of resource requests so that employees can express interest in the work.

Weakness: Forecast Resources Based Upon the Sales Pipeline

Other tools are more integrated with Salesforce Sales Cloud, and thus they can generate forecasts of resourcing needs based upon the sales pipeline. This gives a long term view of resource shortfalls and time to address them.

Risk Management

Klient PSA has strong risk management functionality. It has only a few gaps that can easily be filled with less than an hour of configuration changes in Salesforce.

Strength: Assign Tasks to Risks

You can assign Salesforce tasks to the identified risk. This feature is often missing in other tools, but I consider it the most important part of risk management. When you identify a risk, you need to assign tasks to either investigate or address it and you want to be able to monitor the outstanding tasks associated with the risk.

Schedule Management

Klient PSA has an excellent Gantt chart and scheduling tool. It has nearly all the functionality of Microsoft Project, including the ability to use fixed effort tasks to resource level a task. It only has four significant scheduling gaps.

Strength: Core Scheduling Options

It has all the core and advanced scheduling options most projects will need:

  • All types of dependencies (FS, SF, FF, SS).
  • Lag and lead times.
  • Critical path.
  • Unlimited task hierarchy (i.e. levels in the work breakdown structure).
  • Tasks assigned to teams.
  • Multiple resources assigned to a task.

Strength: Resource Leveling Tasks

This is the first PSA tool, I’ve seen which offers a ‘Fixed Effort’ scheduling option. This means it will change the task’s duration if the assigned resources cannot work enough hours in the current duration. For example, if I have an 80 hour task and assign one resource to complete it in a week, it will push the duration out to two weeks.

It doesn’t have the project-level resource leveling functionality as found in Microsoft Project. MS Project will shuffle all the tasks at once to ensure no resource is over allocated.

It also offers the default ‘Fixed Duration’ scheduling option, which is usually the only option in other tools.

Strength: Supports Agile Development

It has all sorts of features to support Agile development. However, it does have one major gap where you can’t prioritize tasks on the Kanban board (see below). Here are the Agile features:

  • Organize tasks into sprints.
  • Define scrum teams.
  • Define epics.
  • Classify tasks as bugs or user stories.
  • Kanban board.

Weakness: External Resources Can’t Work Tasks

While tasks can be assigned to a non-Salesforce user, there isn’t anyway to communicate the task to the external resource. There also isn’t anyway for the external resource to update the task as complete.

Other tools offer either an external website where people without Salesforce licenses can view the project and assigned tasks, or they email tasks with a link to click when the task is complete.

Weakness: Can’t Prioritize Tasks on Kanban Board

While it has good overall support for the Agile process, this is a major gap. You can move tasks between the columns on the Kanban board. However, the product owner cannot prioritize the tasks from top to bottom so the team knows what priority to work the tasks.

Weakness: Can’t Assign Task Constraints

Tasks on the schedule cannot be assigned constraints: Must Finish On, Must Start On, Early as Possible, Late as Possible. This shouldn’t be a major gap for most companies, and I’ve only found one Salesforce scheduling tool which offers this functionality.

Weakness: Doesn’t Support Inter-Project Dependencies

You cannot make a task on Project A dependent upon the completion of a task on Project B. This type of functionality is only supported by a handful of PSA tools and shouldn’t be an issue for most companies.

Scope Management

Like most PSA tools, Klient PSA doesn’t provide any scope management functionality. It doesn’t even support the creation of change orders, which is available in a few tools.

Stakeholder Management

Klient PSA doesn’t support any stakeholder management which is required for change management on a project.

In Conclusion

Klient PSA should be on your short list of PSA apps to consider if:

  • You only have Salesforce Platform. Because most of the other PSA tools require Sales Cloud for all their functionality.
  • Scheduling is very important to you.
  • You want native invoicing functionality.

You should not include Klient PSA on your short list if:

  • You want a solution integrated with your sales pipeline.
  • You commonly use daily or weekly rates.
  • You need a fully functional Kanban board.
  • You need to block access to confidential projects.
  • You need to coordinate tasks with external resources.

Regards,

Brian

Additional References

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