Certinia PSA: Region, Practice, Group (RPG) Information and Reorganization Tips

Author: Virginia DeCegliaCertinia PSA, Region, Practice, Group, RGP, Professional services automation, Professional Services Cloud,

Professional services automation (PSA) solutions can be used to achieve better visibility and more control over project and resource planning. Certinia’s Professional Services Cloud or PSA Platform is an example of a PSA solution, and the option used by our own organization.

If your organization is also using Certinia’s PSA Platform, this blog will:

  • Outline important information about Regions, Practices, and Groups (RPGs) — which are central to the solution’s metrics and reporting
  • Cover RPG assignment basics and best practices, user security settings, and reorganization tips to avoid change-based challenges

RPG Information

As mentioned above, RPGs drive your solution’s metrics and reporting. They offer visibility into plan, actual, utilization, and forecasting data for your company’s professional services resources and projects.

RPG values are based on rules that are tied to transactions (e.g., timecards, expenses, billing, etc.) and can generally be defined as:

  • Region: a geographical entity or location used for financial accountability, or the region in which projects are being performed
  • Practice: a collection of projects being managed by an Engagement Manager, a portfolio of projects, etc.; this value could also show an entity within your organization like a horizontal product line
  • Group: a business vertical, such as healthcare or financial services, a departmental grouping for managing resources, or any other grouping needed

RPG values are configured to have a set hierarchy in your solution. Meaning, when a transaction is entered into the solution, RPG data rolls up (i.e., is summarized or grouped) in a certain way based on the rules you’ve set. Rollups include metrics like bookings, billings, or costs.

For example, let’s say one of your organization’s full-time resources is an IT consultant that works on both internal and client projects. When they enter their timecard, their timecard information will automatically rollup (provide metrics) based on how the solution’s RPGs and hierarchy have been configured.

Based on this configuration, or the RPG value assignment and hierarchy that have been set, this timecard would offer your leadership team more insight into things like:

  • Total billable hours for that resource, and across all resources and projects
  • The performance of the IT resource’s Engagement Manager when it comes to resource planning vs. utilization
  • Costs associated with the client projects included on that resource’s timecard

It’s also important to note that each RPG has its own independent hierarchy, which allows for matrix type reporting.

RPG Configuration Basics and Security

How are RPG assignments made and hierarchy determined? If your Certinia PSA solution is not live or in use yet, best practices say to start simple, with at least 1 top-level or global Region, Practice, or Group.

  • Determine for each RPG if it should represent project data rollups or resource rollups; for example, RPG assignments might be based on:
    • Where the project is being delivered
    • Who the project manager is
    • What business entity gets the revenue
  • Identify what transaction(s) it should be included in
  • Carefully consider each hierarchy and how the RPG values might be used for reporting and rollups, (i.e., how those values will impact metrics and KPIs)

You should also carefully consider the RPGs configuration group, which is a collection of configuration options that defines the behavior of an object or feature.

  • These groups follow rules which determine how transactions (e.g., revenue, cost, time, expense, etc.) are rolled up into each level of the RPG, and if they should follow the RPG of the resource or the project
  • Once rules are set, if these values are changed in the future, it will impact rollups

When assignments and hierarchy have been set, how do you ensure that only the right people have access to sensitive information like costs, before the solution goes live?

Security settings restrict what information is visible and available to edit for certain users; these settings are typically handled via permission sets and field level security.

  • If a cost value needs to be hidden from a user or user group, adjust permission sets so that the FLS on the objects in question do not allow view access to those cost fields
  • Remember values can exist on multiple objects (resource, assignment, timecards, transactions, etc.), so be thorough and validate reporting as well, to ensure its secure

RPG Changes, Modifications, or Reorganization  

It’s not uncommon for organizations to get their Certinia PSA solution up and running, see the new amount of information and insight they’re getting, and decide they want to change what metrics are being delivered or how their RPG data is being handled for reporting. It’s a very powerful tool, and its ability to help organizations quickly make beneficial changes is one of its selling points.

There are a few changes or modifications you can make one your solution is live and in use that will have a minimal impact:

  • Name changes to existing branches
  • Name changes to existing RPGs
  • Adding a new branch to the hierarchy (if historical data doesn’t need to be moved to it)

For changes, including the ones listed above, always ask yourself:

  • Will these changes need to reference historical transactions, or will they only be effective going forward?
  • Will the reorg impact both projects and resources?
  • Will any of the transaction follow rules be affected?

Based on the answers, bringing in a solution expert for help may be a safer and faster way to make the changes needed.

Certinia PSA Solution Support

If your organization needs any type of support with its Certinia PSA solution, or you’d like more information about how Certinia’s PSA Platform could help you achieve your goals, we’re here to help.

If you’re looking for additional resources about PSA solutions and Certinia (formerly FinancialForce) PSA — our “Achieving a Better ROI: FinancialForce PSA vs. Alternative PSA Solutions” webinar reviews professional services automation (PSA) solution value and ROI, as well as benchmarks for PSA products and implementations.