How to get money that you did not manage to earn?

    A strange problem has formed. So strange that even ashamed to talk about her. Well, nothing, among their own - you can.

    The fact is that we have learned to save money.
    It would seem good.
    Unfortunately, this is not our money, but the money of customers.

    So, let’s try from the beginning and clearly tell the whole story.

    A significant part of our projects goes through the production cycle based on the design process . In other words, on a flexible methodology of iterative approximations to the result.

    This means that work financing is arranged according to the time & materials scheme .

    It would seem that the poet’s dream is: how much you earn, so much you will receive from the client. No way out of the budget, no horrorfixed price .

    But there is a nuance.

    The fact is that in the course of the transaction, the so-called indicative project budget is still negotiated. The amount that we are very, very likely to fit. Sometimes it eventually turns out to be more, but more often - less.

    And then an ambush happens. Look here.

    Let's say we agreed with a client that the project will cost approximately 300 thousand (or a little more). Getting started. Weekly check-coordinate the download for the next week. We reach the final in this way and successfully close the project. Counting money.

    And suddenly it turns out that the 300-thousandth project shrank to 190, or even to 160 thousand. Well, it so happened that we did everything faster than expected. And the client turned out to be sane than could be expected at the start. And along the way, we managed to throw out some tasks, cut off some corners.

    At the finish, a happy client who received the promised with the right level of quality, in an agreed time and, most importantly, for much less money.

    And we are miserable.

    Why miserable? Yes, because we spent the time-effort to conclude a deal of 300 thousand. And they received from these money already promised to us - well, if two-thirds.

    That is, a significant part of the work to conclude a contract (and this, incidentally, is marketing, sales, planning, and legal red tape) was done in vain. The costs of this escort went into the pipe.

    The worst thing happens if the project doesn’t fall into the range of budgets that are of interest to us, and as a result of all this production saving, it also flies beyond the lower bound of the reasonable. Then the costs of the transaction eat up all the profits and even lead the project to a minus. Well and the fun.

    All this is due to our stupid habit of saving client money. Agree, a strange manner: the money has already been promised, but we do not want to take it.

    More precisely, we can’t. Do not deal with the postscript of time in project reports. That is, someone, perhaps, would consider this a reasonable step, but we are simply not capable of such business exploits.

    We must look for another way.

    We have not found any yet.

    But there are several hypotheses that we’ll be testing now.

    First one. Suppose the client is ready at the end of the project “to do something else for the change”. And it will be quite happy to receive any additional from us. services that fit into an already agreed budget. Why not offer him these services? Money is already promised anyway. We must try, try.

    The second one. Suppose reallocation of time within a project would lead to even greater, better happiness for the client. They saved on approvals - added time to the designer, found the idea without any brainstorming - bought the time of a visiting expert, and so on. That is, it is necessary to "simply" realize the amount of time saved, not once at the very end of the project, but constantly in the process.

    Why is this “simple” never really simple? The thing is that, even though you read books about the theory of system limitations , in practice you will still encounter an unpleasant feature of IT managers: they do not like to admit deviations from the plan.

    Usually, this ambush strikes those business owners who want to find out about problems with deadlines - and don’t find out about them until the very unbeatable end.

    But the opposite happened to us. Managers save time - and do not consider it something significant. Well, saved - and good. In addition, for each individual task, the savings can be small - this is a good increase in the pension for the project as a whole.

    So now we will try to include in the scheme of weekly monitoring the progress of projects (what happened - what will happen - what will calm down) include balancing the “time bank” for each project. Let this “bank” not be spread over tasks, but concentrated in one place. Yes, it seems like TOC technology , nothing new, but we still doubt the success of the event - we have not yet implemented it.

    What would you do in such an unexpected situation?

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    What to do if the real budget of the project falls short of the agreed budget?

    • 30.9% There is no such problem, and you are snickering. 69
    • 20.1% Time posts is normal, everyone does it. 45
    • 30% Best to resell services within the agreed budget. 67
    • 13% Organize a “time bank” for managers, and let them distribute it within the project. 29th
    • 5.8% Other (I will describe in the comments). thirteen

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