Who hasn’t experienced that moment of loneliness when your manager/accountant tells you that the project on which you spend your evenings and weekends, which has been draining your brainpower for several weeks/months, is suffering abysmal losses despite all the time and energy you have invested?
You work for a fixed price? You know yourself.
First of all, the sales representatives are blamed: they should have charged more! They have already been told: “they do everything to win the project and then we manage…”. Variant: “they have under-sold because they don’t know anything” etc etc…
The sales representatives sometimes blame project management who “can’t count”… The production blames everyone else.
In short, it’s everyone’s fault and therefore often nobody’s. And that’s why this kind of situation happens… often. Great atmosphere.
In reality, this is typical of agencies without tools or methods for managing fixed-price projects.
Here are some basic rules to help you reverse the trend:
Do you know how to keep track of how much time each person spends on a project each week? If the answer is ‘no’, ‘not too much’ or ‘more or less’, it’s time to rectify the situation.
Furious makes this task simple or even automatic 80% of the time.
Weekly monitoring of projects and time spent VS what was sold
Who monitors your project overruns on a weekly basis? Do you have a “shepherd” in charge of scheduling?
Even if in some agencies the charrette is an institution, it is less and less tolerated and this is understandable. It is expected that the company will be able to assess the workload and correct the situation when it gets out of hand.
Weekly sharing of project information with the client
It is essential to share with your dear customer at least once a week the workload ratios in relation to the sold, the schedule, the invoicing… This way, the customer will not be able to feign ignorance and, above all, this will constrain you to solve the overrun problems as soon as they appear.
Furious suggests you share these KPI’s with your client in one click!
Valuing the time spent in pre-sales within the project sold
When we win a project, we don’t throw away the time spent on a pre-sale. Normally we have already made some progress on the project, so it is natural to find it in the project time.
In fact, we talk about it here.
An engine of anticipation
Without talking about science fiction, with good tools like Furious, you know before it’s too late that the project is going to the wall!
Furious builds models of complex projects and tells you from the start the estimated profitability of the project on completion. A real plus for tactically managing your business!
Ability to analyze profitability
You must have an analysis of :
- commercial profitability: time sold VS time spent
- net profitability: time spent X actual cost of people working on the project VS time sold.
The distinction between the two will allow you to evaluate the occupation of senior profiles or trainees for example… and that obviously changes everything!
Stopping unprofitable projects
It’s taboo in the agency and yet so necessary!
You should not hesitate to stop a project if it is going into the wall… before it does!
You have more to lose by overloading your teams (the cost of turnover is often underestimated in agencies) and keeping them busy on unprofitable projects than by losing a client.
To help you, tools like Furious are there to make it easier for you to monitor these issues in a very visual way. Furious also provides predictive insight, alerting you well in advance and before it’s too late.
Another advantage (and not the least) is that teamwork is more fluid because difficulties are analysed on the basis of rational data, and not on the basis of misunderstandings or prejudices between different professions and profiles!