[LRUG] Contact Work and setting limits

Glenn @ Ruby Pond Ltd glenn at rubypond.com
Thu Oct 29 10:17:50 PDT 2009


It doesn't help your current situation, but... I just avoid
fixed/project based bids at all costs. So long as I'm able to engage
with the customer it's usually not that hard of a sell. I also don't
commit to a specific deliverable, they're buying my time and services
for whatever they deem most appropriate (within reason ;). The
approach is usually:

- Win them over with the potential increase in cashflow of releasing early
- Explain how much money they will save by getting actual real world
user feedback so early in the process on a real (i.e., non-conceptual)
- Highlight how the initial "full system design" is almost always
wrong or overlooks a core user requirement

If you've done it well to that point, it's pretty easy to convince
them that if you were go forward on a project basis you'd deliver on
time, but it wouldn't be what people want. At that point, there would
be a new project and additional work. Alternatively, there would be
formal change requests, a whole heap of process, etc. That alone is
going to chew up at least a few days of my time, plus a whole lot of
theirs too. So you end up with two pieces of more expensive work.

Or you can have profits sooner, at a lower cost... I basically pay for
myself. Throw in something about "aligning interests" and looking for
a "long-term/lasting partnership" and they'd almost think I know what
I'm talking about ;)

As I said, doesn't help the current situation but hopefully something
to help for next time.

And a side note. At Rails Underground Dr. Nic brought up a good point
while talking about a similar issue, saying there are lots of
industries where the whole notion of a client demanding that you quote
them for a "project" is laughable. Solicitors being a good example.


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