[consulting] General consultant's vent

Sam Cohen sam at samcohen.com
Thu Aug 6 13:47:43 UTC 2009

On Thu, Aug 6, 2009 at 9:34 AM, Brian Vuyk <brian at brianvuyk.com> wrote:

> Domenic Santangelo wrote:
>> Why is this so different from what we do? The OP mentioned not billing for
>> time investigating. I've seen it done that way in a bunch of shops, where
>> they just chalk it up to the "cost of sale". Maybe I'm just stupid and
>> nobody else works like this, but I know that I've spent a _lot_ of time
>> estimating something out (sometimes as much as 20% of the estimate!) and not
>> billing for it. That doesn't seem right to me. How do you guys handle the
>> OP's situation from a billing standpoint?
I find the key is to explain that development is an iterative process, and
that they won't even know what they want until they see it and start to use
it, so it's a waste of time to spend a lot of time doing discovery

I give them a rough idea of what they can get for 10 or 40 or 100 hours .

 Then I bill them for time worked -- and that includes any discovery that we

I convince them that this is in their interest -- and it is -- because to
cost it out upfront, I would have to build in a large amount of padding to
cover everything that might happen -- where if they pay hourly they only pay
for what does happen.

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