Itâ²s good for businesses to be frugal and save money, but being too frugal can hamper your project management teamâ²s productivity and hamstring your operations.
Projects can very easily run longer than anticipated, so some companies allow clients to buy pre-purchased hours for spot changes or last-minute tasks. Other companies keep a tight rein on a teamâ²s hourly work to ensure they donâ²t run over. What both methods have in common is that once the team member hits the hourly allotment limit, he is required to stop work and wait for the client to approve additional hours.
While this policy prevents surprises on a clientâ²s billing statement, it actually leads to much more expensive for the client. Project management is not an assembly line – you canâ²t stop it and resume where you left off without some kind of transition. This is especially true if there is a long delay between the work stoppage and the client approving additional hours. Can you imagine how frustrating this is for a team member who is doing QA or troubleshooting? He might be on the verge of a solution, only to run out of time and have to remember everything running through his mind when work resumes. The task would take much longer now than if it had been billed when completed.
A Dayâ²s Pay for Two Daysâ² Work
Long hours are part of a project teamâ²s everyday life, but that doesnâ²t mean employers can take it for granted. Many companies try to skip out on paying their teams overtime, especially when it happens on a regular basis. While it does save money, unpaid overtime can cause morale problems and opens the company up to legal issues.
You may want to consider different work arrangements, such as flex time, comp time, telecommute, etc. Or if your team is receptive to it, you can find alternate means of supporting them such as free food during extended hours, a team outing after project completion, or performance bonuses. The important thing is that your team members are properly compensated for the effort that they put in.
The Wrong Tools for the Job
Letâ²s face it: business software is expensive. Even so-called budget suites from Microsoft and Adobe, for example, can cost thousands of dollars. Multiply that by the number of employees who are going to be using the software, and youâ²ve broken the bank before getting your first client. There are viable low-budget alternatives, of course, but purchasing based on price may end up getting you tools that have missing or inadequate features, which ends up hampering your team instead of helping them. Plus, many designers and engineers have been trained on specific computer programs and may have difficulty making the adjustment to something new.
Does your company try to save money in all the wrong ways? How so?