As appeared in Innovation Ocala magazine, September 2013.
Working with business owners, leaders, and decision makers over a number of years it has become apparent that there are two camps when it comes to “getting something done”. Some, want to know the price before anything else. It is as simple as that…if the price seems too high, or feels wrong, this camp will hastily nix an idea. They just want a proposal, bid, or other indicator of what the “something” will cost. They are not interested in the larger picture.
Yet the other camp, wants to know the possibilities. While the former is short sighted, albeit not always misplaced, the latter provides opportunity for future returns. It is the difference between viewing the “something” as an expense or an investment.
Disadvantages of Proposals
- The Rush – Generating a proposal is usually about speed. You are racing against a clock. Whenever a race is entered, there are inherent risks and dangers that details will be missed due to cutting corners in the name of effectiveness and efficiency.
- The Risk – Delay risks to the completion of a Project, financial risks to the Project Sponsor, and, human capital risks that affect the benefactors of a Project are far greater with a Proposal, than a Project Evaluation.
- The Details – A Project’s success and failure are measured in the details, not in the cessation of an assignment. In a Proposal the details are in the scope. What is included, what is not, and how tight of deadlines; all contribute to the “rush” and “risk”. This often results in “scope creep” and results in what should have been a great project into a “wish we had never done this” learning experience.
Advantages of Project Evaluations
- Qualification – Sometimes Projects are not a good fit for the Project Sponsor, the Project Management and Project Team, or Objectives are not feasible. Evaluations are a low risk approach to determining this.
- Attention to Details – By having, and taking, the time to carefully prepare recommendations ansleyRDgroup is able to eliminate surprises. While the end result is often a larger document than a Proposal might be, the details are well organized and thorough.
- No Pricing Surprises – Figuring out the details and ironing out a complete scope ensures fixed pricing without surprises. This provides assurance up front. Often areas of concern are eliminated and the Contingency Budget is reduced.
- Date before you Marry – Rather than presenting a proposal that prompts down payment and a signature, the evaluation process provides time and opportunity to establish a working relationship. The communication that occurs during this process helps everyone learn how the other works without the pressure of a high-budget project.
- Freedom to Dream – Occasionally more time is spent on an evaluation than might have initially been expected. However, knowing that each other’s time is valued provides the freedom to explore options, navigate obstacles, and make recommendations that may not have otherwise been possible to advise.
- Qualify the need
- Afford time for details
- Reduce financial risks
- Allow opportunity to interact before over-committing, and most importantly;
- Project Evaluations birth Dreams
The time and energy that the context of a Project Evaluation provides will consistently multiply added value and contribute to the success of the project and your business.
So which do you request? Comment below!