Client Feedback Tool
  • Firm Metrics + Client Metrics = Success

    Posted on January 7th, 2014 Ryan Suydam No comments
    Firm Metrics + Client Metrics=Success

    As the New Year begins, most businesses, including ours, look for ways to drive even greater success than last year. We’ve all heard Peter Drucker’s quote, “what’s measured improves,” so most of us measure financial metrics regularly to try and drive success. Are we on track to achieve our goals? Is a course correction needed? And if so, what do we need to change?

    If your firm is only measuring financial metrics, are you measuring all the metrics needed to create the success you want to achieve?  If what you measure, improves, what else could you (should you) measure? What else do you want to improve in 2014?

    Take a moment and think about that question.

    So what should you measure?financial growth

    If you are like most A&E firms, you evaluate project performance based largely on the efficiency with which the project is completed. Did your team complete the scope of work in the contract and meet the desired profit targets? Did the team provide the client with expected deliverables — without doing a lot of re-work or free work? Did they match deliverables to the contract and avoid scope creep?

    Measuring project efficiency is essential to success. So is having a streamlined process to completing similar projects. If your teams started from scratch every time they began a project without using what they had learned from previous, similar projects, there is no way they could achieve target profits. Talk about re-inventing the wheel!

    Here’s another question to consider. Does measuring efficiency proactively prevent profit killers like re-work or scope creep? Or is it a reactive measure?

    There is a certain logic to the idea that if each of your teams follows the project delivery process identified for a particular type of project, the outcome would be the same. Each client would receive ‘correct’ deliverables based on the scope outlined in the contract. So why doesn’t it seem to work out that way?

    For nearly ten years we have been working with clients in the A&E industry. We have heard hundreds of stories about projects that should have been successful but weren’t. They had everything. Good staff. Good client. Good process. And yet, the results were often not what they expected.

    No matter how great the project circumstances may be, each client is different, the same client will change over time, and the criteria for success keeps moving.

    Client Feedback Tool focuses on helping our clients achieve the long-term success they desire by measuring all the metrics important to project performance. As the title suggests, this includes measuring both financial metrics and client metrics. Client metrics measure how well your process is meeting your client’s expectations at each stage of the project. If your team is not asking whether their client’s expectations are being met, they are making three dangerous assumptions:

    • Their existing project delivery process will meet the expectations of a new client (or a new project manager for an existing client).
    • There are no external factors that might influence the expectations of a project manager they have worked with before on ‘this project’.
    • You and the client have the same understanding of project communication, deliverables, etc.

    When your firm uses real-time, project-based feedback, you give your clients the opportunity to share their changing preferences and priorities with you throughout the project. You eliminate the assumptions that can result in poor project performance and unmet expectations. You strengthen your relationships with your clients as they realize that you really care about their goals. And, because the feedback you request is designed to benefit your client, you also give them the ability to help you help them achieve the success they desire.

    And the benefit to your firm? You establish a reputation as experts. Elite players. Premium brand. This expert status has powerful financial impact. In addition to reducing or eliminating re-work and scope creep, you become the ‘go to’ firm for each of your clients, who then provide you with a steady stream of profitable work.

    As 2014 gets underway, let’s challenge ourselves. Instead of measuring the same things you have in the past and expecting different results, take the strategic step of tracking the metrics that matter. If what is measured improves, are you measuring the metrics needed to create the success you desire? Request a Live Demo to learn more about measuring client metrics to create firm success or give us a call at 866.433.7322.