3 Reasons Short Term Projects Fail to Profit

19-Jan 2016

It’s probably no surprise to you that projects run over time and budget more often than not, but the risk in doing so for consultants with projects running for six months or less is particularly high. Why? Because even with the best of intentions, those shorter assignments are often poorly managed as we discovered in this white-paper.. If you typically juggle several short-term projects at once, here’s what you need to know about them and why they can be risky for your consultancy business.

1. Time affects your bottom line

A Harvard Business Review study found that on average, 27% of service-based projects go over budget. With that many projects exceeding their scope, it’s easy to see how a consultancy firm’s bottom line can be negatively impacted when time is mismanaged. With the most common projects running between one to three months, the frequency and efficiency within which projects can be completed is critical to generate a steady stream of revenue. But, without a proper platform in place to help consultants streamline these short projects and workflows, their profits get chipped away at.

2. Poor management

When you’re working on lots of shorter assignments things can get hectic and it can be hard to see how profitable each individual project actually is. A two-month project for consultants can represent roughly 16% of their total revenue before interest and taxesand that’s a big deal. That’s because, for many firms, that kind of percentage can mean the difference between overall profitability or a loss. What consultants should be worried about and need to consider when tackling their projects is this: shorter projects don’t necessarily mean less risk; quite the opposite in fact. Because consultants often lack a tool that can give them full visibility into and across their projects in real-time, they get left in the dark when it comes to the overall profitability of their work.

3. Disorganized data

The risk in short-term projects lies in the details that get missed when things get heated and resources are limited as you try to juggle multiple accounts. Unfortunately, those details that fall through the cracks pile upand add up quickly, if not properly managed. As a consultant, you love data, but things get complicated when you can’t clearly make out what the data from your projects is telling you. When work is scattered between different tools and across various spreadsheets, it’s hard to see what’s working and what’s notuntil you’re in the red.

With a smart technology platform that gives you visibility into projects in real-time at your fingertips, you’ll be able to avoid scope creep and ensure your projects are always profitable, no matter what their length is.

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