Everyone Wants a Number
The struggle between trying to help provide a number for a future budget before the scope of the project has been defined.
- Aug. 17 2012
The truth is that everyone wants to know exactly what their website is going to cost — even if the scope and technical plan haven’t been finalized. To say it’s a difficult situation to be in is an understatement: it’s one of the hardest things we do in the industry.
Everyone wants a number.
I can sympathize, because everyone has to budget, and for everyone who wants a number, there are people above them who also want a number. The incessant drumbeat for a number trickles down from above. The inability to produce a number is never met with understanding.
Numbers provide certainty. The number is a constant you can cling to. It is security – you may not know much about your project, but you have this number, so you cling to that.
Sadly, there’s another side to this – the integrator. The guy who is bidding the work. The guy who has to get you a number.
I’m that guy.
My struggle is that I want to give you a number that is honest and accurate, while at the same time protecting my company from unforeseen cost overruns. I obviously want to make a profit, but – contrary to what some believe – I don’t want to rip you off, and I do very much care that you feel like you got a good value for your money at the end of the project.
For more, check out Deane’s blog: Gadgetopia.