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Should You Take the Gig?

Choosing the Right Project is Like DatingDo you know a good project when you see it? I find that choosing a project is much like dating. You are looking for a project you will enjoy spending time on, that won’t drain all your resources, and will leave you feeling better after the date than you did before it started. When I’m out mixing it up and have my sales hat on though, I tend to chase everything and have to fight the scarcity thinking that often plagues all contractors from time to time. So, as a result, Peter & I put together a new project score card we use to quickly measure whether or not we should pursue an opportunity.

New Project Score Card

  1. Profit
    Will this bring in a lot of profit proportional to the amount of work that needs to be done?
  2. Timeline
    Do we have plenty of time proportional to the amount of work that needs to be done?
  3. Resources
    Will this leave us with plenty of resources for other projects? Will this engage our resources well? Will our people be excited to work on this?
  4. Marketing
    Will this get us other clients / work?
  5. Size
    Is this a nice large juicy project? (Large projects tend to have less overhead and help with forward planning for the S&P)
  6. Confidence
    Can we handle this project with ease and confidence? (What makes you so sure?)
  7. Education
    Will we increase our skill-set or tool-chest through this project? Will this education be more valuable in the long term or the short term?
  8. Vision
    Do we think this project is a win for our client? Do we believe in their mission? Do we like them? Will we be able to help them achieve their goal?

For each item in the list rate the proposed project 1-5 where 5 is best. A perfect project will score 40. Consider this score when the project is complete to see how well it did. Consider this score while choosing and negotiating the project. A good negotiation will result in a high score.

This should give you a metric by which to measure your projects over time, a valuable tool for long term planning. A good habit too (which we will start doing now that I just thought of it) would be to measure a project once it is completed and compare it to your original grade. How accurate was it? If you have any major criteria area that we missed, please let us know in the comments! All help is highly appreciated.

Thank you to Eric for #7. That is a very valuable point.