Archive for January, 2008

Project management and value billing

January 29, 2008

Professionals tend to ignore the key factor behind the client’s perception of whether fees are reasonable: the way the risks in a project (matter) are handled and the results achieved.

Project management is not just a claims prevention tool. It is also a quality management tool.

But how can a matter which potentially has many strands be managed effectively, on a fixed budget (at a profit)? Well, if builders can do it, why can’t lawyers and accountants.

If you know what is involved in the project and can complete it at a fixed cost, thus removing the unknown hourly cost risk from the client’s concerns, why not do so? You don’t have to time bill everything.

Ron Baker from VeraSage explains in this post a good way of approaching project management for complex matters.

If  what he says sounds attractive then read his other posts on value billing especially this one about Australian accountant Matthew Tol.

Starting a solo practice

January 4, 2008

I started this blog because there weren’t many resources for solos around.

So the publication of Carolyn Elephant’s Solo by Choice is noteworthy.

Her My Shingle blog is a great advocate of the views of solos.

Canada’s Wise Law Blog also has a detailed post on Starting a Law Firm.

Technology update: are you taking advantage of 2008?

January 4, 2008

Effective use of technology means that small office and home office professionals can match (and outgun) their big firm counterparts. But not doing something puts you at risk.

Take some time from the slow holiday season to rethink your risk management and work effectiveness.

For example, hanging on to an out of date PC can not only slow you down. It can put you at risk of a crash and loss of time and data.

So I recently retired a PC I was using that had been struggling along with 256MB of memory (Hint: keep expanding memory as it is one of the cheapest and effective ways of improving performance). I replaced my Dell with an Acer Veriton L460 with 2gb of memory. At the same time I increased the memory on another PC from 512MB to 1gb and on a notebook to 1.5gb.

I’m reviewing my back up procedures and have done a general clean up and office redesign.

Here are some of the articles I referred to:

Tech Greats for ’08

How to set up your new computer

And some great home office articles:

Home office update

Home office warrior

Designing a new home office

BONUS: Digital marketing for modern firms (David Maister)