Avoiding time wasting when taking on projects?


I would be very grateful to hear about other people’s experiences with these problems and what they do to mitigate the problems.

My projects are characterized by high complexity (several systems integrating), which often leads to various challenges that result in significant time wastage and inability to charge for my services. These challenges include:

1. Technical problems that are omitted from the client brief, which require significant effort to understand and often result in project delays or budget constraints.
2. Complexity that makes it impossible to complete the project within budget or timeline.
3. Unforeseen issues that are beyond my control, which may prevent the project from being completed.
4. Delay in accessing necessary information and resources due to the client’s slow response time.

Despite my best efforts, I face a couple of challenges:

1. The technical nature of my projects sometimes leads to negative reviews because there are no guarantees of success. As a result, my reviews suffer, whereas those who take on low-value, easy jobs receive 100% ratings.
2. I frequently end up doing a significant amount of work without receiving payment.”

Here are some potential solutions I’ve considered:

* Consider requesting that clients allocate 1-2 hours at the start of a project to audit it thoroughly and provide access to all necessary resources. While this approach could mitigate some of the issues I’ve faced, it may also reduce my available project opportunities.
* For fixed projects, it can be helpful to include an audit as part of the scope of work, but there’s a risk that it may not progress past this stage, potentially leading to negative reviews.
* To better manage client expectations and ensure that the necessary resources are available, I could provide clients with a document outlining the tasks they must complete before the project can begin, along with any relevant rules and policies. However, this approach may also increase the risk of negative reviews if clients fail to adhere to these requirements.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated.

Cheers Z

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