Why isn’t there a better way to produce scope of work estimates?

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We at The Virtu Group have been asking the question, “Why isn’t there a better, more efficient and informed way to produce a scope of work estimate”.

Putting together a scope of work can be a painful and time-consuming process.  The current agency process involves spreadsheets and email and what is produced is based on a mix of past experience, individual opinion, best guesswork and what you think the client will be willing to pay. And, even after lengthy discussion and agreement, the costs and hours that have been so painstakingly assembled are subject to drastic revision or outright veto by an MD or CFO.

It’s an art, not a science.

It’s based on hunch, not fact.

The consequences of this ad hoc approach are all too familiar. Clients have no idea whether they are getting good value for money, so there’s constant pressure to cut costs and threats to move to a cheaper option. Procurement departments get involved, who can sometimes have little or no vision beyond “make it cheaper”. There’s a lack of trust. Budgets are cut to the bone. Staff work increasingly long hours to meet project requirements and profitability suffers.

It feels bizarre that in 2015, so far into the information revolution, that this is actually still the way things work. It’s antiquated that such an analogue process is used in a world long since gone digital. It’s the only process that is still conducted “in the dark”, without commercial rigour.

We at The Virtu Group believe it’s time this changed.