Our Consulting (professional services) team can be engaged in two standard ways:
- A Time and Materials engagement (T&M) is a standard approach for product development or any other services in which our customer agrees to pay Sensei based on the time spent to perform work. T&M is generally used in projects in which it is not possible to accurately estimate the size of the project, or when it is expected that the project requirements and priorities are likely to change. With T&M, the risk in the time taken to deliver an outcome is worn by the customer. Estimates provided as part of a scoping exercise are just that – estimates. If time taken to deliver an outcome is shorter than estimated, then the customer can experience savings on their investment. If the outcome takes longer to achieve than originally estimated, additional charges are likely to be incurred. As such, Sensei does not warrant that an outcome or deliverable will be reached within a certain time period under a T&M engagement model. This applies to defect resolution as well – the time taken for a deliverable to reach a certain level of quality is chargeable to the customer. Our project leader will work closely with you to ensure all potential charges are highlighted well in advance.
- A Fixed Price engagement is a type of contract where the agreed investment does not rely on the effort expended; rather it depends on a clearly documented and agreed scope of work. In a fixed price engagement, the risk is accepted by Sensei. We almost always include an allowance for contingency to cover unforeseen circumstances during the project. Additionally, Sensei always includes a full time Project Lead in charge of managing the approved scope, as well as potential changes to the scope. If additional scope items, or changes to scope, are required, this is managed as a Change Request, often resulting in additional commercial coverage from the customer.
Our consulting team implements projects. As such we need to work within the constraints of a project regarding time, cost, scope and quality. The industry standard refers to this constraint management as a Project Management triangle (called also the Triple Constraint, Iron Triangle, or Project Triangle).
The idea behind the project triangle is that if you want to reduce or increase one of the dimensions of the triangle, there are implications on the other dimensions.
For instance, if you want to increase the scope of a project, you should consider the potential increases in cost or time, or decrease in quality.
You won’t be able to simply increase the scope without any changes to cost, time, and/or quality. You also typically can’t cut costs of a project without impact to scope, time or quality.
In practice, trading between constraints is not always possible. For example, throwing money (and people) at a fully staffed project can slow it down. In either case, your Sensei team will clearly communicate with you throughout your project, allowing you to manage your constraints as well.