Could I Have Done That Job Better?

February 23, 2017

Could I Have Done That Job Better?

Finally you've reached the end of the project. The deliverables are delivered, the final presentation is complete and you've even been paid. On to the next one. But just before you do, do you ever ask yourself "Could I have done that job better?".

You know the answer of course. Yes, you could, you always could, no matter how good you thought it was. So how about taking some time to review each project you complete? Here are a few questions you might consider a few days after the end of the project, when the dust has settled a bit:

  • Did I complete it in the hours I allocated?
  • What went better than I expected?
  • What went worse than I expected?
  • What could I do to speed up my performance?
  • What did I find difficult or problematic?
  • What could I have done to make the project run more smoothly?
  • On a one-to-ten scale, how much did I enjoy the work?
  • On a one-to-ten scale, would I like to work with this client again?
  • On a one-to-ten scale, what was the value to me from doing this work? (Value in this case takes into account everything: finances, enhancement of reputation, access to future work, and so on.)
  • Overall, how do I rate my performance on a one-to-ten scale?

If you develop a questionnaire based on the above points and record your answers, it will be a great reference for the future because the same issues come up all the time. When you start a similar project a year down the line, it’s very useful to be able to remind yourself what slowed you down on a previous project, what you should have done but didn’t, and so on.

The other side of this equation is the client. No doubt you’ll want to follow up with your client anyway, but it’s worth getting his or her feedback. I suggest choosing an informal setting, such as over coffee or lunch. From the client’s perspective, what was good and not so good? How could it have been better? Record all this too.

The idea is that after every project you end up with a record you can refer to. On an ongoing basis, you can build in what you learned and become more effective. And what does that mean? Well, higher fee rates, more free time, more referrals, and a healthier forward pipeline of work. All that for an hour or two of analysis and soul searching has always seemed to be a good deal to me.

As a highly experienced consultant and author of “Consulting Made Easy”, Adrian assists consultants, or would be consultants, to achieve success on their terms in their own consulting businesses.  Adrian helps consultants increase their fee rates, find more clients, have more free time and have more fun.

If you are simply not sure what to do, or need some help and advice to improve your business success, contact me at adrian@adrianpartridge.com . We’ll jump on a call and I’ll help you diagnose the real issues and lay out your next best steps to take your business to where you want it to go.



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