On 1 April 2015 colleague Peter Wolf of Azamba Consulting Group posted this very personal story on his return to timesheets.
As 1 April occurs 365 days of the year for many professionals with Peter's permission his amazing story is worth reposting in full.
"After years of being on the fence, I have decided to go back to timesheets full-time. I have found that it is impossible to manage my team effectively without being able to account for every last minute. And, really, let's face it, my team isn't the trustworthy sorts so the timesheets allow me to monitor every last move that they make.
It is a bit inconvenient that I have to spend 8 - 12 hours per week reviewing and approving timesheets but I think we are stronger for it. It's not like I had anything better to do with that time anyway.
For what it's worth, my clients are applauding this de-evolutionary move. Particularly since I have switched to time tracking and billing each minute. The level of precision helps the customer know that they are being billed for exactly the time that we spend on their account - and not one minute more like those greedy bastards who bill in six minute intervals.
To help ensure my profitability, I have understandably fired most of my senior, knowledgeable team members. It just doesn't pay to have a highly paid resource rushing through their work and producing quality results as a sad side effect of their years of experience. I am finding junior level people strike the right balance between high billable hours and fair levels of competency.
The other element that drove this decision was that our clients and employees were generally very happy under the fixed fee, firm of the future model. That was, of course, unacceptable. How can you improve if everyone is happy? Ridiculous to even think about.
I'm confident with our new model, we have resolved that problem and we can look forward to more opportunities to improve client and employee satisfaction while discussing the appropriateness of each minute presented on every bill.
I hope many of you will join me in this move to kill off the firm of the future. After all, why live in the future, when we can live in the present or, better still, the past? I believe we can all agree things were better years ago. Why, when I was a child, I could go to a movie for $2 and have a candy bar for a nickel. Isn't that better than what we face today?
It just makes sense, doesn't it?
Sorry, Ron Baker - but I'm putting you out of work. The good news is that I'm looking for entry level consultants. No skills required."
It really does make perfect sense doesn't it and Peter deserves all the success that will no doubt come with his innovative back to the future approach.