Utilisation targets. The necessary KPI for a consultant. Yes? Or No?
The dark side of having targets.
Sales targets, for example.
You might only do activities that directly contribute to that number.
Such as running over your competition with your car.
Or running at them with an axe. 🪓
Kinder, more ‘value-creating’ long-term activities like building trust, relationship and alliances fly out the window – because it takes ‘too long’, and is ‘too difficult’.
Rewarding successful toilet training episodes with M&Ms only teaches the toddler to pee in “installments” for the reward. 🍫
Rewarding academic results creates a focus on the grades, as opposed to nurturing a true love for learning.
Rewarding a consultant for their utilisation rate (i.e. billable hours) focuses their attention only on activities that have a billable project code, and reject others – such as helping to mentor a new graduate or helping the sales team with pre-sales or marketing activities.
Yes – our billable hours are the widgets that impact the bottom line, and it makes sense that the higher the utilisation rate of your consultants, the more healthy your cashflow is.
But it pays to think about whether that target needs to be complemented by other incentives, in order to help grow the consulting business.
You want to build a high performing team of US, not a solo rock star that is all about ME ME ME.
Quality project delivery is a team sport.
Make sure the rewards align to that goal, or it will feel like you’re running a 3 legged race with an elephant*.🐘
*Is that even possible?!
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