{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "People who work 50, 60, 70+ hours a week: how do you do that without putting your project over budget? Are your engagements written to have a resource work over 40+hours a week? Are you spending over 10-30 hours a week on added non billable time? What are y’all doing with all of that time?!", "post_id": "5fe11a16de4c45001c1c12ea", "reply_count": 70, "vote_count": 3, "bowl_id": "552d1d24dc1c586b09d2d051", "bowl_name": "Consulting" }

People who work 50, 60, 70+ hours a week: how do you do that without putting your project over budget? Are your engagements written to have a resource work over 40+hours a week? Are you spending over 10-30 hours a week on added non billable time? What are y’all doing with all of that time?!

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Option 1) we don't actually bill what we're working... Option 2) we bill most/all of what we work, but some smoke and mirrors and re-arranging of the broader team structure can keep us on-track in terms of client billings and margin (most common for me) Option 3) it's all time and materials, so if we start trending over budget and it doesn't look like we'll have an opportunity to course-correct, we set RAG status to amber and have a budget conversation with the client Option 4) multiple engagements that collectively budgeted for me to be over 40 hours, so I'm working over 40 hours and no project budget is negatively impacted

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There's been a push recently for managers to scope work out more accurately and to also get clients to agree to hourly time and materials rather than fixed budget fixed fee jobs. Last two jobs I managed that was the case. The team booked whatever we worked. Our initial plan on the second one was to finish in three weeks, we did three and a half. Billed for everything. No pushback, billing went fine. I'm sick of eating hours. And I don't want the team to eat hours either. The only time this year we did was when there was a clear mistake on our final report, and we went into full on fact check mode.

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What I charge vs what I work are entirely different. The sad reality of consulting.

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We don’t bill over 40 a week to the client. I can work anywhere between 50-65 hour weeks, including actual client work and internal/BD work. While I think 50-65 is already a lot, I try not to go beyond 65 bc I do like to have a life outside of consulting.

We only bill 45... Nice try Dan

likefunny

Dan = Daddy D Consulting CEO

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It's called ghosting hours. I have been on projects where the team "bills what they work" and then the PPD who happens to be a service line leader emails the entire project asking to go directly to them "if you aren't able to complete your tasks in 40 hours so we can re assign the work to a resource who can"

likehelpful

Worse still is that you have to eat the hours and you cannot show up tired or under energized at a client site. Clients will complain (thinking that they are advocating for humane working hours) and it will reflect poorly in your review

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We don't bill hourly.

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We have to network internally to find work / get the work to flow to us.

We don’t bill by the hour

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BCG doesn’t bill hourly either. 44 hours will go to the case code and then the reminder will go to a shadow code. This is used to monitor red reports if people are working insane hours. Should add for junior staff utilization isn’t really a thing that will affect your work life . I’ve had huge gaps in beach time and got good ratings/generous bonus

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I see plenty of people on this app report working 60+ hours a week as the norm. First of all, sorry to those hardworking consultants. I feel for you! But I’m also so intrigued on what all of this time of spent on. I’m a tech consultant so I’ll bill crazy hours around something big like a go live but that’s definitely not my norm.

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8 hours client facing activities: meetings, workshops, interviews, teaching, coaching, relationship building, data updates & analysis, seeking new clients opportunities, etc, etc. 2-4 hours overnight prep/after hours problem solving. 1-2 hours email/slack responses, drafting/sharing pages to help out co-workers, internal meetings with mentors, mentees, sponsors & sponsored. 1-2 hrs contribution to Firm/practice, networking, knowledge sharing and platform/brand building. If you decide to exercise, eat, spend time with SO, family or friends, decompress, etc your day is extended. Some also schedule in ~2 hours of internal training per week.

Correct. Charge 45 or less. Reality

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So I’m going to be the dissenting voice here. I charge all of my billable hours. Usually around 45-50/week. However, that’s just billable hours. I generally work another 10-15/week on other items - go to market, recruiting, and solution development. I also encourage everyone to charge what they work and work what they charge, and monitor those over 50 closely. No one on my team has gotten “the talk” either by me or the partners.

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I would straight up start looking for a new job if I ever got close to working 45 hrs in a week, that’s just crazy

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Our contracts do not specify number of hours. We usually agree on a number of weeks and a deliverable within this timeframe. We just work as much as we need to in order to deliver what was agreed on scope (and sometimes out of scope too).

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Timesheets = 40 hours max. We work up to 80 hours a week depending on the engagement. PTO is based on timesheets not hours worked.

likefunny

Most likely to calculate days against each client charge code, and to calculate PTO

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Fixed rates

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We also don’t bill hourly

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One thing I’ll say is that I’ve been with firms who will preach the “bill what you work”, but then on the backend when it comes down to billing, the engagement lead or whoever is doing the billing to client has been instructed not to bill hours for anyone who billed more than 40. What happens is that your remaining hours, less 40, are written off and that can screw you over when it comes to your utilization. Double check how your utilization is being calculated.

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Happens at North Highland. Extra hours don't count towards utilization and when a person can't make the numbers, he/she is screwed with bonus and promotion. This is more due to ineffectiveness of management to staff people in proper roles vs networking or skillset.

Your salary doesn't change if you charge over 40 hours... so why would you ever charge over 40 hours to your client WBS code? That's literally just charging more to the client and hurting margin metrics internally. At PwC everyone's working 60-80+ hours a week (someone on my team claims 90) but charging 40 hours. Do you actually charge real hours worked?

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I'll also point out that most consultants are paid salary. So so long as the project isn't billed t&m (which is increasingly rare), project profitability is a bit of farce once you hit the 40 hr mark. If I'm paid a fixed salary of 100k it doesn't really impact profitability and my project has is a fixed fee of 20k for 1 month. It doesn't actually impact project profitability if I work 160 hours or 300 hours in that month. The firm still pays me 100/12=8.3k that month and receives 20k from the client. So long as you're utilized, it doesn't really matter. Granted, plenty of firms still calculate project profitability based on hours, but it's funny math

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I bill actuals. I send an e-mail estimating time to complete tasks to my management. If I roll off because the leadership mismanaged/is toxic, I’ll let my internal sponsor know to reach out to them so they can explain that one themselves.

I charge all of my hours.

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likefunny

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