On 12/18/06, Dawson Costelloe <costelloe at gmail.com> wrote: > They liked the initial proposal and ideas, and now want us to go on to > write a final proposal, which would include a LOT of work and a huge > amount of detail, as the project is very technical and not on the > small side. It sounds like you are getting into general system design, or even detailed system design. Putting aside for a moment whether this is actually a good idea (yes, the project is very technical, but beyond feasibility considerations, you probably should not be concerned with such details at this point), these are phases of a project which are absolutely chargeable. Our firm sometimes is involved in only these phases, and then the client passes design deliverables off to someone else to implement. > However, our new business manager was concerned when I suggested we > charge for the final proposal? Is this so wrong/strange? Do you > guys/girls charge for final proposal and if so how? how do you put > this to the client and work out the fee etc? Sounds like there is a conflict between the business and technical side of things. The business side is concerned that the project is not nearly "won" and that suggesting that the client be charged for this time will jeopardize your company's chances of getting to the table. The technical side is concerned that the project is highly complex and will require considerable effort to develop the type of solution proposal requested. (I also wonder why such a detailed proposal was requested -- it sounds like the business side is not doing their job to make the client confident in your company's ability.) Business: If asking for compensation for this work may jeopardize the negotiation situation, would that not be *further* argument for making sure all this work is not in vain and resulting in a total loss? Technical: If such a proposal is going to require that much effort, perhaps the scope of the proposal needs to be changed. I don't know your relationship with the client, but my guess is that it is far too early to say you understand their business. And if you don't understand their business, you're going to have a lot of assumptions. And if you make a lot of assumptions, you're going to end up with a design that does not meet their needs. It seems like this is a very high risk path, from both the business and technical sides. From the business, it sounds like there is high cost and relatively low chance of revenue. From the technical, it sounds like there is a lot of detail requested at a very early stage -- you will probably end up boxing yourself into something you can't deliver, or something that doesn't make sense to deliver. -- Matt Warden Cleveland, OH, USA http://mattwarden.com This email proudly and graciously contributes to entropy.