Fixed Price Technical Writers

How fixed pricing works

It's definitely not a back of the envelope hack

Writing documentation and procedures has lots of moving parts. We look for cashflow certainty before agreeing to a fixed price delivery i.e. can it be completed in a given window of time? Jobs that stop and start are better off being done on a time and materials basis. This is because billing for a fixed price job is based on meeting progress milestones and if a job stops and starts it will screw up our cashflow. Essentially the balance needs to be struck between meeting a client's desire for a fixed price and our certainty of cashflow. As fixed price quotes are inherently risky for us, I feel it is helpful to share what we look at when deciding whether we can offer this billing option.

Fixed Price Technical Writers

Can we ascertain exaclty what the deliverables are? We like to see exactly what you have on hand and to meet your SME and Project Team to talk through the project, expectations, deliverables, team communication options (DropBox/SharePoint or others) and team availability. These early meetings are charged on a time and materials basis while we work-up the fixed price quote.

What is the difference between fixed price and time and materials quotes? A fixed price quote identifies the payment for deliverables at given progress gates. Fixed price quotes are built with calculated workflow in mind. If the job is subject to stops and starts then a fixed price quote isn't suitable.

Agreed payment terms. As a small business cashflow is vital to our survival and so we need to ensure that the deliverables are clearly defined so that we can invoice and receipt on a predictable schedule.

Has the deliverable got a realistic chance of being completed without holdups? This is the first thing we consider because disruptions means more time is spent on administering the gathering of information.

How available is the SME (Subject Matter Expert)? By the time the training and documentation is ready to be written the SME is the busiest person on the project. But if the SME isn't available nothing can move forward. Why, you ask. Well, if the SME isn't available who can share the business rules, sort through suitable examples, explain the desired outputs and answer questions? The impact of an overly committed SME for a fixed price quote is upward because you can't be sure that the job will proceed smoothly.

Are the topic areas finalised or are you still working on them? For example, if we are documenting a process is it locked down or does it need to be worked through? If it is locked down we can simply document and deliver the draft, otherwise with the likelihood that the topic areas will grow we will opt for time and materials.

Can the drafts be submitted and returned based on an agreed schedule? As with all the other points, predicatbility of delivery, acceptance and payment are essential for a fixed price quote. Some clients have a complicated approval process which means drafts can take a month or so to turn around. If this is the case we will opt for time and materials billing.

We hope this answers your questions, but feel free to contact us to work through your job.

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