Andy lagan it’s just like everyone that I want to see and the rest you guys okay so I’m going to dive in real quick so we can spend most of the time kind of looking at spreadsheets so this is a session you’re in a session about google spreadsheets lots of fun and the google spreadsheets and tools that we use at think shout to be able to actually know what the heck we’re doing so a little bit more about us and think shout think shots based in Portland Oregon were about four and a half years old at this point it was started by me and left sipping my business partner levas our CTO I’m our CEO I managed more the sales marketing strategy side of the shop and then he managed our development team so again four and a half years old we started out just with the two of us like lab and I did the traditional thing just two independent contractors seven each other out for about a year decided that you know it’s a lot like getting married starting a business if you’ve done that with a business partner like we just kind of recorded each other we got a prenup in place all that stuff and then decided to pull the trigger we just started out with we each put 500 bucks and a bank account and we were profitable on day one which is really awesome with Drupal you know like you can really if you have some customers you can just start billing and there’s really not a lot of overhead to get started really fun so now we’re a team of full of 20 folks full time on site I think by the end of the year will probably be like 26 we’re starting a couple new initiatives and some new kind of support services and I’m growing so we’ve done a lot of open source stuff like everybody else in this room i’m sure there’s about 50,000 websites running on our code you’ve probably used some of our modules MailChimp module chimps rad Red Hen CRM our native CRM for Drupal bat Salesforce sweet we rewrote that for Drupal 7 and a lot of other stuff out there leaflet module stuff like that and and then about a year ago now we were ranked the ninth fastest growing company in Portland Oregon which was really pretty cool so what I want to kind of talk about is the tools that we’ve used to kind of I think and it’s a little presumptuous for me to say this and so please hold me accountable and question me and all that but like this stuff that we’ve done to kind of jump to that I don’t know kind of mid lemme dear sighs if you took kind of the averages of Drupal shops we kind of like a lot of folks I don’t want to say stalled out because we were doing really innovative work and hiring great people but we kind of had a hump there around employee number like 10 to number 17 where there was kind of a lot of churn and it was kind of an awkward phase for us it was kind of like our teenage phase you know now I’d say that we’re like really arrogant freshman’s in college but like in our teens there we really kind of made a lot of mistakes and I think probably more important than anything we didn’t know what was going to happen at the end of it every month when we did billing like we knew intuitively oh yeah we’re profitable we’re doing fine like we’ve got tons we have we have the right cash reserves like everything’s stable we’re a stable healthy company but it was kind of this guessing game at the end of the month like the day before building went out to say what was our effective billing rate for this month how much you know what was the average our worth you know I knew basically what we were going to invoice and basically what our costs were so there’s never any concerns there but it was a little it’s a little weird to be running a company that’s based on building computer software and not know every single little detail so what we’re going to talk about our kind of the tools that we use hopefully they kind of take us to the next step and the stuff that’s allowed us actually scale really quickly this calendar year in a way that we find really sustainable so yeah so we’ll talk about that and then if you’re interested tomorrow just kind of promoting another session there is on the business track with this guy Kurt right here from form one and me and Alex from zip tech and Tracy from balance interactive a panel on how to grow your business as well so if you’re interested in kind of more than narrative side of things there’s some more sessions for that cool and like I said to other folks last time I’m going to say that when I show the spreadsheets they’re really hard to see because its protector stinks so please feel free to move forward and then feel free to leave at any not be held accountable for that so it’s totally okay to sit in front row and leave alright so what the problems were you know so I mean to be totally honest I kind of feel like in this sound again a little bit on the arrogant side but to be honest like I feel like anybody who has strong charisma and has like a vision and cares about what they want to do can probably build like a three to four to five to even ten person shop like Drupal is really popular right now if you’ve got spunk you can make it work but what I found is kind of what would that spunk and that what helps kind of folks like get these things started kind

of on the double edged sword is kind of the opposite side of what you really need to amend grow that company like it’s a different skill sets and sometimes that spunk can kind of get in the way so you know what I want to talk about is really kind of moving away from that intuitive decision making process that a lot of us who founded shops have started off with you know it’s how young shops work early staffing decisions it’s like can we hire this guy and like can can me and my business partner work enough hours into the evening to make sure that we can always hit payroll for that first employee regardless of whether or not we can build them you know so you can kind of just gut it and just kind of make things work probably some stuff if you’re a smaller shop you’ve encountered or a younger shop you know it feels like it’s always all hands on deck all the time if you want to specialize if you want to like innovate a lot of times you’re doing it at night you’re doing it on the weekends you know you’re working for your business all the time so you don’t have that time to really work on your business you know and any kind of sales and operations stuff that stuff you’re just boot strapping on the weekends and whatever you can you know so that’s kind of like the early days at least our early days so you know you get to this point where you start 12 wanting to track data some things that we’ve found in starting this that I think are useful points1 how many of you guys use a time tracking system like everybody good that’s a pretty important first step but you know when you start tracking data what our experience was is that there’s there’s there’s good metrics and meaningful metrics and then there’s really lazy metrics you know one of the metrics that we used a lot that is really lazy and what we found actually just in the last couple months we’ve kind of made a shift from it used to be that we track how many of you guys have your developers or your staff track all of their time like all 40 hours a week yeah so we were doing that and we were evaluating the success of developers based upon the lazy metrics we were getting there if somebody logged 42 hours a week every week they worked harder than somebody who logged 41 hours or who worked 39 hours you know and it was because we were just trying to have as much data as we could but if you think about it take a step back is that really meaningful like the fact that somebody did it somebody put a timer on on the weekend when they are doing some research and another person decided not to do that like is that really how you want to evaluate whether to stat how to staff are performing so we’ve made the shift and now we only track billable hours because we realized not that we realized that you know tracking the energy and enthusiasm and commitment of our staff isn’t important but just how long they had the clicker the the timer running wasn’t what was really going to track that you know because you get that situation where someone just leaves a timer running to go use the restroom you know like you don’t know like you can’t really know those level of details so trying to use that as information is lazy and probably doesn’t give you the best data are the best information so a couple other things yeah yeah right and you’re not capturing that if the only thing if you only have a chance to look at like five numbers and one of those numbers is total hours on your time tracking system are you really getting the information that you need so we’ve started to kind of question that the other thing is just kind of understanding what data is really good enough so you know we’ve had the pitfall of trying to work out some sort of big crazy tool to figure something out and it was overkill and we ended up just missing opportunities to see data sooner but then also on the flip side kind of recognizing what kind of information you need to actually say that you’re starting to see trends so um we’ve just been like kind of with agile like we’re not an agile shop necessarily we’re in iterative shop but just kind of iterating on the tools and the reports that we’re trying to do kind of the last kind of big learning that I’ve had and doing all this stuff is a prediction as part of measurement so when we build a tool like when I the spreadsheets i’m going to show you one of the things that’s been really critical for us is like use the tool predict the results that we’re going to get and then at the end of the month or whatever the reporting period is going back and reviewing that and that way I can actually see if the logic that we’re using if it’s if it’s really the right tool to figure out the information I want to figure out so kind of an overview of this tools that we’re going to show you and then we’re just going to dive into some really nerdy spreadsheets for a little while so kind of an overview of our system and our tools for tracking your business try them tracking tool how many you guys use harvest what else out somebody who’s feels really passionate about some other tool time tracking tool tell me what it is freshbooks with how many folks okay awesome yeah that’s really cool anything else that people really like zero tempo awesome okay toggle yeah awesome what we’re using okay teamwork cool okay yeah so we use harvest there’s no right answer there one thing that we like about harvest I’m skipping a bullet

point here is the new forecast app fork they bought I guess they bought forecast app calm and they’re rolling it in as an extra service forecast app like we haven’t used it in production admittedly but it’s a resourcing tool for staffing and it’s awesome it looks really awesome it looks like it’s really cool and show you if you have people over booked it combines that against your project budget so it’s actually we’re pretty excited about it and it might cut out a spreadsheet that we’ve been using and that’s really hard to work with so cool so time tracking the key thing resource allocation spreadsheet I’m not going to show you what that looks like because those are actually there’s a lot of ways to do that there’s two that I really want to kind of dive into in detail and one would be we have a billable hours matrix that we use and we’re going to dive into that and then what we call like an aggregated pipeline tool that allows us to kind of see allows us to forecast how much money we’re going to make a month from now two months from now and so forth so we’re going to dive into that and then putting it all together what sort of what we’re quickbooks online folks what other accounting stuff do you guys use zero okay awesome 0 we know it when I first looked at zero it seemed like it was better for folks in outside of you like it was actually better adoption it’s out of New Zealand right yeah that’s awesome ok 0 oh you do ok yeah we’ve kind of gone QuickBooks cuz accountants tend to you know be more familiar with it so we just saves us money on the account on the CPA side but that’s interesting any other tools eight folks were using for accounting stuff that’s been really useful just works ok I’m not familiar with that one cool ok yeah that’s me yeah it’s outside of the topic of this presentation we’ve also just as a quick tip we’ve adopted zenefits I don’t know if anybody’s using zenefits or heard of them zennie fits is awesome I mean it’s completely revolutionized our business so zenefits is a service as well as it’s a web app as well but more importantly a service that does benefits managing and it’s being it’s it’s a start up so they’re kind of have this IT feel and there’s a really great suite of tools but they basically they manage all of our all the procurement on health care all that stuff they provide a portal for at all it’s absolutely incredible in the safest ton of time that’s it yeah so check out zenefits it’s really great the CEO of the company and it’s like a 300 person company actually on boards all the customers directly I mean like their tools are that efficient it’s amazing it’s awfully personal cool ok so we’re going to dive into spreadsheets the last thing I kind of want to say with all of this and this has been useful kind of a concept for us as we’ve been rolling out these spreadsheets because obviously you know this these spreadsheets are really great tools for founders or you know executive staff but you’re probably going to be showing the staff or it’s really an impact your team and so you know there’s a lid of a risk when you roll out any kind of tool or kind of change your practices around tracking or managing expectations with your team so we’ve kind of had to develop if we’ve developed a messaging framework about that in a way of thinking about that with our staff to make sure that they understand what’s going on so this is just kind of you know everything that we’re doing in terms of reporting kind of comes back to these three things that we’re really trying to support internally and whatever framework whatever values you might have in internal values with your team it could be whatever you want but for us the idea of you know we’re really trying to balance innovation and clients customer success or client success with staff satisfaction so as we’re like adjusting and tinkering with all these things it’s all in service to this and so that way like we roll out a new policy with our team and it fails we can really kind of talk about that transparently with our team and and let them understand that this is the balance we’re trying to hit we’re not always going to hit it sometimes we’re going to be in more service to our staff we’re going to send a boatload of people to drupalcon even though it might not make the most sense business-wise we’re going to like or on the flip side we might have a couple weeks where we have to really push it and we’re going to skip staff lunches or skip sprints and we’re all going to work really hard on client stuff so having this in place really allows us to kind of implement solutions that are coming out of the data broken out that make sense what’s that Xena Fitz it’s like benefits but with a Z instead of a B zenefits calm cool all right so now we’re going to dive into some spreadsheets so I am at my twitter handle is I didn’t have a great way of doing this my twitter handle is Sean underscore Larkin more you can just find think shout on Twitter and there’s a link to this like so all of the materials that i have here and all the

spreadsheets it’s all in a Google Drive folder and it’s all available to you guys so please grab it take it manipulate it use it however you want to use it there’s no secret sauce so it’s all out there if you just want to find a link on twitter but just because i didn’t obviously want to use like actual client data or tell you exactly how much money we make or whatever so the spreadsheets have all been adjusted a little bit to use the mongolian torque has anyone ever used this currency i have not you have you were you were awesome i intentionally did not even look up the exchange rate anything like that it’s just a placeholder they had they had the coolest currency symbol and in google docs so we use it for that reason but so none of the stuffs all been abstracted it’s not real data there’s no like algorithm to try to figure out what it would be in real life but you’ll see that and we’ll dive into this so one last thing before we dive into this red sheets it’s how it sounds like really simple but for a long time like I couldn’t figure out why my forecasters weren’t all that great in terms of revenue stuff we do all of this forecasting and you’ll see it in here for the most part by week as opposed to buy month and that’s because there’s different numbers of business days in every month so your targets for each month should probably change on the revenue side maybe even on the costing side depending on how you things are set up so if you get confused as to have some of the equations work that’s kind of what’s going on there all right so we are going to dive in and get going here so cool one other thing that you’ll find in here that just really helpful a plug to some of that we don’t even work with these guys we were put on to them by the great folks here at four kitchens I know Lola bot uses them as well but summit CPA group they’re a virtualized CFO firm from what I hear they’re awesome yeah they’re really great and they’ve helped a lot of Drupal shops really kind of navigate complex you know shareholder arrangements and profit-sharing policies and all kinds of stuff like that but one thing they put out at the operations camp operations camp I also heard is really cool did you go oh yeah we should have hooked you out we had people their operations camp great conference it’s it’s more business operations but it also kind of touches on project management operations and stuff like that too but it’s a annual conference was just down in Louisiana but this came out of that so these are just some metrics that they recommend that you take or pay attention to if you’re running your business we won’t really run through this right now but just as a reference it’s something that might be interesting and it’s in the Google Drive cool all right so the two spreadsheets that I am kind of most proud of that you can’t see where the damn from way back there so again please feel free to come up this billable hours matrix and then in under what we’re calling like a pipeline report or under contracts so these two things work together this bill will ours matrix is like the core thing that we figure out what are reasonable expectations for our developers for our strategist for our designers in terms of what can we expect from them to do in terms of work for us so I’m going to jump the size up here a little bit again we’re using our mongolian currency so cool so and I’m going to walk you through this and then again like you grab a copy of this use it do whatever you want with it cool so the first thing that we try to figure out is kind of like what is our you know abstract profit margin that we want to hit for us it’s generally something between you know fifteen percent and you know maybe even like twenty-two twenty-three percent and a crazy big month where we will kind of want to catch up on stuff or really focus on client success so we kind of looked at that and then you know everything else here is trying to figure out well how can we support that goal while also supporting other internal goals that we have is our team so the core there’s a couple assumptions here and again just spreadsheet assumptions here you can adjust this this assumes in this case it costs us you know a hundred thousand Mongolian torques a month to pay our staff with our current size and our target effective billing rate is going to be 100 Turks per hour so this is an interesting thing what is effective billing rate so many people that define that really differently in our case here it s it’s kind of like average billing rate so all the hours that we’re working on client stuff what do we want the average our that’s serving clients are working on client projects to be worth okay some people yeah like I said some people call that average billing rate and then they use effective billing rate to include all hours that are non client related in this case this is just saying average averaged out for when we’re actually doing client work and then kind of what is your base number of hours per week

per staff so that’s kind of where we start here and then we go through our team for each role and I try to figure out what people are actually going to be working on and this is if you’ve ever tried to solve this this is a complex problem too when you talk about like effective you know the utilization it gets really confusing what people call you ization when they’re talking about their staff so for us we have like a maximum utilization and then a realistic utilization because community and mainly we have these two distinctions communicating around these expectations to staff is really difficult you know if you tell staff it’s really kind of confusing when you tell staff hey if you work 40 hours this week we want you to do 32 or 35 or Wow ever many billable hours you have well then what happens when there is a vacation day like does that change number of billable hours and so forth so like it gets really confusing as how you talk about this stuff with your teams so we kind of broken out both options here so each staff by position you know we’re assuming that they work 40 and 40 hours a week and then we say okay you know on a 40-hour week if they only did client work what’s a realistic expectation so if they are not taking vacation they don’t have a conference in all of that you know for this role for this designer role I’m assuming that you’re going to work 32 billable hours that week and then you kind of go through each of these staff people project managers if you’re like us your project managers are having more context which is so you expect on a 40-hour week that they’re probably not going to be the bill as much because they’re as a developer because they’re not heads down working so we kind of run through that and that gives us kind of in that kind of ideal situation how many billable hours could we possibly hit in a week so with this team here that’s kind of got three unbuildable staff on it and nine billable staff that are all billing different different amounts because they have different roles we’re assuming that they could do like 300 and just shy of 350 hours so that’s kind of the course high level stuff in terms of how we talk with our staff but the reality is that we have people that are doing a lot of different things and we have senior engineers who we want to do presentations at drupal cons and maybe our junior engineers have other stuff that we want them to prioritize so you know we’re not asking them we’re not investing and then doing speaking engagements quite yet you know they’re really focused on developing their own skills so here we’ve kind of broken out and this could be different for anybody for all of our for anybody here what are the realistic things that we’re looking for them to do each week based upon the roles and their interests and so forth so these are kind of the big buckets that we’re using again isn’t translating the time tracking but just in terms of expectation management you know management responsibilities for people who are leading teams you know there’s a couple folks who might have that and so forth and this allows us to say okay on average looking at vacation time and pto and all this other stuff that we know we’re going to have drupalcon the nonprofit technology conference whatever it might be what what can we actually expect on a reason on an average week in terms of the billable hours at this team this team is producing so there’s a big gap there you know if everybody was just working and not taking pto 350 hours but knowing that people do take pto and they should probably about two hundred and seventy eight hours so so that let’s just kind of really kind of get a bigger picture of what is actually going to happen in our business so down here in this part what we’re doing here is we’re just projecting out okay we know what our costs are we know what our salaries we want our salaries to be we know how much people can work what could we expect in this scenario in terms of profitability in these two scenarios the ideal everybody’s crank in 40 hours and then the realistic people taken vacation and so forth so that allows us to kind of sanity check okay well if all this stuff is working the way we think it is and our costing is right we can expect under this scenario to get about sixteen percent profit margin and the realistic scenario of having folks actually take vacation and so forth and then we can kind of play with that you know so if we want to pump that up then we could make a business decision well you know what some of these unbuildable tasks here like team sprints and set it in Sprint’s every every month we’re going to do a sprint every other month and that might allow us to get more billable hours out you know out the door each week and pop that and bump that profitability margin up or on the flip side if that margin is like because of your equation is working out to be like twenty percent profitability well maybe maybe you need to focus more on long-term innovation as a marketing strategy and start including more meaningful Sprint’s with your team take you know a day every month off or every other month off with your team to work on some open source project that that isn’t client related so that make sense cool so kind of having to figure this out it allows us to actually start doing some forecasting for what we can expect

for the rest of the year so i’m assuming on this spreadsheet here that we’re starting out in january and looking at the whole year so what we have here and all these spreadsheets are all in tabs are all interact interactive obviously is pulling over from that that matrix that i had here’s that team that we have right here this is what their monthly targets are and then this is um you know showing what we can expect each month and what this allows us to do that is an ugly spreadsheet right there is a start to get a sense of what sort of what growth might look like if we start hiring a different folk additional folks so for us we just kind of kept it really granular here and assume that you know average engineer it’s like how many people were going to hire over the course of the year this is not real we’re going to hire a different strategy but just kind of the show you okay well let’s say in June we hire another developer then and then we’re in July let’s hire designer and then a femur and then another engineer and that allows us to kind of get a sense of well what what are the total billable hours that we can expect in this growth scenario for the course of the year this variance right here and this deviation is kind of like allows us to kind of worst-case scenario stuff you might not need this we’ve just kind of find found it helpful to like in terms of managing expectations to kind of think about well certain months maybe we know that we’re probably going to decide to do some strategic open source contributions or send a bunch of people at conferences so maybe a job being able to kind of adjust down or up each month in a way that we know it’s going to be but again that allows us this allows us to kind of forecast well how many billable hours are going to have this whole year if this scenario works and then you know given that effective billing rate or that average billing rate what can we expect in terms of revenue with this growth pattern that we have here and this kind of allows you to start playing with it and we’ve actually used this in practice kind of like we’ll get more specific and be like well we know we’re hiring buddy next month but they start mid month you know so actually just saying they’re not they’re not an expense for that full month they’re not going to build for that full month they’re only going to build for half of it or being able to say well we’re hiring a junior person and they’re going to have some ramp up time so let’s kind of get specific about the hours that they’re going to provide and that allows us to kind of get a sense for what our total revenues are and then down here just because we can we can start to just kind of do some month to month over tracking to see how well this model is working for us so where it gets interesting is actually been translating this to profit doesn’t really matter how much revenue you make I guess it doesn’t some some ways but start thinking about profit here so this is again just kind of linking off the last spreadsheet this is our current base those 14 staff you can see this number goes up just i just added a little multiplier saying that you know obviously the staff we currently have they want raises bastards and so assuming that you know that base that base salary is going to go up and then looking you know this is really course but looking at what are our additional costs if we start bringing on these other developers that allows us to get kind of what our projected costs are and then compare that to our revenue to kind of get a sense of kind of predicting what what our profitability would be for the year in these different growth scenarios so it makes sense cool so you can kind of see with how that impacts you know what your forecast would be for that year if you if you hit those targets and then this last tab and this one is the most kind of arcane and I don’t really know a great way of doing this stuff yet I’d love to talk to somebody else who has incredible sales metrics and forecasting and stuff like that but what kind of a pipeline do we want to maintain a sales pipeline do we want to maintain to be able to hit these revenue targets so here are those revenue targets that have been bumped this one up here are the revenue targets that we brought over from the second tab and then you know what size pipeline do we want to maintain to be able to hit that and this is where it’s kind of a weird it’s not as a pseudoscience essentially you know because just because you have something in your sales pipeline you’re not going to obviously that doesn’t translate to revenue that month you know so this is kind of me guessing around saying well you know I really want this pipeline to reflect the revenue goals that I have next quarter or three months down the pike so you know uh hoops that’s not a good number what kind of revenue goals would I what what how big do I want that sales pipeline to be and and how do I actually kind of want to wait the value of that pipeline knowing that is not all going to close so does that make sense cool so this is again like this is what this tool here this bill will ours matrix is what we use that kind of like do the

theoretical work to kind of figure out what our goals are and again you know the goals change and you can adjust them you know you might decide over the summer like summers are going to be when we really innovate Drupal eights coming out so we know okay this summer we’re probably going to reduce the number of billable hours that we focus on so that we can have better Drupal 8 preparedness and then you know in the fall we’re going to crank it back up and really focus on client work and this stuff is important again in terms of messaging to your team because they want to understand what the logic is in terms of the decisions that you’re making as a business owner or as a team manager they want to understand that there is some sort of logic going into those decisions so it does it feel arbitrary cool all right so this is my pride and joy the thing that I love the most of anything that we use in our company it’s what we call an under contracts spreadsheet our team our project managers Marcy can tell you over there would probably spend you guys spend 15 20 minutes on this every day yeah so it’s like three it’s got like four or five people updating this thing kind of threw out like kind of asynchronously all the time we tried to think of other tools for this and I hate using a google spread like having so much of the business based on a single google spreadsheet but like we just couldn’t find anything that work so the problem that this spreadsheets trying to solve is how do i figure out like i said at the Ted of the that’s the start of this how do I figure out how much money I’m going to make next month you know so I know that I’ve got like you know I don’t know 15 projects or five projects whatever that number might be and because you know business this business I gotta negotiate different rates for different customers some people are at a historical rate some people are at a new rate some projects have technical debt you know so that’s kind of pulling down the effective billing rate on that project like how do i actually know it’s you know it’s it’s May twelfth right now how do I know how much money I’m going to make this month you know so so that’s what this thing is intended to try to solve and then beyond that like you know three months from now what how much money I’m going to make three months from now I got the same I got some projects that are going to be finished by then I’ve got stuff in the sales pipeline that might be at maybe were doing awesome and so we’re gonna we have stuff in the sales pipeline at a much higher rate or maybe like I’m a little desperate three months from now and so you know or I want to take on something that’s technically risky because it’s a really cool project and let me do a technology that I want to play with so I know that there’s probably going to be some technical debt on a project that I’m that’s probably in a closed and the next month and that will start three months or now how do I figure out do I have the right suite of current project support projects and new business so that’s what this spreadsheets trying to solve so it starts out with a tab that’s just every single contract every single opportunity that’s on the board and it might actually be stuff that’s closed out too so this first tab here gets really long for us so I’ll show you that kind of a high level here and you can you don’t know what the heck’s going on from that view but essentially it’s every contract and then a bunch of parameters about each one of them we do not work with the major league baseball but just as an example here so we have a line for each of these the other thing that this does is what we found is that actually the spreadsheet everybody on our team everybody who’s managing projects pretty much everyone but the development team or the design team uses this tool all day long because the other thing that we found that it does is it’s just like kind of the one document of record like how many of you guys have at this point in your business have like probably some Google Drive folder that has like a hundred contracts in it you know like how do you know how to find them you know like you try to do naming conventions and then business development people were terrible at naming conventions we throw stuff all over the place so how do you actually keep all that stuff straight to know what contract you’re working on so we came up with a contracting naming convention here and this translates to harvest harvest has really great project codes these these client codes this is kind of our document of record for client codes client clothes are really easy to implement in QuickBooks it allows us to kind of actually have everything on the right naming convention here so our contract IDs here it took a lot for the Nerds to get the biz dev people to be cool with this but the naming convention here you can’t really see it but it’s the client code then there’s an m4 the mast you know the master services agreement that we’re working under so you know that the MSA that we’re using the scope of work the esso w has a naming convention and then this last part here the sea and then the zeros that’s change orders so that allows us to actually have kind of like our own Dewey Decimal System they kind of track like okay this project is a change order but it’s a witch scope of work and then which master services agreement do I go back to if I need to kind of understand the contracting terms that allows us to

kind of see how that stuff works out you know this is just a link to the to that document in Google Drive the link to the harvest project so this is the idea here is that any time we bring on a new project manager or account manager they can just use this form here and nowhere to go to actually figure out what’s going on that was like when I talk about that awkward stage like we had a project manager leave I think we have to project managers leave behind the size of like you know from being 12 to being like 20 and those are incredibly expensive transitions for project information but also just account information like how do you figure out what change order that p.m. kind of got sign off on and all of that so this allow this document allows us to manage that and again for each of these line items what is it is a scope of work is it a master services agreement like so not you know is it a change order it’s just a support contract or is this a proposal that we’re managing and what’s cool here too if variables in google and google docs are awesome i can actually just define these pick lists and a spot here I don’t have it turned on now because I wanted you to be able to use this tool but Google Docs actually has a really great new cell protection like to be able to have certain tabs or certain ranges actually be protected so this way you can kind of like your admin you can set this stuff up let your project managers use it but there’s certain stuff that you know that they can’t accidentally hit a keystroke and kill everything so I kind of manage what these these tabs are what these pick lists are but we have our you know type our status you know so this is this an active project is it in sales is it on hold is it completed is it a deprecated meaning that like we add the scope of work and then we gave it to the client we have a copy of it in Google Drive but it’s not the one we’re working off of or you know we actually even use it for like managing sales metrics like did we lose the project where did we disqualify the lead all of that so that we can do a lot of reporting on this am’s and pm’s this is kind of become our document of record to figure out wait we’ve got like for project managers and like three account managers who the heck is responsible for this project like as you grow it gets more and more difficult to think about all that and keep it all in your head percentage likelihood to close this is going to come in when we talk about sales stuff date we want it date we started it date we completed it the contract value which in most cases is I’m going to drop the size here just a little bit we’ll still see it okay contract value which is going to be you know billable hours under contract times billable rate unbuildable hours under contract so this has actually been really helpful to we were struggling with like not all of our contracts are set up the same way we’d love it if it was just like we negotiated rate everything’s billable but sometimes you have cotton you know clients where you need to have certain line items we listed as unbuildable or we’ll donate this feature so how do you actually manage that you know some projects it’s like flat it’s flat rate other projects it’s a rate plus a you know a discount of ours and features and stuff like that so this kind of allows us to kind of normalize all of that when we get into this looking at support work like what’s the max velocity that we can work on our project you know as this contract set up so we can only do 10 hours a month of support and then what are we actually tracking what have we actually tracked against these contracts and harvest so this is admittedly a bit of a pain in the butt to actually have to go through this and update what the actual czar and harvest to to know kind of like okay well we have this contract for a hundred hours we’ve done 50 hours how many hours we have left what’s the value of this contract moving forward so there’s a little bit of a pain in the butt Marcy would you agree whatever Marcy does this stuff you know it’s a little bit of a pain but the one thing that we’ve done just to kind of make it a little bit easier it’s like so we had these reports and then we would say we would actually just have a different one like we would change the data the report to say okay let’s do this all at once but what’s interesting is when you get a lot of project managers they can’t all just like do this on the same day at the same time so we’ve kind of and again it’s it’s a little old-school to have to be doing this but we have this date checked value in here that says okay this is the last time that this line of this spreadsheet has been looked at and that allows us to do updates to this spreadsheet asynchronously you know different people can touch it anytime they want throughout the week and we can kind of take trap pay attention to that so this is just a date field and what’s kind of cool about it is that we have this conditional format are in there and Google Spreadsheets just format conditional formatting that says if the date checked is not within eight days show that line item is read show that contractors read so this for me as a

manager is that it sounds silly but it’s like a huge thing that have that in there because I can look at the spreadsheet and if I see a lot of red it means that the data is probably not the data is a little stale so it’s just kind of this visual indicator to me that okay like I’m not using the most recent data I want it obviously there’s obviously for us there’s always going to be some amount of red in the spreadsheet can’t update everything all the time but this way I can kind of see Oh am i working with good data or bad data and i can again i can figure out what my tolerance is for bad data in terms of the decisions i’m trying to make so this is kind of the data side here so this is everything sales you know we have another conditional format or if something’s in sales it automatically just turns to green if it’s been completed we just kind of have it you know greyed out but this is everything so and for our copy of this we’ve been using this for about two or three months this tab here is big it’s like you know there’s hundreds there’s probably a hundred lines on it at this point but again it kind of surfaces the stuff we needed the surface with sorting and stuff so where it gets really cool is actually the the spreadsheets that deal with this data so pretty much the only thing that our staff touches is this first tab and everything else is just getting calculated for us and it’s just providing reports so there’s this cool function in google spreadsheets that I’m hiding here the filter function in google spreadsheets it’ll actually do dynamic filters so so essentially what this filter is doing here is it’s actually creating an entire list from that initial proposal of all of the contracts that are that are listed as active so it’s pulling this data here and it’s just pulling in that data straight away from the other tab and filtering the data that I want to see does that make sense so I hide all of that because it’s not really useful and then this is all calculations based upon this is all just doing some calculations based upon what I’m seeing there and the longer the short of this thing is it allows me to say these are all the stuff that we have under active project this is not support work this is not sales work these are just builds like feature development you know new features whatever we have like a scope of work for or and a project plan and a budget it grabs all of that and what it does is it says okay for everything active given what we’ve updated here and the other tab from harvest I’ll make this big because it’s what do we have left to do you know and again this was one of those things that like every time I wanted to figure this out before the spreadsheet I’d sit down in a coffee shop for like four hours and i go through every single and every single project in harvest on a piece of scrap paper and I would try to figure out what this meant I never knew it was like such a pain that I probably did that only like once a quarter so I didn’t really have good insight it was all just intuitive so this is saying in this scenario given everything that we’ve recorded and done here’s the billable hours we have available for us this technical debt this has also been something that’s been incredibly helpful so going back to that contracts and proposals I have a column that says what do I predict as of today is the technical debt that I’m going to need to do for this project that I’m not going to get paid for to make everything work you know that’s a good question everybody kind of defines it differently for us it would be the clients on I’m going to be happy unless we do these ten hours and we’re not going to pay for you know it could be other stuff i mean so for us it’s like it harvest it depends a lot a lot of the stuff has to get adapted a tool which kind of stinks but like harvest with kind of the way that the billing stuff goes we just found the easiest thing was to have our rates per project we do a blended rate if you do if you do a rate card this stuff i don’t know how you’re going to do this stuff that’s just I Kurt maybe you guys have this stuff with a rate card I don’t know like predicting yeah no just in general like if you’re doing like how do you know like how many hours you have available at the different rate card rates yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah and those are you guys have 100 + people at different different types of problems different types of oh yeah okay yeah so different types of problems but for us with the blending rate that’s kind of works so yeah so it’s just how many hours are going to need to do you know like we know we finish this we know we’re have a time of materials contract but like goodwill is not going to be saved unless we do some extra work and obviously we’d love for that to be 0 but that’s just never the case you know it’s not realistic it’s not no it’s like it’s a we put a junior developer on this and they messed up a CSS thing and we’re not going to build a

client for it and so but this is also something that we act this number right here is huge for us because it kind of just lets us say this is all the technical debt because then the next decision that’s outside of the spreadsheet is I’ve got 50 hours of technical debt that I’m not going to get paid for how do I manage that in terms of cash flow and client expectations you know so that’s a whole nother conversation about how to manage that but like that number basically or this number is also helpful when I’m trying to negotiate a new sales contract and again it’s some project using some cool technology and I know I’m not going to get billed for all of it and I want but I really want that engagement so I’m going to give something away how much can I give away given the amount of technical debt that I have moving forward that I know i have to give away so that aggregate numbers helpful technical debt outstanding work the value of all the outstanding work again this is saying how many hours versus the rate that I’m probably going to get paid in reality for this work and that’s kind of that’s the order of these is a little off i just realized but that’s kind of shaking the effective billing rate and multiplying it by the outstanding work so again I’ve kind of got a color coding conditional field here these numbers here these effective billing rates if it drops I have a threshold of a hundred Mongolian currency pieces for this if it drops below that it turns red and that is an owner I look at this number right here all the time and I’m trying to figure to figure out I’m sorry I jump spreadsheets but to figure out again like am I in trouble and are we dropping below the effect of billing rate that we need to be able to hit our revenue goals and if I am that means well maybe I need to have some more uncomfortable conversations with some clients to say hey like we just this isn’t a month where this isn’t a month or a two month period as I spill everything all over my computer where we can afford to do a lot of unbuildable extra work you know or or vice versa you know maybe you you know these these conversations aren’t static like the way you obviously the way you approach conversations with customers about do stuff outside a contract changes some months you might have you might be doing great and so you’re like you know what this month we’ve been cranking out billable hours I’m going to have a higher tolerance for a customer saying hey could you just do me a favor and do this extra feature here and not bill me for it you know this gives us a framework for that so again this is for our active projects and what’s been helpful what’s helpful here is actually saying these having two separate lines here one is what is their effective billing rate for all of our outstanding work so all the contracts that we have the amount of work we’ve done is the amount of work we’ve done just moving forward what can I expect a bill and then related to that but different is what is the effect of billing rate on those contracts so including the work under those contract the open contracts including the stuff that we’ve built already those are two different data points there right and it’s helpful in different decisions with different decisions to be able to see either one largely this this one’s the most important how much money I’m going to make everything’s done up till today how much money can I make moving forward so that’s active projects again we have a similar tab here for support work this one admittedly I don’t understand the exact science to this this is one of those tabs that like we’re iterating on trying to figure out and forecast support work has been something that’s been really tricky for us not a big portion of what we do probably represents about twenty percent of our business at this point it where it supports a totally different beast you know so in this case I don’t think I don’t know I’m just trying to get some data and then going to go from there so on this one you know where I’m not going to talk too much about this one cuz it’s not great but like you know trying to look at this is basically got some rough algorithms and here to look at okay well historically how many hours have we build on average for the for the support contract you know we set up our support contracts generally like not to exceed we don’t do retainers but it’s like not to exceed 10 hours a month or in 20 hours a month over 50 hours a month and then we kind of try to figure out well you know on the one hand you know if we’re really good at kind of being proactive with a customer like we might be able to build more hours under that support contract because that we might be able to identify things that they want or you know figure stuff out and really push you know so you know we we at we know we have a max that we can’t a cap that we can’t go over every month but we can hit that cap there might be other times where you know we have a cap but a client just doesn’t ever hit it their sites really stable they don’t have a lot of feature requests so you know the cat might be 10 hours but in reality we’re doing security updates every month and it’s like two hours of work you know so what we’re trying to do here is kind of figure out what’s what’s our average velocity you know what’s our max velocity daily and then you know for a projected period you know going through this date and I just have it through the end of q1 like how many business days are there what’s our

averages what’s our max and then try to have this spreadsheet kind of figure out well what what could we build under this and then what’s kind of a realistic scenario for that does that make sense this this tab admittedly like every organization is different I haven’t nailed this one but it represents about twenty percent of the business so I’m not if it’s off by a 50-percent like it’s not throwing off all of our numbers that badly so just kind of a predictive one the sales pipeline this one as a sales guy I love and spend a lot of time in so again this is just going back to that contract spreadsheet pulling in the percentage likelihood the clothes for these projects from that other tab from that first tab the likelihood of stuff to close and then what is the actual weighted value of your sale of our sales pipeline we we we just have some kind of internal not even written down kind of just rules of the road you know it’s kind of we have a sales meeting every week and our sales team kind of sits down and we just kind of play we kind of play poker on it to figure out what it is different folks have more more kind of robots categorizations on that and if you use like pipe drive or one of those some of those project products they’ll they’ll actually have stages that are set you know so if a project’s been submitted and your invest in the final it gets forty percent likely to close we found that kind of having rough criteria for that wasn’t as nuances we want because like best and final if you’re doing that final presentation and there’s two people that you’re committing against vs 10 like the percentages should be different you know so we just kind of we just kind of horse trade to figure that out so you know we have our proposal value and the billing rate and again like each project might have a slightly different billing rate if you’re trying to like increase the value increase your billing rate percentage likelihood of clothes and then this is the weighted value the weighted number of hours given the likelihood of clothes and then the weighted value given the likelihood it’s close um yeah we have a CRM we use oh ho I’m not super stoked on it I’m it’s ironic that we’re Salesforce leads and we don’t use a sales force but Salesforce is friggin expensive we use it for nonprofit so it’s free for them so but yeah we you know we we use this here and mostly for marketing stuff to be honest like the reports we just couldn’t figure out I’m a terrible developer so I just I didn’t want to have to try to figure out API stuff to populate this from something else so it’s a little duplication you know but uh but again like okay so how many and that allows us to have this roll-up how many hours do we have in our pipeline what’s the face value of that sales pipeline because like these are also two different ways of looking at it what’s the face value of all the leads that we’re going after and then what’s the pipeline value if we kind of adjust for percent is likely the clothes on each of those four projects and that allows us to figure out what’s the face value effective billing rate that we can anticipate for the stuff is in the pipeline vs what’s the weighted value knowing that different things are more likely or not that makes sense cool so that lets us hat roll up to this single dashboard right here and again this I just kind of keep this open all the time throughout the day and this is kind of like the 10,000 foot view if we take all of our active builds you know we take our support work that we have we take our sales pipeline what is kind of our forecast what’s our runway moving forward so I get the details again just as kind of pulling in the deep the recaps from each of those other spreadsheets and then these numbers right here these four numbers are the ones that if I did stay up at night not be able to sleep would be the things that I would stress about the most so taking everything sales pipeline everything that we have how many hours from today moving forward with likelihood the clothes and support and all that can I kind of just anticipate that our team needs again these are made of values what’s the value of that work what’s the effective billing rate for that work what’s the average billing rate going to be be there and then knowing what my costs are in this case you know a hundred thousand of these current is kind of made up currency what’s my runway like what what can I comfortably say that like if we stop selling if we didn’t have any change orders you know if we if we didn’t do any additional sales work from today forward like what can I anticipate in terms of the number of months that I have available to me so for us with this I’ll say that I like this number to be like seven and a half months you know that’s all that’s all a matter of risk a matter of like cash flow a matter of like cash reserves all of that kind of other information that’s just like a decision that you have to you know tolerance for risk and stuff like that but for me and for our business you know

I’ll just say we like to keep I’ll be very transparent with you guys we like to keep like probably two months worth of expenses cash in the bank then we want to have like another three months or another two months of accounts receivable so stuff that we’ve build but you know you never know if that it’s not cash you don’t know that people are going to pay it and then like a month or two of credit so that’s kind of like what we have you know obviously receivable cash in the bank those numbers are variable so we’re still trying to work out what would be the right algorithm for that because they’re not worth the same you know three months of cats receivable and no cash it doesn’t matter you know you’re kind of screwed and then that line of credit like we would never want to ever touch our line of credit but just kind of having that out there just kind of allows us to kind of worst-case scenario things and then in terms of our runway you know for us 20 person shop being fairly conservative fiscally you know we try to have at least six months of work lined up in terms of support and active projects and then I’d say another well not 6 i’d say like four months six would be awesome but again like it’s this if there’s a balancing act between amount of work that we have under contract versus what’s in the sales pipeline you know and those kind of go up and down correspondingly i’d say probably like three to five months of work under contract that we haven’t touched and then another like three to six months of stuff that’s in the sales pipeline so it makes sense cool all right not only give us just like two minutes to three minutes for questions you guys have any questions or feedback or stuff that we’re totally missing here that means our business sucks what’s up that’s a great question we don’t practice open books because I think to practice open books takes a level of maturity in your management style that like if you open books done wrong is catastrophic you know so we in our organization we have a we have a what we call our small Council it’s it’s our kind of director level folks is plus a couple other folks who kind of like have operational roles and with those folks we’re very trans we’re transparent on top line numbers and bottom line numbers some of the stuff on salary we’ve been slow to kind of roll that out you know it’s a new thing to press have a middle management structure so we’ve again like just wanted to make sure that that information is useful to those managers so we’re kind of rolling that out and educating directors on how to make salary you know hiring decisions you know being a team of 20 and having four directors and to sea level staff is a little bit overkill but it’s kind of like you know for us it’s a future proofing thing so we’re rolling it out but yeah I mean some shops do that everybody knows what everybody else makes and I’ve heard of it being effective but like it can also get really miss confusing yeah I think the thing there that’s tricky is like stupid developers get more expensive every year so it’s like you know sometimes the raises are on a different schedule from like what you need because like you just closed the deal you have to have somebody tomorrow and so you’re negotiating like it gets a little awkward sometimes if you don’t if you don’t have the time to tell everybody everything yeah you’re a larger team to right yeah so yeah so you guys have some different things you’re dealing with anything else what’s that um well that’s mostly in this sales pipeline Oh like actual lead gen we we’re you know we’re just that’s an area where I need to focus this summer like we I don’t have great metrics on that you know we’re starting like once a quarter to do that’s an area where we’re iterating really quickly like win loss rates stuff like that it’s also an interesting one like marketing dollars like what month of revenue should be tracked against the marketing dollars to know how effective they are because obviously the marketing you do this month is not the revenue you make this month so trying to figure that out if folks have ideas on this and have other templates I’d love let’s share them over Twitter and let’s keep a dialogue going because I don’t know what the right answer is there we’re still playing with it what’s that yeah that we have a different spreadsheet like I said like we’re exploring whether or not forecast app could replace it but we have just a big spreadsheet that is every staff person every project they’re working on all the unassigned work for each different

project and by different category and we kind of we just horse trade with that the project managers love it it’s it’s it’s it’s very it’s a very crude tool like there’s just a lot of you can it’s prone to user error but it’s the best tool we could come up with we have a we have a resource allocation meeting every week and then every other week we have an ampm account management project management meeting and so we’re constantly just trying to it’s it’s very manual unfortunately I wish that it wasn’t no well it’s all fixed it’s all timing materials not to exceed yeah yeah yeah it it plays into it keys off of this billable hours matrix to try to understand what are reasonable what are reasonable commitments we can make based on staff you know and that’s something to like PTO debt is an interesting one to you know people don’t take people earn you know four point six hours of pto every single week but they don’t take four point six hours every week so that’s another thing sorry I haven’t turned on that’s not me so we have a yeah so that’s another kind of we do it in our P&L report at the end of the month like if we’ve made a ton of money in a given month but nobody took any pto then you know that’s great from a cash flow perspective but we’re accumulating PTO debt like technical debt that comes up down the road you know typically December or whatnot so yeah so that’s and zenefits actually has some decent reporting on that that kind of helped out a bit so cool anything else we are over on time yeah maybe I need to change the access control