As a Customer, I Want To See Up-to-Date Costs I’ve Incurred, Using a Web Application

I think it's important, that in a software development company, as all others, customers get transparent up-to-the-minute information about what costs they have incurred. Alas my company can't provide that at the moment, due to our tooling (this is a deficiency, or at least difference of opinion, between me and LiquidPlanner, the tool we use for tracking time.) This is the email I sent to LiquidPlanner support explaining my position:

I and my team do work. We use LiquidPlanner to track our done time. I can export the timesheet data and write invoices to my customers once a month. So far so good.

However, imagine half way through the month, a customer thinks "I wonder how much work Adrian and his team have done? My budget is a bit tight, I hope they're not working too much, and I'm going to get a bill I can't afford!".

I would like that my customers are able to log on somewhere, and see, "what work has Adrian's company done, that I haven't been billed for yet?"

My customers currently get a "shock" when they receive the bill at the end of the month.

One company I worked for used Redmine to track time. Their customers could log in to Redmine and see the amount of work done. This was a simpler system, in this case they could only see "Employee X has worked N hours this month", but as I charge a fixed hourly rate per employee (not per project, not per activity) this would have sufficed for my purpose.

This article is © Adrian Smith.
It was originally published on 22 Sep 2015
More on: Project Management | Requirements & UX