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What's your utilisation target?

 
#1 What's your utilisation target?
04/01/2008 21:42

Bench

My firm has put all our targets up 5% to 85% for all junior-to-middle consultants. Most of us struggle to do 70%. What's the target at your firm?

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#2 RE: What's your utilisation target?
05/01/2008 03:47

anon to Bench (#1)

100%

What's as interesting though, is the calculation methodology. Every firm seems to have its own differences e.g. whether utilisation is calculated on billing-based, time-based, or weighted for both. Some firms adjust the baseline (the denominator in the utilisation equation) for holidays, while others presume 365-day working.

For example, I used to have utilisation calculated based on 40 billable hours a week, even though my employment contract was only for 35 hours. This year we've switched from billing-weighted calculation to a purely time-based equation - it makes like-for-like comparison between years (let alone other firms) tricky.

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#3 RE: What's your utilisation target?
07/01/2008 12:55

From PA Consulting to Bench (#1)

85%

Consultant rank at PA Consulting

Based on 37.5 hours week

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#4 RE: What's your utilisation target?
07/01/2008 13:04

anon to From PA Consulting (#3)

To "From PA Consulting" - re: the 37.5 hours thing.... setting aside utilisation issues, how many hours per week do you really work in practice? (i.e. what time do you get in the office or at the client site and what time do you leave, on a typical day)?

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#5 RE: What's your utilisation target?
07/01/2008 13:49

Ex Pa to anon (#4)

Its a rubbish answer but it really does vary from project to project. I have been on long hours one (8am to 7pm, with some later nights) and also on long term ones where I left at 6pm every night.

When you are off the clock it was unusual for people to get in much before 9am or leave much after 6pm, with the exception when you are working on a proposal with a hard deadline (e.g. RFP submission).

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#6 RE: What's your utilisation target?
07/01/2008 13:58

anon to Ex Pa (#5)

Ex PA - That's fine, I appreciate the answer. So basically, a working day with PA is very rarely longer than 8am-7pm? Do the senior staff work similar hours (9am-6pm kind of thing)? I can live with those kinds of hours, it sounds sustainable.

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#7 RE: What's your utilisation target?
07/01/2008 14:01

realistic to anon (#6)

at last a more sensible idea than the rubbish spouted on here all the time about working 70hours plus everyweek

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#8 RE: What's your utilisation target?
07/01/2008 18:01

Ex Pa to anon (#6)

Depends how senior! If you are a partner then the hours are pretty reasonable when your in the office (from what I saw) and you are not away in one location all week as a general rule.

Managing consultants tend to bear the brunt of it as they are often operating jobs and trying to sell at the same time (there is limited divorce between the two in the PA model). So this isn't the best place to be in terms of hours worked and you have both sales and utilisation targets to hit.

That said it is a major advantage if you are lower down in PA as the work sold tends to actually be based upon an understanding of what is achieveable, albeit usually a stretch to deliver.

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#9 RE: What's your utilisation target?
08/01/2008 08:47

Anon to Bench (#1)

The point about methodology is well made - some firms include leave, sickness, training time etc, others don't. In fact this is a good question to ask at interview, and follow up with how the target changes with grade, and when sales targets get mixed in - which demonstrates a good understanding of the business.

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#10 RE: What's your utilisation target?
09/01/2008 21:02

bill to Anon (#9)

Do all the hours you work on client work get charged to the job (charged to the client may be a different thing)? ie Does your reported utilisation reflect your actual utilisation?

My own experience is my utilisation is 20% understated because managers won't allow all time worked be booked to the job. Which I've never understood as we charge on a time and materials basis!

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