How we keep budgets (and burn-outs) under control | Health first

Jan 19, 2018

Stijn Berkers - Producer
+31 (0)20 - 261 14 99

As you can read on our homepage, our drive for innovation and production is authentic, professionally we do nothing better than that. But to continue to do so, our chimney must smoke.

The hours on the projects we work with clients are the bread -and butter of our organization. These hours are essential for the continuity of our organization and customer projects.

Time is the most scarce resource that there is; you will never get back a spent hour. That is why we take our time spent extremely seriously.

What we live by:

As can be read at About below are the services we live by- all based on hours:

1. Innovation in one week

  • Prototyping sprint
  • Design sprint

2. Production on a project basis

  • Development partner
  • Launch the platform
  • Launch start-up

3. Monthly work

  • Management, monitoring and support
  • Analysis and optimization
  • Security scan

Hours, food and continuity

As you can see, almost everything revolves around hours; a large part of our turnover comes from projects.

The real-time measurement of those spent project hours is essential for the health of the projects and Lucius overall. For us, of course, but also for our customers and end users of the platform that we innovate and produce.

We have therefore made responsibility for budgets a team effort: the team in question determines budgets themselves based on a produced designs and Functional Design (FO), which originate from a project backlog: all the wishes of the customer, in order of priority.

Consistency in hours - through the entire process

We have made budget management in our entire innovation and production process as consistent as possible, in short:

  1. FO is made in collaboration with the customer: this will be used to devise the functions that will be produced in the coming sprint, also test scenarios will be included.
  2. From this, FO tickets are budgeted by the Tech Team.
  3. We ask for agreement on functions and budgets with the customer.
  4. Those tickets are produced in [Lus] (, a project management platform that we have developed in order to align as well as possible with our processes - and thus budget control.

Around this we have of course implemented facilities for:

  • Automatic testing
  • Continuous Integration
  • Version management (GIT)
  • other tools that you can expect from a professional production company.

Workload calendar

Once the tickets are budgeted, they are entered into Lus, including budgets:

Once this has been done, the tickets will be shared out to individual team members and scheduled in the 'workload calendar'':

Here all tasks can easily be divided by means of drag-and-drop capability per person per day. This allows the entire team to view the planning in detail at a glance.

Real-time 'Burn-down' reporting

In order to be able to see whether the tickets (and the project are integral) on the right track in terms of time at any time, we have built in a number of tools.:

1. Per ticket

In this workload calendar and in the ticket itself you see the 'burn down' of a budget per ticket:

This is possible because there is real time clocking on the tickets, this can also be manually entered per day afterwards:



2. Global

In addition, we have built in global reporting, in which you can see in real-time how a project stands:

3. Notifications

As soon as you go over budget you get a notification on the screen, so you know you have to raise the alarm:


This may seem like redundant bureaucracy, but we see that everyone has more support through this system. And you immediately see that a project is on the right course, or that there are exceptions that need to be facilitated.

Anti burn-out

A good side effect of this budget control: because you immediately see what you have worked on per day, you know when it has been enough.

Of course everyone runs the 'extra mile' when necessary, but if you do not keep track of how many hours you make in a day, it quickly becomes too much; the work is never finished.

Most honest

We also think this is the most honest way: everyone works what they should in accordance with the contract. For example, you can never be blamed for people having done too little to get a project done on time.

Measuring is knowing, you know!

Header photo by Kevin Ku ofUnsplash


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