In this week’s blog, we embark on a journey into the world of the jobtopsy, where we take a page out of CSI’s book and apply it to your business. Ever wondered what went wrong with that project that seemed so promising? Or maybe you want to replicate the success of your last blockbuster? Either way, it’s time to put on your detective hat, grab your magnifying glass and dive into the importance of job costing within your business.

What is a Jobtopsy?

Imagine this: a business project, once vibrant and full of life, now lies before you, lifeless. What happened? Why did it fail (or succeed)? This is where a jobtopsy comes in. Much like an autopsy reveals the cause of death, a jobtopsy analyzes a project’s performance after its completion, dissecting every detail to understand what went right, what went wrong and how to improve future endeavors.

Think of it as a post-mortem examination but for your projects. You’re not dealing with the grim details of crime scenes; instead, you’re unearthing valuable insights and analytics that can breathe life into your future projects.

The Why: Uncovering Hidden Truths

Just as every good detective needs to understand the motive, every business owner needs to grasp why job costing is crucial. Without it, you’re essentially shooting in the dark, hoping for the best. Here’s why you should care:

  1. Identify Cost Overruns: By examining where and why you overspent, you can avoid repeating the same mistakes. Did you splurge on unnecessary features? Did labor costs skyrocket because of unplanned overtime? Knowing these details helps in budgeting more accurately next time.
  2. Improve Profitability: Not all projects are created equal. Some are gold mines, others, not so much. A jobtopsy helps you identify which projects yield the best returns and which ones are a drain on resources. This insight allows you in the future to be more selective and focus on the most profitable ventures rather than taking every job thrown at you.
  3. Enhance Efficiency: Understanding the workflow of a project can reveal bottlenecks and inefficiencies. Maybe there was a communication breakdown, or perhaps a particular phase took longer than expected. Pinpointing these issues helps streamline processes for future projects.
  4. Better Decision Making: Data-driven decisions are always better. By having a clear picture of past projects’ financial and operational aspects, you can make informed choices about future investments, resource allocation and strategic planning.

The How: Conducting a Jobtopsy

Now that we’re convinced of its importance, let’s roll up our sleeves and get into the nitty-gritty of how to conduct a jobtopsy. Here’s your step-by-step guide:

  1. Gather the Evidence: Just like a crime scene, start by collecting all relevant data. This includes project budgets, actual expenditures, timelines, resource allocation and any reports or documents related to the project.
  2. Interview the Witnesses: Talk to your team members who were involved in the project. Their insights can be invaluable. What challenges did they face? What worked well? Were there any unexpected issues?
  3. Analyze the Data: Dive into the numbers. Compare the budgeted costs with the actual costs. Look at the timeline and see where delays occurred. Identify any discrepancies between the plan and the execution.
  4. Identify the Cause of Death: Determine the factors that led to the project’s success or failure. Was it poor planning, miscommunication, unexpected external factors or something else? Be thorough in your analysis.
  5. Document Your Findings: Create a comprehensive report detailing your findings. Highlight the key takeaways, lessons learned and recommendations for future projects.
  6. Implement Changes: Use the insights gained from the jobtopsy to make necessary changes. This could be in your project management approach, budgeting practices, team communication or any other area that needs improvement.

The What: Applying Your Findings

Alright, Sherlock, you’ve cracked the case. But what do you do with all this newfound knowledge? The real magic happens when you apply these insights to your future projects. Here’s how:

  1. Revise Your Processes: Implement new procedures or tweak existing ones based on what you’ve learned. If communication was a major issue, consider setting up more regular check-ins or using project management software to keep everyone on the same page.
  2. Adjust Your Budgeting: Use the cost data to create more accurate budgets. Account for potential overruns by building in a buffer. Make sure every dollar is justified and tracked, especially change orders.
  3. Improve Resource Allocation: Ensure that your resources are utilized effectively. Avoid overloading your team and consider outsourcing or automating tasks that are too time-consuming or beyond your team’s expertise.
  4. Enhance Training: If skill gaps were identified, invest in training for your team. The better equipped they are, the smoother your projects will run.
  5. Celebrate Successes: Don’t forget to celebrate what went well! Recognize and reward your team’s hard work and achievements. This boosts morale and sets a positive tone for future projects.

Missing Out: Lessons from The Greenhouse

At The Greenhouse, we’ve seen countless companies miss out on the benefits of revisiting their projects. Construction teams failing to analyze the true depth of a project. Businesses that don’t build in a high enough contingency budget for cost overrun. Teams that take on every bit of work, without knowing the profit margin that lies within each type of project.

Too often, businesses complete a project and rush into the next one without pausing to analyze what happened. This oversight can be costly. Without a thorough jobtopsy, businesses miss critical opportunities for growth and improvement.

For example, we worked with a client who had a series of underperforming projects. They were puzzled and frustrated by their lack of progress. By conducting a detailed jobtopsy, we discovered that undocumented labor and change orders wer causing delays and cost overruns. By implementing better processes, they were able to turn their next projects into a resounding success.

In another instance, a company was failing to charge for a small ticket item that was common in many of their projects. Through jobtopsy, we identified that by charging a minimal amount above cost for that item, and selling thousands of them, they would then be able to recoup tens of thousands of dollars they weren’t capturing previously.

These are just a few examples of how powerful a jobtopsy can be. By taking the time to analyze your projects post-completion, you can uncover hidden issues, replicate successes and ultimately, drive your business forward.

Conclusion: The Value of a Good Jobtopsy

In conclusion, a jobtopsy is not just a clever play on words; it’s a vital practice for any business owner. By examining the life and death of your projects, you gain invaluable insights that drive better decision-making, improve efficiency and boost profitability.

And please don’t say you Don’t have the time to analyze past projects. It’s ALWAYS good practice to go back and improve efficiencies! The time and money you’ll spend will provide a future ROI of many times that value.

So, the next time you wrap up a project, don’t just move on to the next one. Take the time to conduct a thorough jobtopsy. Your business will thank you, and who knows, you might just uncover the secret to your next big success. Happy investigating!

Schedule a FREE CONSULTATION to learn more about how we’ve helped dozens of businesses just like yours grow to the next stage.



The first step in our proven process at The Greenhouse is to book a free 60-minute consultation. In that meeting, we will discuss your business objectives and challenges, begin to develop a roadmap for guaranteed success and answer any questions you may have.

Thank you for contacting us! Our team will be in-touch soon to set up your 60-Minute consultation.