Prepare yourself for any foreseeable issues, and you will be best poised to avoid them or, at the very least, resolve them quickly. One of the most important reasons for careful project planning is to identify and avoid as many road blocks and detours as possible.
Issues can arise at any point in and with any aspect of your project, and while you cannot possibly prevent all of them, you can minimize them.
Everything we’ve been discussing is designed to ward off problems before the project begins and until it is completed. The following are a few particularly important points to remember.
I keep coming back to this because it truly is that important. Without proper management, your projects could quickly go awry. Appoint a project management team to keep tabs on the provider’s progress and to keep the
project on the right track. Don’t just turn a job over to a provider and assume that the work will get done accurately and on time. Project management is not your provider’s responsibility. If you don’t monitor the project at all times, an unsuccessful venture will be your failing, not your provider’s (yes, it really is that important!).
The next section will cover this in more detail, but it doesn’t hurt to bring it up here as well. Budgetary issues can occur at any time, especially with regard to how and when you pay your providers. You may need to make a payment up front and/or make periodic payments during the course of the project.
You need to have the money available at the beginning, and it’s best to escrow the funds with your freelance website so that the money doesn’t accidentally get spent somewhere else. If you have a limited budget, make sure you include this information in your project description when you post it.
When you post a project online, your description of the job must be clear, accurate and easy to understand. This is where it all starts, so you must put your best foot forward. A good project description will help avoid misunderstandings later on. Your description should be a result of all your project planning, budget forecasting, time constraints and provider skill requirements. Get this right and you will be off to a great start!
How you manage disputes says a lot about you as an employer and has a huge impact on your relationship with your providers. The last thing you want is to lose your provider midstream (especially if they seem to be doing a good job), so manage problems effectively and rationally.
Use good communication skills, including good listening skills. Look for solutions that are mutually beneficial and set a good example. You will gain the trust and respect of your provider, which will make all the difference in the long term.
Harvey fears that his demands might be overly complex and difficult, so he has spent plenty of time up front trying to anticipate what could potentially go wrong. He’s mapped out very precise instructions and expectations, and he has been very careful about being readily available whenever his provider has questions. Harvey’s diligence, while it hasn’t prevented all possible mishaps, has kept the project on track and avoided unnecessary frustration for his provider. There have definitely been bumps in the road, but he has been able to address them immediately and to diffuse any potential catastrophes.
Unfortunately, every project brings with it the potential for a myriad of issues. Knowing what these issues could be and having a plan of attack should any number of them occur will be your best defense against them. Issues can pop up on your end of the project or your provider’s, so remain an active participant in the process at all times. Be wary of budget problems, misunderstandings, and conflicts with your provider. Consider the possibilities and do your best to avoid them or, at the very least, be prepared to address them right away should they occur.