How to work with freelancers?

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Posted by Enrico on Mar 24, 2017

Although freelancers usually know how to work effectively on a mission, here are the most important best practices to follow before appointing a freelancer.

  1. Clearly define the requirements and project parameters
    The first approach to use is to make sure that every stakeholder agrees on what will define the success of the mission. This means that the objectives, deliverables and timeline need to be discussed and agreed.
     
  2. Formalize every change in scope or requirements
    It is common for a project to evolve due to unexpected issues. This can have an impact on the workload and planning of the project. It is important to discuss these issues as soon as possible, so that a new agreement can be found on the new deliverables.
     
  3. Plan milestones and regular meetings
    Plan as many intermediate milestones and meetings as possible. This will help assess the evolution of the project and will make possible the application of corrective actions if the project is having problems.
     
  4. Plan an after-sale period
    This will allow the freelancer to take care of the final details that you had not anticipated during the requirements analysis. For example, if you are in the IT sector, you can ask your freelancer to take care of all bugs discovered in the first 15 days after delivery.
     
  5. Define precise deadlines and respect them
    By agreeing to work on your project, the freelancer has blocked some time for you. Any delay will engender an income loss for the freelancer or an increase in price for you. Thus, remain in regular communication with the freelancer so that everybody can act to optimize the final outcome.

A few tips

  • If you are in the IT sector, ask your freelancer to write specific requirements and ask for a precise definition of the whole architecture. This will help you test the competences of the freelancer.
     
  • In the artistic fields, first ask for a mock-up, photos, and graphic elements, so that you can check the artistic direction and correct it if necessary.
     
  • Remember, you cannot refuse to pay a freelancer because you do not like his or her final work, but you can stop the mission quickly if you think he or she is not performing to expectations.

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    Enrico Tam

    MBA, Ph.D, tech entrepreneur, consultant and advisor

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