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Freelancer manifests lack of focus and poor work quality while delivering project to other clients.

Active Member
Gionata N Member Since: Sep 6, 2019
1 of 21

Dear community,

we have been active clients of odesk, elance and now Upwork and have been hiring many different freelancers with great results.

In April 2019, we hired a very skilled .php programmer and provided him a very clear and detailed list of specs and graphic wireframe. The freelancer agreed to take the job and started with great performance, but after few milestones he manifested an increasing lack of focus to our project. We noticed this because he started to not performing fixes or changes we listed or by performing changes he wasn't supposed to or by not following previous decision we both agreed upon.

The type of mistakes he makes clearly show distracion and lack of focus and we decided to wait to see if this was just temporary, sharing with Freelancer our feeling about the whole thing.

Freelancer than replied our project is too big, he is alone and generally the cost of it would be much higher, but he was the one to approach us, make an economical request and agree to do the job for the money he was asking.

We are sure his php skills are great, but we can't help but nothiching two important things:

- from April 2019 our freelancer also accepted and delivered other projects to other UW clients (as per feedback on his profile)

- the lack of focus he is manifesting to our project causes poor work quality on our project which means delays in launching our project which means a money loss from our side. This is not fare!

 

Is there any way we can demand this Freelance to focus and concentrate to our project before taking other projects, so that he can finish the job and deliver what he agreed to deliver?

Is there a time limit the Freelancer has to respect between milestones?

Please advise.

Regards

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
2 of 21

Gionata N wrote:

 

The type of mistakes he makes clearly show distracion and lack of focus and we decided to wait to see if this was just temporary, sharing with Freelancer our feeling about the whole thing.

Freelancer than replied our project is too big, he is alone and generally the cost of it would be much higher, but he was the one to approach us, make an economical request and agree to do the job for the money he was asking.

 


It looks like the freelancer has taken on a project which is more work than he thought and not allowing him to make a living. If you feel you are not getting what you need anymore, you are free to set a final milestone for the freelancer to hand the remainder of the project over to a new freelancer you hire to complete it.

 


Gionata N wrote:

 

Is there any way we can demand this Freelance to focus and concentrate to our project before taking other projects,


No, you can make no such demands.

 


Gionata N wrote:

 

Is there a time limit the Freelancer has to respect between milestones?

Please advise.

Regards


Milestones are agreed between client and freelancer. Upwork does not get involved with that.

 

You may want to find a new freelancer (it sounds like the original one seriously underquoted on price though..., so you may have to go with someone at a higher price-point) or consider compromisingon speed of progress and / or quality at the price you agreed.


As usually happens, you are getting what you pay for.

Active Member
Gionata N Member Since: Sep 6, 2019
3 of 21

Petra,

thanks for your answer. I didn't particularly appreciated the "As usually happens, you are getting what you pay for." as the price we set was quoted from Freelancer based on our Wireframe and Specs. We did not ask to low the price neither negotiate it. We agrred based on Freelancer requested which had all info from us on how the project was supposed to be.

So in this case we were expecting to pay for what we requested and we are not definitely getting what we were asked to pay.

Hope it helps to understand our position.

Regards

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
4 of 21

re: "Is there any way we can demand this freelancer to focus and concentrate to our project before taking other projects, so that he can finish the job and deliver what he agreed to deliver?"

 

Upwork has no such restrictions as part of it policies or user interface, but as the client, you can stipulate any requirements that you want.

 

re: "Is there a time limit the freelancer has to respect between milestones?"

 

Upwork has no such policy, but as the client, you may stipulate any type of time limit that you want to.

 

===

Gionata:

I want you to succeed in your hiring efforts here on Upwork.

I think the thing that will help you the most is to shift your understanding of what is going on when you hire freelancers on Upwork.

 

YOU ARE NOT HIRING UPWORK.

 

Your questions make it sound as though you thought you were hiring Upwork.

 

Like... I hired this security company to provide round-the-clock body guards for the diplomat while he travels overseas to a country with considerable unrest. One of the bodyguards is absent-minded and lazy and I'm worried about his effectiveness. So I contact the company.

 

THAT IS NOT what is going on here.

 

Upwork merely facilitated helping you find freelancers to work on your project.

 

You have expressed many reservations about this freelancer's performance.

But that has nothing to do with Upwork.

You have all the power here.

All you need to do is tell the freelancer what your requirements are, and expect him to adhere to those requirements.

 

OR NOT.

 

Personally, I think "or not" is the better business decision.

 

My recommendation: DON'T waste your time telling the freelancer what your requirements are. He has already disappointed. Just stop working with him and continue working with the other people on the team.

 

As a client, you should PUT YOUR PROJECT FIRST.

 

Don't worry about this freelancer or that one. They are NOT where your priorities should be.

 

Continue working ONLY with the freelancers on your team who provide you the BEST VALUE and BEST RESULTS for your project.

 

======

 

Alternatively:

Close out any existing fixed-price contracts for the freelancer, and hire him (using an hourly contract) to server as a senior consultant on your project, while other freelancers do the bulk of the hands-on work that needs to be done.

 

This way you continue to have access to all his knowledge about the project, and you make it easier to work with the other freelancers on your team who are ready to do the work, but may need guidance.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
5 of 21

re: "...we hired a very skilled .php programmer and provided him a very clear and detailed list of specs and graphic wireframe. The freelancer agreed to take the job and started with great performance, but after few milestones he manifested an increasing lack of focus to our project..."

 

It is a mistake to make a decision about whether or not to continue relying on a particular freelancer based on that freelancer's skill or their initial performance.

 

What matters is how the freelancer is contributing to the project NOW.

 

Never be afraid to stop working with a freelancer and continue working with other people.

 

Did you ever watch the FOX TV series "Lethal Weapon"?

It starred Clayne Crawford and Damon Wayans as Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh.

 

It was GREAT. Clayne Crawford was THE STAR of the show, and he was awesome in his role as Riggs.

 

For two seasons.

 

But then Crawford had to be dismissed for behavioral issues. THE STAR of the series had to be dismissed. The face of the show. He was replaced. Just like when Charlie Sheen had to be replaced on "Two and a Half Men." Not a gaffer. Not an editor. Not a supporting actor. THE STAR.

 

If the star of a show worth hundreds of millions of dollars can be replaced, then you can replace a PHP programmer who isn't what the project needs right now.

Active Member
Gionata N Member Since: Sep 6, 2019
6 of 21

Thanks Preston,

I am sure everybody can be replaced but the amount of time we spent to explain and coordinate the project to the Freelancer suggest that if we had to find another one, we would have to put that time into consideration plus hope that the transition between the first freelancer and the second is smooth and fare (what if the first freelancer doesn't provide all milestones delivered so far or causes extra dealys in prividing that material).

I asked if Upwork can help us having the Freelancer realign to initial commitment not because I think I am hiring upwork, but because Upwork is the hosting platform and I am sure wants Freelancer to perform at their best to paying custmomers.

I guess Amazon would do the same between sellers and buyers.

Regards

Moderator
Bojan S Moderator Member Since: Mar 9, 2018
7 of 21

Hi Gionata,

 

I'm sorry about your experience with this freelancer. I've forwarded your concern to our team and one of our agents will reach out to you directly to advise you on further steps!

 

Thank you for reaching out to us!

~ Bojan
Untitled
Active Member
Gionata N Member Since: Sep 6, 2019
8 of 21

Dear Bojan,

thanks for your help. I hope our open and pacific request for help/advise will allow us and the Freelancer to get back on track and finish this project as agreed.

Regards

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
9 of 21

"...the price we set was quoted from Freelancer based on our Wireframe and Specs. We did not ask to low the price neither negotiate it. We agreed based on Freelancer requested which had all info from us on how the project was supposed to be. So in this case we were expecting to pay for what we requested and we are not definitely getting what we were asked to pay."

 

This is NOT AN UNUSUAL expectation for a client to have.

 

Such an expectation MAY OR MAY NOT work out as expected.

 

Experienced clients know that - regardless of the original price quoted - a project may or may not be completed as originally planned.

 

Projects of this size and scope are managed in a MODULAR fashion. The project manager makes sure that she obtains functional, useful modules which meet the demands of the project in terms fo functionality and quality. Those modules come together and build upon one another until the finished project is complete.

 

Using a "binary" approach (meaning "all or nothing") is a recipe for failure with a project that is this complex.

Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
10 of 21

re: "I am sure everybody can be replaced but the amount of time we spent to explain and coordinate the project to the Freelancer suggest that if we had to find another one, we would have to put that time into consideration plus hope that the transition between the first freelancer and the second is smooth and fair"

 

You are correct.

 

Which is why - if I was the project owner - I would instruct my project manager to ASK the current freelancer if we may close the current fixed-price contract immediately, and put him under an hourly contract.

 

I would have the project manager continue working with the original freelancer as a senior consultant, while having the other team members finish doing the hands-on work needed for the project.

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