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

Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
11 of 21

 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 above statement taken from the OP's original post makes me wonder if the freelancer experienced scope creep and many changes. The freelancer may be showing lack of interest because of all of that and that he isn't getting paid for the extra work and many changes. 

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

re: "The above statement taken from the OP's original post makes me wonder if the freelancer experienced scope creep and many changes. The freelancer may be showing lack of interest because of all of that and that he isn't getting paid for the extra work and many changes."

 

Speaking generally, based on my experience with fixed-price contrats - and NOT referring to any specific situation - I think this is HIGHLY likely.

 

The original poster may not even be aware of what "scope creep" is.

 

The client SHOULD FOCUS ON HIS OWN SELF-INTEREST.

The client should NOT focus on the freelancer's needs or interests.

 

And the best way to do that is to carefully avoid scope creep.

 

It turns out that this means a win-win situation for BOTH freelancer and client. But the client's reason for doing so is the success of his own project.

 

How can a client avoid scope creep?

 

a) Use an hourly contract.

[or]

b) Use very small, concise, clearly-defined fixed-price contracts or milestones.

 

This will HELP ENSURE THE SUCCESS of the client's project.

 

More tips for clients about avoiding scope creep and making sure a project stays on task, for a development project like this:

- A fixed-price milestone involves zero communication during the execution of the task. There may be communication BEFORE the task begins. There may be communication AFTER the task ends. There is no communication during the work on the task.

 

- No changes can be made to a task. The written description of the task describes what should be done. Nothing more. Nothing less.

 

- If a particular freelancer does not complete tasks quickly enough for the needs of the project, then additional freelancers should be brought in to work on different tasks. If a client does not want any particular freelancer to continue working on the project, the client should stop assigning tasks to that freelancer.

 

- It should never be assumed that just because a freelancer did one task, that the same freelancer should do the next task, or is the best person to do the next task, or will be available to do the next task.

Community Guru
Miriam H Member Since: May 16, 2017
13 of 21

Preston H wrote:

More tips for clients about avoiding scope creep and making sure a project stays on task, for a development project like this:

- A fixed-price milestone involves zero communication during the execution of the task. There may be communication BEFORE the task begins. There may be communication AFTER the task ends. There is no communication during the work on the task.

 

 


I must respectfully disagree. Time and again you state this in the forums, but that's not how my fixed price projects work - I need feedback from the clients. Sometimes it's a separate milestone and sometimes it's baked into the price.

 

Freelancers need to manage that balance and for myself, it's not black and white.

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

re: "I must respectfully disagree. Time and again you state this in the forums, but that's not how my fixed price projects work"

 

Miriam:

 

I did not say here that this applies to the projects you do.

 

I said that these are tips "for a development project like" the original poster's project.

 

For THIS client's project, he should structure fixed-price milestones so that they involve zero communication. His project manager should give an assignment, and then receive and review that assignment, and then give the next assignment, etc.

Community Guru
Virginia F Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
15 of 21

@ Preston ... seriously? For someone who has been here as long as you have, sometimes I have to shake my head.

"More tips for clients about avoiding scope creep and making sure a project stays on task, for a development project like this:

- A fixed-price milestone involves zero communication during the execution of the task. There may be communication BEFORE the task begins. There may be communication AFTER the task ends. There is no communication during the work on the task"

 

I only work fixed price, and I can tell you that there is a lot of communication between myself and my clients before, during and sometimes even after. Of course there is communication during, because neither I, nor my clients, have esp.

 

I don't know where you get this zero communication from, but it is so far from the truth as to be on another planet. You don't seem to understand what transpires in a fixed rate job across all categories/projects. So please ... stop with the no communication nonsense.

Active Member
Gionata N Member Since: Sep 6, 2019
16 of 21
Hi Kathy and thanks for providing your opinion on this particolar matter.
Before we posted our job we paid professionals to create for us 2 attachements: a highly detailed wireframe (which would explain what the project should look like) and a specs list (which would explain what the project should do). Freelancer approached us with a "sure I can do that" attitude and made a money request for it. When his work didn't follow wireframe or specs we asked for changes to match above attachments. When his work presented bugs we asked for fixings. When his work presented changes we never asked, we let him know.
I am not sure where is the line between "scope creep" and "not delivering what was agreed", but I can assure you that, if work performed by freelance fulfilled our wirefeame and specs (as per our contract with him) we would happily avoid asking for changes and fixing.
Project was divided in 10 milestones and Freelancer worked great up to the fifth than delays and distraction mistakes started to increase while (in the same period) other projects were delivered to other clients.
We gave Freelancer the freedom to understand our project and make and offer (if interested). We should have been warned that, after a good start, our project would have been delayed due to our interest to have it done exactly as per our specifications.
Regards to all
Community Guru
Preston H Member Since: Nov 24, 2014
17 of 21

Gionata:

I commend your excellent preparation for this project.

HIring professioals to create wireframes, detailed mock-ups, etc...

 

I think you did everything right.

 

But you got stuck on this current project exectuion part.

I think you're stuck on this idea that one person should do all of this part. That's not how most large projects are done.

 

This MAY HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU.

 

Maybe the freelancer got a new full-time job.

Maybe he decided other projects are more fun.

Maybe he has a mental disorder.

You don't know.

 

Why do you even care?

I don't care.

 

I'm glad for his help on the first 5 milestones.

I'm tired of these delays.

I'm going to work mainly with the other team members to complete the project.

I'll hire him as a consultant with an hourly contract and have him answer questions and provide guidance, coordinating with the PM, to complete the project.

 

re: "We should have been warned that, after a good start, our project would have been delayed due to our interest to have it done exactly as per our specifications."

 

If you want a warning, I will be happy to provide you with one:

Any project that you embark on, whether on Upwork or through any other means, may be delayed if key people on your project don't want to continue working on it at the same rate they worked on it early on. Of if they die. Or if they join the French Foreign Legion.

 

Put the project first. Not the freelancer.

Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
18 of 21

Why do you even care?

I don't care.

 

If you want a warning, I will be happy to provide you with one:

Any project that you embark on, whether on Upwork or through any other means, may be delayed if key people on your project don't want to continue working on it at the same rate they worked on it early on. Of if they die. Or if they join the French Foreign Legion.

 

Put the project first. Not the freelancer.

 

Preston, what kind of advice is that? Th client cares because it's his money, his time and most of all his project. The client Should care. And why should you care, it's not your project. 

 

There is no warning that the client should heed. Clients should expect that the freelancer they hire will perform the task assigned especially since presenting the wireframe and other materials. And if the freelancer is performing great the client should expect that great performance to continue. 

 

And IMO the client IS putting his project first. He wants it done. It was being done for the first milestone (of 10 milestones) And if the freelancer doesn't want to work on it for the same price, then that freelancer should never have agreed to work on it in the first place, especially after seeing the wireframe and all. 

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

No, the client should not care more about one individual freelancer than he cares about the project.

 

When I say "I don't care", I am putting myself in the client's place and modeling the correct mindset for the client.

 

The client SHOULD put his project first and should NOT focus on why the freelancer won't work on the project. Why does it matter? The freelancer's continued mistakes and lack of focus on the project are causing problems.

 

Why should I care what the true reason is? Maybe the freelancer himself does not even know the true reason.

 

I don't want to spend time "fixing" this freelancer. I want to get this project done in the most expedient, effective way possible. I want the project done on time, on budget, and with the level of quality and the features that I require. Figuring out why this freelancer has flaked out on my project does not help me achieve my goals. Nor does continuing to rely on him as the sole programmer on the project.

Community Guru
Kathy T Member Since: Jul 17, 2015
20 of 21

Gionata N wrote:
Hi Kathy and thanks for providing your opinion on this particolar matter.
Before we posted our job we paid professionals to create for us 2 attachements: a highly detailed wireframe (which would explain what the project should look like) and a specs list (which would explain what the project should do). Freelancer approached us with a "sure I can do that" attitude and made a money request for it. When his work didn't follow wireframe or specs we asked for changes to match above attachments. When his work presented bugs we asked for fixings. When his work presented changes we never asked, we let him know.
I am not sure where is the line between "scope creep" and "not delivering what was agreed", but I can assure you that, if work performed by freelance fulfilled our wirefeame and specs (as per our contract with him) we would happily avoid asking for changes and fixing.
Project was divided in 10 milestones and Freelancer worked great up to the fifth than delays and distraction mistakes started to increase while (in the same period) other projects were delivered to other clients.
We gave Freelancer the freedom to understand our project and make and offer (if interested). We should have been warned that, after a good start, our project would have been delayed due to our interest to have it done exactly as per our specifications.
Regards to all

------------

Thank you for the more detailed information concerning that statement. IMO you did everything right. The freelancer didn't. Hopefully, you can take the work that was delivered to you and find another more competent freelancer to be able to pick up where this freelancer left off and to finish it. 

 

The only explanation I can give is that the freelancer, although he seen the specs etc and agreed to do it, found out it was more then he can handle. Perhaps he though it would go a lot faster, be more interesting etc and when he saw it start to be longer then he first anticipated, he started to bail on you. 

At this point, your best bet would be to communicate with this freelancer pay him for the work he did do, and let him know that you are ending the contract. It would be up to you if you want to let him continue working, but if so, make a deadline as to the completion of the next milestone and if that's not met, just end it. 

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