Too often we tend to wonder, why do they have to make it so difficult? In this article, I want to show you how you can make your work with agency or WordPress developer easier and more efficient when you are a business person.
Awareness of your strengths and weaknesses
We are experts in different fields – we keep track of trends and new technologies, while you know most about your business. This boundary should be set at the very beginning of project work.
Each time the first step of a successful cooperation should be getting to know your business and the characteristics of your industry – whether in the form of a workshop or a simple conversation. The basis of any project should be learning about your needs, the differentiators that put you above the competition, or simply the things that make your current customers decide to work with you.
If a contractor wants to skip this step and go straight to designing or even implementing your project – a red light should go on in your head. At Esumo we start every cooperation, even before signing a contract, with a discovery call where we get to know the client better.
On the other hand, however, I believe that when starting cooperation with a contractor for your website or project you have done preliminary research, checked the portfolio and references – so we can assume that the contractor knows his job. With this fact in the back of your mind you should rely on his experience.
You wouldn’t necessarily be in the target audience for the project yourself – you’re not the one who is supposed to like the project 100%. If you find that something could be done differently or in your opinion is unnecessary – ask what guided the designer in creating such a solution – there should be arguments and analysis of user behavior behind everything.
Precise definition of the purpose of the collaboration
When you start working on a project, you should have a written contract, which will define the entire scope of the project and additional aspects such as the transfer of copyright and property rights to the completed work.
Contracts are signed for good and bad times – it should protect you from an unreliable contractor, but at the same time defend the contractor from abuse on your part.
My experience shows that often during the development of a project the vision or priorities on the business side change – however, this should not affect the relationship and schedule of work on the project. It is, of course, possible to amend the contract taking into account the changes expected by the client – but the client cannot expect that the changes will not affect the pricing or deadline for the overall project. What is a minor change from the user’s perspective is often a much more complex issue from the development side.
You as the client care about getting the project right and on time, while the contractor cares about receiving the predetermined payment for the work. We would suggest in most cases to keep the initial scope of the project and its billing, and treat all new ideas and changes as new, additionally priced and estimated tasks which will, depending on the priority, be implemented after the original project is handed over to the client.
Breaking payments into smaller parts, paid for example after the closing of successive stages of the project, should further ensure the contractor’s peace of mind and stability of cash flow. For you, on the other hand, the assurance that the contractor will do everything to keep the project on schedule.
A clear process for the joint work on the project
It doesn’t matter if the work on the project is done according to waterfall or agile methodologies, at any time you should know what stage your project is currently at.
If the process is designed correctly then you will be a part of it – at Esumo, communicating the status of the project in addition to daily basis communication in ClickUp or Slack is based on regular weekly or bi-weekly video calls on which we present the current status of the project and answer the client’s questions and concerns on an ongoing basis. This model of cooperation allows us to avoid unexpected misunderstandings or miscommunication when we show the finished project to the client.
Everyone has slip-ups – and this is no different in the development process – but we must remember that if a slip-up occurs, the other party must be informed. The worst thing you can do is to deliberately mislead the other party – cheaters never prosper, it will affect the project delivery date anyway, and in addition you will have to reckon with the deterioration of relations between the contractor and the client.
Mishaps and delays are just as common on the contractor’s side as on the client’s. You should be aware that your failure to deliver feedback, text or graphic materials by the agreed date or even cancellation of an agreed meeting also affects the project schedule. The obligation to meet the contracted deadlines rests equally on both parties.
Post implementation activity
Completion of each project involves payment for the work done and handing over the finished website or application to the client (often additional implementation on the client’s server). It might seem that the moment when this happens is tantamount to the end of cooperation – but it is at this stage that contact situations most often occur.
At the moment when the client’s project appears online it is visited by users who often report bugs or errors that were not caught earlier. The client returns to the contractor with a list of corrections then and expects them to be implemented urgently – that’s why post-implementation activities should be included in the contract signed at the beginning of the cooperation.
There should be a clearly defined period for which the contractor undertakes to implement corrections to the project free of charge – in our case, such a period is 30 days as standard. For a month as soon as possible we check and implement corrections to the errors reported by the client. In the absence of a provision for post-implementation support, the client should expect to have to pay extra for each fix – from a financial point of view, it is worth having this at the back of your mind.
In Esumo, we additionally prepare each time a text or video documentation guiding the client step by step through the administrative panel of the site and editing individual elements of the project.
Hourly packages are also very popular, providing the client with constant care and the possibility of further development of the project based on previously worked out processes together. WordPress is a very popular and relatively easy to use content management system – however, it is important to remember about regular backups and updates – it is worth finding a reliable partner who will take this responsibility on himself and allow the client to focus on his business.
If you have any questions, problems regarding successful cooperation with the contractor of your project – we are at your service – write a comment or get back to us directly on email!