When working on a job here is the key advice for both parties to follow to guarantee success:
1. Rules of Engagement
Make sure to read the Rules of Engagement so that you understand the respective minimum expectations for both Buyer and Seller.
2. Set clear expectations upfront
Things to make sure are explicitly agreed upfront in the WorkStream include:
- Scope: what is and isn't included. What are the expected deliverables at the end.
- Requirements: detailed requirements. If the job is for a creative service then make sure to give (or ask for) examples of styles so that the Seller has a good chance of meeting the brief.
- Dependencies: what does the Seller need from the Buyer along the way in order to complete the job successfully
- Timescales: does the Buyer have any firm deadlines/ timescales in mind. Note: for Hourlies the service is agreed to be delivered within the time specified in the Hourlie description once the requirements have been received.
- Any ways of working specifics e.g. holidays/ periods where either party will be unavailable, agreeing any milestones for reviewing progress/ getting a status report etc
3. Avoid "He said / she said"
Keeping track of everything that has been discussed and agreed on a project can be a challenge which is why we have the WorkStream on PPH. Here we strongly encourage you to track everything so that you both have the same record of events and can refer back to it. We know that sometimes you need to communicate over the phone or maybe by instant messenger but if you do, simply come back and confirm what was discussed by posting a message on the WorkStream so nothing is lost in translation.
In the rare cases that a job really goes astray, the information held in the WorkStream is key for PPH to assist you in resolving a Dispute.
4. Regular checkpoints
In addition to the basics covered in the Rules of Engagement around communication, we recommend regular checkpoints to review actual deliverable progress if the job is to run for more than a few days. This avoids either party having any surprises towards the end of the project and realising that something wasn't understood. For example, if the project is a website build, then arrange for regular demos of functionality built to date.
5. Feedback & iterations
For most jobs it is very common that the work first delivered may have a few things that the Buyer would like amended. In design services in particular it is very rare for even the very best designers to meet the brief spot on first time. In keeping with the Rules of Engagement, the minimum is that Sellers should provide, and be given the chance to provide, at least two iterations on the deliverables if at first they don't hit the mark.
To help the Seller succeed, the more detailed the feedback from the Buyer the better.
6. Scope increases
It can be very typical for a larger project to incur some extra unforeseen scope increases if the Buyer's requirements have changed along the way. Scope increases should be explicitly defined in the WorkStream alongside agreeing the associated increase in cost (if applicable). To avoid any disputes down the line, work on additional scope shouldn't start until the Buyer has explicitly agreed (in the WorkStream) to any extra cost.
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