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Cleanup Tasks - Fixing Other Freelancers’ Messes
(Page 3 of 3)
Repair or Replace?
Some projects never get off the ground
at all, but most end with the work partially done. In these cases, clients
will nearly always look for a new freelancer to make use of the work
that the first freelancer did. They’ll be after someone to “complete”
the project, not to do it over.
This, of course, makes sense in a
lot of situations. Why take time and pay someone to redo work that’s
already been done? But clients sometimes don’t realize that if
a project failed, sometimes this means that the work that’s been
partially done is not as much of an asset as they imagine. In a number
of circumstances it can make a lot more sense to start the work over
rather than try to extend or adapt what’s already been done. A
few common cases:
- The work that’s been done was simply done
incorrectly, and it would take more time to fix it than do it over.
- The amount of time that it would take the new
freelancer to figure out what the previous person did exceeds the amount
of time it would take to redo it. This is often the case with engineering
and programming work.
- The source files from the original work aren’t
available; for example, this could happen on a design project.
- It would save time in the short run to use the
existing work, but result in a lower-quality end result. This is somewhat
analogous to building a fancy house on a poorly-constructed foundation.
- The initial freelancer’s work was of reasonable
quality, but he or she took a less efficient approach. The new hire can
actually complete the project more quickly, and less expensively, by
starting over with a different approach.
In these and similar situations, it
is incumbent upon you to convince the client to allow you to start over
rather than reusing existing work product. Some customers will take you
at your word, while others will be reluctant to believe that this is
actually the best approach. On a rational level, all that should matter
is a successfully-completed project for a particular proposed cost, regardless
of how it is done. But you may have to do some convincing, especially
when dealing with clients who have grown suspicious after a bad experience.
Rush Remedial Jobs - High Leverage
Rush jobs can make you a hero, and
so can clean-up jobs, so what about rush clean-up projects? In my experience,
these do have double the potential for making you look good—but
probably triple the potential for becoming absolute disasters.
Be very careful before agreeing to
a hurry-up clean-up, lest you end up in an even bigger mess than you
started out with. Even if the client is tight on time, be absolutely
sure of what you’re getting into before you agree to a remedial
job with a tight timeframe. Don’t add to a bad situation by making
promises you can’t keep. Even though a client might not want to
hear that what he wants isn’t doable, that is preferable to setting
him or her up for another disappointment.
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The Online Freelancing Guide (http://www.FreelancingGuide.net)
Last Site Update: February 1, 2012
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