Tag Archives: Following Directions

How to Make Sure Outsourcing Companies Follow Directions

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How to Make Sure Outsourcing Companies Following Directions

Following directions is a problem in any company. But, if you work with offshore labor, or outsourcing companies, they always blame the customer if they didn’t follow directions. Remember — the customer is always wrong. Most companies just don’t value the work you are giving them in my experience which is where the problem starts.

But, the resolution to the problem is easy. Here are a few steps to ensure that your offshore company follows instructions well.

(1) Give them a test run before you give them any real work.
If a company is too sloppy to give a chance on something that might be time sensitive or critical, test a few companies out on your dime on a test project. I recommend TWO test projects. Companies tend to be “trying” more on the initial test project, and will slack off a lot more on the second one.

(2) Let the offshore company believe that the 2nd test project is real
Outsourcing companies will let you down a lot of the time if you are a small client. They just don’t care much about the little fish which doesn’t make good business sense. Little fishes are easier to catch, easier to keep, and lots of little fish add up to a big fish. Companies will be more careful in your assignment if they feel it is a test. If the second test project is a real project, then they go back to their regular habits of taking forever and making lots of mistakes in many cases. A second test is like a second interview. People are being “themselves” the second time around — and you need to know what the real “themselves” is before giving them anything critical!

(3) You need to keep clear instructions in writing, and then go over the instructions verbally after the fact. If you flood someone with emails, you will create a mess. So, only send needed emails and keep the information in them well organized. Anything that was assigned orally can be disregarded and YOU will be blamed. People can forget what you told them, or just blatantly disregard what you said. Or, if someone gets upset with you, then they might decide to not follow instructions.

(4) Have your offshore company check in with you periodically
It is impotant to have work get done in steps. You need to inspect each step. The first step should be the smallest. That way if your offshore company is on the wrong track, you can get them straightened out. But don’t assume that because you corrected the company, that they will follow directions from then on. Assume that they will continue making mistakes as they usually do. In real life they might make some of the same types of errors they made before and perhaps a few new ones too!

(5) Deadlines should be in writing
Give lots of smaller deadlines in writing that are reasonable. Use these to double check all of the work. The secret to having people follow directions is to screen out those that are beyond help, and to keep coaching the good ones! Deadlines assist in the checking process. They also provide a definitive line where you can fire someone. You could even have multiple deadlines for the same stage in the process. The first deadline gets you a bonus, the second keeps you going, and the third gets you fired for sure — no excuses! You can engineer so many business strategies with creative deadlines. Don’t overlook this opportunity.

Keep an eye on everyone, communicate all pertinent points in writing every time, and good luck!

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Steve Jobs watched his programmers carefully — so should you!

Categories: Management, Popular on Google+, Popular on Twitter, Popular Posts | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Just let the programmers do their work?
I am always being told to just let the designers do their work, and just let the programmers do their work. But, whenever I am not watching, they do things wrong and go off on expensive tangents that cost me hundreds in lost labor. They will fail to follow directions, or on a vaguely discussed point, build things in a way that I either don’t like or simply cannot use. Watching programmers can save you hundreds, thousands, or your life. So, why would people tell me to back off?

It is annoying to have someone looking over your shoulder.
I believe it is a nuisance to people to always have someone looking over their shoulder. But, if they would do their work the way I want it, I wouldn’t be looking over their shoulder in the first place. If a software developer generally does what they are supposed to, I don’t need to inspect their work that often or as carefully. But, very few of these software developers follow directions well. It has gotten to the point where I just won’t work with someone who has a track record of following directions any less than 80% of the time which is still a low figure.

So many people do not want me watching their programmers.
But, Steve Jobs watched his programmers much more than I watch mine. If you want to be successful, the evidence points to paying more attention, not less. I believe that I have been dealing with very negligent people who just want me off their back and don’t care much about the quality of the work.

Fire people who don’t want to be watched – immediately
The moral of my little article here is that if people want you off their back — fire them. Find people who are on your team, who are willing to be watched if necessary. Find people who care about following directions and getting things done on time in a reasonable amount of hours. Doing a long search to find good people might be difficult, but it is easier in the long run than hiring people who are evasive, dishonest, difficult, or who just don’t follow directions.

Good luck finding cooperative people
Unfortunately, to find a software development firm that generally does things right, they are less than 1%. Happy hunting! It might be better to hire your own programmers so that you are in control if you can’t find another company who cooperates 100%.

(1) If Steve Jobs watched his programmers carefully, why shouldn’t you?
(2) If your programmers don’t want u watching over their shoulders, watch over their butts as you kick them out of there
(3) Your workers won’t mind you watching over their shoulder as long as you give each shoulder equal time
(4) Watch carefully over your programmer’s shoulder, or shoulder blame for shoddy work they do on their own.
(5) If Steve Jobs watched his programmers carefully, so should U. Come back for upgrade of this tweet a year from now.

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