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 How to Make a Success of Your Project? | PM Tools - PM Tools

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How to Make a Success of Your Project?

Outsourcing in the Virtual World

With outsourcing becoming the most preferred business strategy in recent times, several small and big businesses have reaped huge benefits in terms of costs, quality and speed. The outsourcers make a bee-line for cheaper countries like India which have abundant English speaking skilled programmers and other professionals and the quality of services delivered is comparable with the best in the world. Plus it is available at minimal prices.

Thanks to the World Wide Web, we now have the cyber marketplaces for outsourcing in the virtual world. These are basically web portals which act as a dedicated point of contact between the outsourcers/ buyers and service providers/freelancers to strike a deal. They enable the service buyers to find the kind of professionals they need and the freelancers to find buyers for their services. All kinds of services are traded here ranging from copy writing and a simple logo design to hardcore programming like C/C++, Java, .NET and software development!

Projects

The buyers or the project managers as they are often called, convey their need for outsourcing by posting their projects on a web portal. Qualified freelancers come and bid their prices for those services. The project manager then chooses the best bid and closes his project. The chosen freelancer and the buyer are then put in contact with each other by the web portal.

Every project posted attracts several bids, leaving the project manager spoilt for choices as well as a little confused over who to choose. But it is not as easy as it sounds. Not all projects are carried out to their successful completion for various reasons, a few get mired in disputes, sometimes the bidding period expires and the project gets frozen without the project being awarded to any freelancer. How to avoid such situations? And how to make a success of your project? These are some of the issues we shall try to deal with in the following lines.

What goes into the making of a successful project?

A project can be certified as successful only when the project manager is satisfied and happy with the end-result! Success of a project is established in six consecutive steps:

1) You have a clear and realistic set of expectations from posting the project

2) You prepare your text for posting accordingly and post the project

3) The project attracts the kind of freelancers it needs

4) The most deserving freelancer wins the project

5) The project is completed under the supervision of the project manager in time.

6) The end-result is a quality product.

How to post a Project?

Before a project manager posts a project, he must analyze his own requirements carefully. Posting a project should not be viewed as an end in itself. It is rather a means to achieve the end of– being able to select the freelancer you need. Understand the whole process of your project thoroughly and finally settle on a realistic set of expectations. Only then go ahead with the posting.

A posting is good and effective when it serves its purpose of attracting your targeted freelancers and has enough details for the freelancers to make an informed bid on the whole project.  So, you’ve got some work to do here! After all, your posting is going to speak on your behalf. It must communicate clearly and effectively. So, the content should be lucid, to the point and easy to read and understand. Typically a good and effective posting covers the following areas:

·          Your introduction (Usually, this portion is skipped by most managers. Or, this could be short and terse. A project manager can choose as per his/her individual approach and preferences.)

·          Job type (Here, you mention the basic skill-set needed to carry out the job. e.g. C/C++, SQL, Graphic design etc.)

·          Necessary job specifications (You give details about the job aspects. e.g. “we need you to handle x, develop y and create z as a part of the project.” The purpose is to give the bidders a clear idea about all the work involved in the project so that they make an informed bid.)

·          What are your time constraints? (Your can mention your expected time for project completion. Try to keep a reasonable time-frame since that would translate into a better quality for you.)

·          What is your estimated budget? (Here, you quote a tentative price you are ready to pay for the said services which should ideally take in to account the skill set and expertise you are asking for, as well as the time and labor needed. You can specify the exact price or mention a range. Sometimes, the project managers mention ridiculously low prices or entirely skip any mention, in anticipation that this would lead to great cost savings but that could also translate in to a shoddy service as well. So, one should not hesitate to pay the deserved price. Outsourcing as well as competitive bidding is already lowering your costs a great deal.)

·          Project’s open time (This is the time-span of the active project i.e. from the time your project is posted till the time it expires. This time is given to the project to accumulate enough number of qualifying bids.)

·          Do mention your terms and conditions, confidentiality agreements or special requests, if any.

TIP–It’s not a great idea to circumvent business ethics and deliberately make a hazy posting that doesn’t give the bidders a fair idea about what they are signing up for! Eventually, you might need the services of the same freelancers again!

Remember, a comprehensive posting about the project would prevent repetitive questioning from the bidders, would save you from any disputes later on and also cast you in the light of a sincere business person. No wonder, good postings are always flooded with qualifying bids. I hope, you are ready to post a good project by yourself!

Sort out, correspond and confirm

After you’ve posted your project, you give some time for the project to accumulate sufficient number of qualifying bids. Meanwhile, you can go through each bidder’s profile, message, bidding details, pm’s and other files they have attached. Once you’ve sorted out the bids and have sufficient suitable candidates to choose from, you can begin to correspond with the good and promising bidders through the messaging system provided by your portal. You can keep on eliminating bidders from your list when they don’t meet your expectations. You can ask questions and demand sample work in order to confirm their credentials and gauge their suitability for your project. Subsequently, before the project period expires, you need to zero in on ‘the’ one! Once you finalize the winning bidder, the project is deemed closed.

(Several portals charge exorbitant amounts from both buyers as well as service providers. Some even charge for signing you up. www.e-guru.in is the one portal that is secure and reliable, and doesn’t charge the buyer anything for posting a project. Besides it offers a host of other benefits and features for the buyers, like its secure escrow payment system which acts as a safety net for the buyers.)

Project Implementation

Now comes the time to get some work done! Since, you would be given contact details of the contracted freelancer; you can convey your needs in greater detail and co-ordinate with him/her on how to go about the project. You can communicate via a variety of means like e-mails, IM, WebEx, Net meeting etc. Now the ball is in your court. You need to be pro-active at all the project stages, in monitoring and guiding your service provider as per your requirements. I am sure that henceforth, your project would take up your desired shape with the expert help of the professional you chose.

Conclusion

Belief in business ethics, professionalism and mutually beneficial business practices go a long way in determining your long-term success as a business person. With this note, I urge you to make the most of the opportunities that are there because of the internet. You now have the tools and the insight to make your projects an astounding success. Happy Posting!!

The author invites you to have a look at the tools, resources and programs on offer at <a href=”http://www.e-guru.in” rel=”nofollow”>www.e-guru.in which is the destination of choice for outsourcers all over the world. E-guru is the hub of Indian programmers and various other freelancing professionals from all over India. Watch all the action happening now at<a href=”http://www.e-guru.in” rel=”nofollow”>www.e-guru.in !
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