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Topics: Consulting, Earned Value Management, Outsourcing
Free Lance Project Members
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With the rising popularity of free lancing and platforms catering for this, has anyone here experienced managing free lance (remote/virtual) project members such as developers, encoders, etc.? How was schedule adherence? How was quality? Would you recommend this as a good option at least for low risk projects (projects that do not require tight security)? How was your general experience?
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Joseph -

There are pros and cons to using contract staff just as there are for full time staff. The benefits are that you usually get more focus and availability from contract staff than full timers who will have normal administrative activities in addition to their project responsibilities. You also can benefit from deep technical skills in specific areas as well as a breadth of experience which comes from working with different clients.

The down sides are higher cost, low organizational awareness and internal relationships, and the potential loss of valuable knowledge if you don't do a good job of managing knowledge transfer.

I've had excellent contractors as team members on my projects and some bad ones. As with any team member, you need to do as much due diligence as possible up front before making a hiring decision balancing technical expertise with interpersonal and other skills.

Kiron
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1 reply by Joseph Pangan
Oct 05, 2017 8:05 AM
Joseph Pangan
...
Hi Kiron,

Thank you for your response. I might have not stated my question clearly but I was asking about part-timers who may have no fix schedule, and who may even have multiple engagements. I am thinking of exploring this option instead of hiring full time contractors, with the intention to save, to minimize idle times and maximize productivity. Just in time project human resource. Am I making sense? Haha.
Network:232



Oct 05, 2017 7:08 AM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Joseph -

There are pros and cons to using contract staff just as there are for full time staff. The benefits are that you usually get more focus and availability from contract staff than full timers who will have normal administrative activities in addition to their project responsibilities. You also can benefit from deep technical skills in specific areas as well as a breadth of experience which comes from working with different clients.

The down sides are higher cost, low organizational awareness and internal relationships, and the potential loss of valuable knowledge if you don't do a good job of managing knowledge transfer.

I've had excellent contractors as team members on my projects and some bad ones. As with any team member, you need to do as much due diligence as possible up front before making a hiring decision balancing technical expertise with interpersonal and other skills.

Kiron
Hi Kiron,

Thank you for your response. I might have not stated my question clearly but I was asking about part-timers who may have no fix schedule, and who may even have multiple engagements. I am thinking of exploring this option instead of hiring full time contractors, with the intention to save, to minimize idle times and maximize productivity. Just in time project human resource. Am I making sense? Haha.
Network:175



Multi-Project Tasking in combination with part time availability generates negative impacts on the team productivity. Without knowing the specific project background I cannot give a final recommendation, but at least I recommend you, to try to really get it minimized to the absolut minimum. Think about options to reduce the reasons for idle times in the project.
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1 reply by Joseph Pangan
Oct 05, 2017 10:41 AM
Joseph Pangan
...
I agree. Try and limit at a minimum.

Resource idle times usually occur due to dependencies of some activities to other activities (Finish to Start) where one has to wait until the activity of another resource is completed and so on.

Thanks for the suggestion, I think it is worth a shot.
Network:66844



I find it easier to manage contract resources, especially remote ones, by given them a deliverable and deadline. As long as they deliver what I need on time, they can do it as and when they see fit.
...
1 reply by Joseph Pangan
Oct 05, 2017 10:47 AM
Joseph Pangan
...
Thanks. Good to know. Do you usually bind them to work just for you in a period of time or are they free?

What tasks do you usually delegate to remote freelancers?

I am thinking encoding tasks, running scripts, and software testing given a testing scripts.
Network:232



Oct 05, 2017 8:41 AM
Replying to Peter Ambrosy
...
Multi-Project Tasking in combination with part time availability generates negative impacts on the team productivity. Without knowing the specific project background I cannot give a final recommendation, but at least I recommend you, to try to really get it minimized to the absolut minimum. Think about options to reduce the reasons for idle times in the project.
I agree. Try and limit at a minimum.

Resource idle times usually occur due to dependencies of some activities to other activities (Finish to Start) where one has to wait until the activity of another resource is completed and so on.

Thanks for the suggestion, I think it is worth a shot.
Network:232



Oct 05, 2017 10:16 AM
Replying to Stéphane Parent
...
I find it easier to manage contract resources, especially remote ones, by given them a deliverable and deadline. As long as they deliver what I need on time, they can do it as and when they see fit.
Thanks. Good to know. Do you usually bind them to work just for you in a period of time or are they free?

What tasks do you usually delegate to remote freelancers?

I am thinking encoding tasks, running scripts, and software testing given a testing scripts.
...
1 reply by Stéphane Parent
Oct 05, 2017 11:44 AM
Stéphane Parent
...
To be honest, Joseph, I don't care if they are dedicated to me or if they are split across a bunch of contracts. If they agree to the deadline, then I expect them to deliver come what may.

I don't delegate tasks. I assign them a deliverable. If I take your suggested tasks, I would ask them to provide me with a coded module, an updated environment, or a tested application.
Network:66844



Oct 05, 2017 10:47 AM
Replying to Joseph Pangan
...
Thanks. Good to know. Do you usually bind them to work just for you in a period of time or are they free?

What tasks do you usually delegate to remote freelancers?

I am thinking encoding tasks, running scripts, and software testing given a testing scripts.
To be honest, Joseph, I don't care if they are dedicated to me or if they are split across a bunch of contracts. If they agree to the deadline, then I expect them to deliver come what may.

I don't delegate tasks. I assign them a deliverable. If I take your suggested tasks, I would ask them to provide me with a coded module, an updated environment, or a tested application.
...
1 reply by Joseph Pangan
Oct 05, 2017 11:51 AM
Joseph Pangan
...
Well said. Thanks Stéphane.
Network:1278



I am in line with Stéphane. In my case I have managed this type of environments from years ago mainly when I worked in a hugh company related to services in the field of applications/technolgy/security/information. In fact, it is difficult to me remembering an initiative where I am not managing this type of schemas. Then only point I have to take into account is national regulations about all related to labor regulations. About the rest of the components is has not difference for me.
...
1 reply by Joseph Pangan
Oct 05, 2017 12:05 PM
Joseph Pangan
...
Awesome. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Sergio. It is appreciated.
Network:232



Oct 05, 2017 11:44 AM
Replying to Stéphane Parent
...
To be honest, Joseph, I don't care if they are dedicated to me or if they are split across a bunch of contracts. If they agree to the deadline, then I expect them to deliver come what may.

I don't delegate tasks. I assign them a deliverable. If I take your suggested tasks, I would ask them to provide me with a coded module, an updated environment, or a tested application.
Well said. Thanks Stéphane.
Network:232



Oct 05, 2017 11:50 AM
Replying to Sergio Luis Conte
...
I am in line with Stéphane. In my case I have managed this type of environments from years ago mainly when I worked in a hugh company related to services in the field of applications/technolgy/security/information. In fact, it is difficult to me remembering an initiative where I am not managing this type of schemas. Then only point I have to take into account is national regulations about all related to labor regulations. About the rest of the components is has not difference for me.
Awesome. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Sergio. It is appreciated.
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