Hourly Update Policy Explained
Why must we give our clients an update of what we are doing each hour? Again, it all goes back to TRUST. Our clients LOVE to see hourly updates as our clients are in the role of your “Project Manager”. Since our clients are your project managers, and you are working 13,000 KM away from their office, this is necessary to help the client feel at ease with the whole off-shoring aspect. It also allows them to make correct decisions on how you build their software projects based on what you communicate to them. Time is money, clients can’t afford to have a developer straying away from objectives for longer than a few hours. Hourly updates, keep developers on track, keep clients at ease, empower clients to make decisions, protect our developers and our company.
Remember our goal is to make our clients feel as if you are working in the same office as they are, so anything and everything we can do to make them feel like you are productive and working in the right direction, we need to do it. Hourly updates allows the clients to know exactly how their money is being spent. It gives them the power to guide and direct your activities.
Example: Let’s say a developer gets assigned a task from his client that he doesn’t know how to do. The developer needs to inform the client that he will need to research this to figure out how to do it. On update time the developer says: Status: Researching the plugin for current task. The client reads this and can make a decision… If the client feels this is going to take too long, then he can guide you on another solution that is easier and faster. If the client doesn’t redirect you, then the client is ok with the time you spent and knows about your research efforts. If you keep researching and keep updating the client, then the client is well aware of what you are doing, and can redirect you at anytime.
If you are not updating your client and you spend three hours researching, then the client will feel a sense of mistrust because he did not have the opportunity to re-direct you or help you. This is a major problem in off-shoring today. Most developers do not communicate their activities leaving clients feeling powerless on how their money is spent. We must combat this feeling of hopelessness and powerlessness and give our clients the feeling that they can have you spend your time the way they want. After all, they are paying for your time, so they should have a say in how it is spent.
Giving hourly updates also protects you and our company. If a client doesn’t redirect you after an hourly update, then he accepts that hour and cannot complain about it later. This helps us when a client is angry about something, we can say, “Have you not been reading the hourly updates? Your developer has been telling you what he’s doing every hour.”
This policy is in place to protect our clients, our company and our developers. It’s a crucial policy that needs to be followed as closely as possible.
Hourly updates need to be made at the top of each hour, and need to be as detailed as possible.
EXAMPLES OF GOOD HOURLY UPDATE STATEMENTS:
Status: Working on the contact us plugin change requests, nearly completed.
Status: Researching how to make the contact us plugin shoot fireworks. Should know in thirty minutes.
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