Whiteboard-IT is currently seeking a C# ASP.NET Developer with education and experience in all related fields. Looking for ASP.NET and open source experience. C# and jQuery knowledge desired. We are looking for a creative and motivated individual who can produce high-quality work and can meet deadlines.
- Minimum 2 years experience (employment or curriculum) in a related field
- Working knowledge of HTML5 and CSS3
- User experience, user interaction, and information architecture best practices
- Study of current web design trends and creative ability to execute compositions of such
- Good communication skills with team work and client interaction
- Some Sharepoint Exposure Desired.
- Github or BitBucket or equivalent account required for application
Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience. To apply, please complete the application form and email it AND a resume to firstname.lastname@example.org. All out of town applicants must be willing to relocate at their own expense.
Time entries can help you gain valuable insight into inefficiencies with how time is allocated. However, it’s only as good as the data you have. It’s import that time entries be logged in a way that is meaningful. A detailed comment, is unfortunately not enough. Your time tracking system needs to have the capability to categorize time entries. Without categorization you can’t know the total costs of things.
Think of what information you would like to see during and after the project is over. For example, if you would like to see the following chart.
Then these are the category options that you should have on your time entry system. Every business is different and is concerned with different things. For company A meetings might be a subset of communications. Or it might be important to separate client communication from internal communication. It is important that there are not too many categories. When data is broken down too granular it has a tendancy to lose its meaning. Categories should be different enough and generic enough to quickly and easily choose from when logging time.
The description of what is done during the time should be a single sentence, but enough to point someone in the right direction if more information is needed. After all, we want to utilize the consultant for more programming rather than becoming a court reporter. If more information is needed the time entry comment should be enough to point a resource towards a tag, branch, or issue # for more detail.
If these metrics are important to you then you will need to audit it tightly. Review this at least weekly to make sure that the entries you need are present. If you get to the end of the project and want to know why you are over budget and then realize your consultants have been logging 10 hour days to “Development” or “On Site Support” then it is too late. You can never reclaim that information and any attempts to would produce fictitious results. Knowing where your inefficiencies lay could give you the ammo to ensure that they are improved on the next go round.
Time is a very large part of the equation when working with consultants. So be prepared and figure out what knowledge you want to glean from where they spend their time.
Read the first part in our series. How to get more out of your consultant
Hiring one or many consultants for a large block of hours is an expensive proposition. It is important to have a plan in place in order to make sure that you are getting the desired value out of the resource. With a team in place, these concerns are multiplied. One of the biggest leaks we experience in onsite consulting is in the planning department.
The devil is in the details. It’s extremely important to have all of the logins to all of the resources prepared well prior to the consultant arriving onsite. On several occasions we’ve arrived ready to work only to find that we don’t have accounts to join the domain, access the wiki, source control, file share, or any way to get into the issue management software. In a typical organization there are quite a few logins that would be required for a programmer to access. Rarely is the domain account the only thing the programmer would need. Note, the consultant should make you very aware of all the things they are missing as soon as they get onsite and remind you of them if they are not retrieved. A good consultant knows that their time is valuable and is concerned when they are not able to produce due to some barrier. These barriers should be removed as quickly and efficiently as possible when they are presented.
A consultant should always have direction on more than one task. Tasks, by their nature, are completed. A good developer will constantly move on to the next one. If no additional tasks are provided and there is no contact available to provide another one then time and money will be exhausted. A good consultant will make an assumption and do something useful until direction can be given but ultimately efforts will be expended on items that are not the highest priority for the client. Even on large tasks the programmer may encounter a roadblock or a question that needs to be answered, so it’s always best to have something else lined up in that event.
Communication is one of the biggest leaks in any company. However, we all recognize that it is a very important thing. Large conference calls or redundant meetings can increase the total timeline and bloat the budget needed to accomplish a project. Whomever is acting as the project manager should be instructed to think of calls and meetings in terms of money instead of time. Add up the hourly rate of all the resources that you believe need to attend and then multiple that times the time scheduled for the meeting. Thinking in these terms will ensure that only those consulting resources who add enough value will be added to the invite and otherwise be free to make progress on their tasks. Scheduling a meeting for 15 minutes instead of thirty, or thirty minutes instead of an hour, can make a big difference in the bottom line. It’s important to stick to the agenda and if the call has more than 5 people then it should be high-level and roadblocks only. It’s the project managers responsibility to direct attention back to the agenda items when resources dip below 30 thousand feet.
Read more in the second part in our series regarding Consultant billing and the things you need to know.
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