CFO’s and business owners want feedback from their programmers, which is tough when often times the better programmers have spent their lives incubating skills that borrow from their ability to return phone calls. And costs for a web site are all over the place; from several hundred dollars for a simple revision to a hundreds of thousands of dollars for a site with vast databases, and volumes of functionality. So – when a project depends on a high level of accountability and communication, and all of them do, clients just want to know what is really happening behind the veil of code.
All consultants’ fees are based on a daily billing rate, which reflects the value they place on one day’s labor plus expected overhead expenses. These rates appear in fixed fees, monthly retainers, hourly billing or even by measuring a company’s performance. Either way, those fees must be justified with the quality of their work combined with effective communication and reporting.
The savior of the coding hero is to maintain good internal systems and to enjoy the ability to recognize weakness and to compensate for it by surrounding one’s self with colleagues of varying skills and personalities. This wisdom steers a client away from hiring one-man shops where “man-down” doesn’t mean the death of a project. Consistency comes when redundancies are as present as the front-line programmer.
At Whiteboard, we make a habit of communicating internally through continual education, participation in the open source community and a diligent internal peer review process. In doing so we encourage our staff to pay attention to the details. It also keeps us talking, keeping all parties informed. Upon request, our clients receive online access to reports that monitor the progress of each project, including time sheets.
We have cleaned up many messes created by one-man shops or companies who care little for the details. And while we are grateful for the opportunity to do so, we feel your pain and look forward to providing relief.