Re: Time Standards on Contractors

Subject: Re: Time Standards on Contractors
From: Dick Margulis <margulis -at- fiam -dot- net>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2000 17:03:19 -0500

"Anthony Markatos" writes:

>* Estimates are just that - estimates. There are bound to be days (maybe
>many days) in which over eight hours is required to complete the
>predetermined standard daily quantity of documentation.
>* The client is firm on no pay beyond 40 hours per week.
>* I am firm on being payed for each hour worked - no free overtime.

And Dick opines:

Tony, the dialectics here get interesting.

We all know (at least anyone who has been paying attention) what your
standard of quality is for documentation--perfect structure, complete
information, based on thorough analysis. End of story. You don't give a
rat's ass whether it is graphically attractive, styled for readability,
grammatical, or spelled correctly. (I'm not complaining about your
inability to spell, only making an observation about it.)

The client, on the other hand, may have a very different standard of
quality, one that includes some of the attributes you consider trivial
or irrelevant.

So the client may insist that something you think is "complete" needs
additional work.

To you, the additional work is overtime for which you demand
payment--because it's only window-dressing for the document, after all.

To the client, you are producing unacceptable deliverables and you
should make the repairs on your own time.

This does not bode well for the relationship, does it? I see a big
brouhaha and a lot of invective coming, possibly followed by a lawsuit.

Possible workarounds:

1. Be very clear at the outset about your respective expectations. If
your expectations are in alignment, great.

2. If your expectations are not in alignment, include in your estimate
an allowance for a subcontractor who can come in and do the prettying up
for you, so you can make the client's production targets.

My $0.02

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