Re: Time Standards on Contractors

Subject: Re: Time Standards on Contractors
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Techwrl-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 19 Mar 2000 17:53:29 -0800 (PST)

> 1.) How typical is it for Tech Writer contractors to work to client
> predetermined time standards, for example: Document one module per day?

Typical? This is the way all (decent) contract arrangements are setup. The
client sets the expectations, deliverables, and time limits - you meet them.
If you fail to meet them, expect to have your contract terminated.

Now, there is usually some negotiation room on deadlines if dependencies are
not met. Therefore, make sure to establish what those dependencies are.
Also be prepared to force the client to meet those dependencies.

> 2.) I am considering a 6 to 7 month remote-location Tech Writer contractor
> position having predetermined time standards. Given the below facts, do you
> see a way in which the assignment can be a win-win situation?

Yes, if you focus 100% on meeting the client's needs and 0% on meeting your
personal needs. Just because YOU think X, Y, Z is important does not mean you
client will agree with you. If you do EVERYTHING you client asks, and maybe a
little more, then you'll have a win-win situation. However, make damn certain
you meet ALL the client's expectations no matter how foolish or outlandish you
think they are.

> * 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.

Then you had better find a way to do the job in 40 hours a week. Start cutting
corners and optimizing your time to include only the bare necessities. Contract
jobs are rarely elegant or "correct". They are most often slapping things
together QUICKLY so the client can get the project finished and move on to
other things.

Andrew Plato

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