Re: Estimating Projects

Subject: Re: Estimating Projects
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com
Date: Tue, 03 Oct 2000 15:04:43 -0700

Andrew Plato wrote:
> Sure there are industry standards. There are general practices by service
> firms. You do work, you bill for that work. All service organizations work this
> way. How many *good* auto mechanics do you know who take your car apart, then
> fold their arms and ask for a partial payment? (Please note my emphasis on
> *good*.) *Good* places give you an estimate, do the work, explain the results
> and charge you. Good places also call you and tell you if it will cost more
> than they expected. You don't pay until they deliver your working car.

I'm surprised that a believer in the New Economy would insist on
industry standards. Isn't part of the New Economy making it up as
you go along :-)

Seriously, the idea of contracting for technical writing services
is so relatively new that I suspect that the standards are any
that you can negotiate. If you can see some advantages in working
in a certain way, why not try to? Of course, you have to be
prepared to change your proposal if you want the contract.

As for analogies with other service firms, I'm not sure that they
have much relevance. However, I note that, although auto
mechanics may not work on partial payments, building contractors
do (at least in my area).

> If you can't trust your clients then why should they trust you?

A good point.

At times, both sides might have other reasons for having staged
payments. For example, a company that doesn't know much about
technical writing might want a trial period. However, if I had
any real doubts about the client, I think that I'd rather walk
away from the contract than add an elaborate schedule of payments
to my To Worry list.

Bruce Byfield, Outlaw Communications
Contributing Editor, Maximum Linux
bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com | Tel: 604.421.7189

"Soon you'll achieve the stability you strive for,
In the only way that it's granted:
In a place among the fossils of our time."
-Jefferson Airplane (after John Wyndham)

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