This is the third – and what I thought would be the last – part of my mini-series on tech fear.
And today, I want to give you 6 concrete tips for turning your outsourced tech project into a success!
But first, let me confess something to you:
I used to be a pretty lousy purchaser of tech services.
There are three main reasons for that, and I want to share them with you because at least two of them are manageable. By improving your input in those areas, you will improve the quality of your outsourced tech projects.
The first reason had to do with my tech skills. This often felt like a Catch-22. I would hire someone to help me with tech because I didn’t know enough about it myself – but that lack of knowledge made it difficult for me to make informed decisions during the outsourcing process.
The second reason had to do with choosing the right kind of support. I often wanted one person to do “everything” for me – from simple tasks to complicated projects. This worked well in some cases; in others less so.
The third reason was about communicating my needs. It’s one thing to have a vision – it’s another to give concrete feedback on the success variables of a specific project. I had to learn how to balance getting specific while staying away from micro-managing. ;D
You can learn how to manage all three of these areas – even if the latter two might be easier and faster than the first one. A lot of it has to do with preparedness, clarity, communication and being ready to do parts of the work yourself. The point is: you can learn to do it better than I used to! 😀
Here’s what you can do to help turn your outsourced tech project into a success:
1. Prioritize and know what you want.
Prioritize between your different tech needs – and be clear on the consequences for the parts that will have to wait. This reduces dissonance as you start digging into your first project. For the parts that you have decided to outsource, know exactly what it is that you need help with. Do a little research so that you can make an informed decision once you start to discuss solutions with someone.
2. Get really specific!
Get crystal clear on what you want a specific solution to do for you. Describe the functionality, the process, and the graphics. Think of it from your clients’ point of view and the feeling that you want to get across. Write all of this down, because that input is golden both for you and for your tech person.
3. Decide who to hire.
Specify the skillset and the experience that this person must have for that specific project. Check their references. Compare. Get a feeling of what they’re like as a person and how your communication flows. Check the pricing.
4. Specify the scope and timing of the work.
Write up a contract with all the important project information, like roles and responsibilities, deadlines, ownership and price.
5. Do the work.
Even if you outsource, you will still need to do parts of the work yourself. You might need to write up a bunch of copy, or design and create an onboarding sequence. Perhaps you’ll need to set up a shared folder with all the important project information and give feedback on project progress. The better prepared you are, the higher the quality of the final product.
6. Use a helpful platform to communicate.
There are many bits and pieces that will get lost on the way if you only use email or a chat. Use a platform that allows you to work jointly, share information and track progress. Trello is my number one choice, but you choose what works best for you. 😊
Finally, I suggest keeping your eyes and ears open throughout your project. Learn as you go along, and you will get better and better with each one.
PS. I’ve decided to add a fourth and final part to this mini-series, because one of the biggest things that you can do yourself if you suffer from tech fear is to learn how to turn it into tech joy! Stay tuned for my best tips on how to do just that, coming to you in next week’s post! <3