Contractors · Consultants

Consultants and documenting time and work...

Helen Adeosun

December 13th, 2013

Hey everyone,

I am imagining that instructional designers are just like any other contractor, and you have to kiss a few frogs to get to people that you can trust so I am waiting to be impressed.  I created a tight spec and contract and the first thing that I am concerned about is writing in hours for our check in calls. Is it common practice to write in meeting times as a part of work time?

Thanks!
Helen

Matt Farnell

December 13th, 2013

absolutely, they are not equity holders, their biz model is by the hour.

Paul Travis Multifaceted Online Executor: Product Marketing to Program Mgmt. to Business Development

December 13th, 2013

Most definitely, Helen (unless it's over lunch and there's just as much personal/nonwork being discussed).

Jake Carlson Software Development Manager at Oracle

December 13th, 2013

Yup, I'm a contractor and I charge for my time no matter what I'm doing for clients. The only exception is commutes to/from meetings in town. I've never felt right about charging for that. 

Michael Calleia Product/Experience Design/Strategy Leader. Founder, Humanist partnering with clients to build great products and brands

December 13th, 2013

Yes, absolutely, meeting time is billable. That time is dedicated to that client and to their project. Best, Michael -sent from mobile

John Wallace President at Apps Incorporated

December 13th, 2013

When we prepare timelines, it's usually an iterative process. The client defines the goals. We'll then review the goals with them and probe to see if there are other goals. Then we'll go off and spend some quiet time creating the first version of a timeline. Along the way, we usually find items that we didn't think of in the meeting. We'll then review the initial timeline and potential new goals with the client, and iterate. We keep iterating until all of us agree that the timeline will deliver an acceptable end result. We then review that timeline every 2-3 weeks as the project moves along to see where we're at and to adjust either the goals or the timeline as needed.

I don't know how cut-and-dried your project is. The more knowable the end result, the more concrete the timeline; conversely, the more innovative the end result, the more vague the timeline. For complex projects there is a lot of discovery/invention along the way, so we leave time in the schedule for those unknowables. As we learn things we'll fill in the holes in the timeline.

Eugene St.Clair Chief Executive Officer at Humanproof

December 13th, 2013

Helen, 

Same thing here. I spend about half my week in meetings. It's all billable but I agree with Jake Carlson. Pretty much everything but travel (unless its a full day spent on an airplane and even then I try to do that on the weekend if I can). 

What kind of outcomes and deliverables are you looking at for templates? We support a lot of government agencies so most of their stuff has mandated requirements for what goes in it. Where that is absent, we work with the client during the proposal and kick-off stages to refine the details and expectations. 

Ilene Fischer Partner, Mark Kamin and Associates

December 13th, 2013

I know of a great instructional designer Sent from my iPhone

Helen Adeosun

December 13th, 2013

Another quick question: do you all have templates for writing expected outcomes and deliverables? Do you plan with the clients you work with or do they hand you an expected timeline?

Helen Adeosun

December 13th, 2013

Thanks Paul! I can sleep easier now. Thanks! Helen A