First off, a little intro/disclaimer. This is a kind of post that I usually don’t write because, even though it’s not a “corporate” blog I’m the one writing it and being my own one person company, this blog is a big part of the “branding of me” and has an impact on the business that comes in. However, I’ve finally decided that I’m ready to “sacrifice” the business of people who might recognize themselves in this for the sake of my head not exploding and if I’m ready to decide that offline, might as well write it here too.
This was originally titled “but we’re getting paid” because that’s the problem I’m going to talk about here. There’s a tendency, mostly in agencies (not the CIA), especially in web agencies born from marketing agencies to consider that anything is ok if you’re getting paid. I’m not talking about anything as in morals, like working for nazis or something, I’m talking about “yes, it’s dumb, put we’re billing”. That is NOT a valid answer when re-doing the same thing a third time.
It might be because I haven’t had problems getting work or because I charge a decent hourly fee that I’m willing to forgo cash for the sake of doing things right but I think it’s mostly because I have a huge aversion to half-assness. It’s not acceptable to me to do things half-assed in two weeks when they could have been done in one if your only reasons are “the client” (as in I can’t deal with him so I said yes) and “I don’t care, we’re getting paid”.
If things have gone slowly or assumptions were wrong and you need to redo something, fine. I’m not against fixing or even re-doing things when needed, I simply hate with a passion redoing things twice because you did half-assed work or because “it will calm down the client”. Manage the fucking expectations, explain situations, deal with what happens, don’t simply redo because it’s “simpler” and “we’re getting paid”. If it was your money you wouldn’t do it that way, why the fuck is it ok now that it fattens your bottom line??
While the web is, for some, a series of tubes websites are, for everyone, layers. Trying to do all of them at the same time is not a good way to go. Reprogramming the interface because you’re doing the design at the same time (and re-doing, and re-doing, and re-doing) is not a good way of doing things. Figure out a realistic time for each step and do them in a logical order, it’s not rocket surgery.
News flash: doing the same 2 week thing three times in a row is actually longer than doing it once 2 weeks later. Whodathunkit? You do it properly with a reasonable timeline and it takes less time than re-re-doing it with an half-assed one that you don’t respect anyway because it doesn’t make sense and/or you don’t deal with the client properly? Weird huh? Doing things right can be quicker and more effective than doing them half-assed because you don’t mind double billing. That’s wild man, wild.