Compatibility Check

By December 16, 2018August 24th, 2020Client Resources, Helpful Explanations

We All Work At Our Best Differently

Transparency and honesty saves time, stress and money – so let’s get to it!

There are three concepts that will improve your understanding and help you assess compatibility when entering a working relationship (not just with me!) in the web/tech field :

  • Reviewing the relationship and expectations through an easy analogy.
  • Work style: do you need a Maker or Manager schedule?
  • Specifics to working with me: guidelines and perspectives.

It helps to think of web development like building a house.
In fact, it’s a really good analogy!

  • A small house costs less than a big house. So do websites.
  • A house built by a professional builder will turn out better than a house built by an amateur. Same with websites.
  • Custom features like marble counters and custom designed cabinets cost more than the stock features. So do websites.
  • It takes time and strategy to build a strong, well made house. Same with websites.
  • If your house has a new bathroom, then you decide to move the bathroom to another room – you lose that cost in time and materials spent on building that original bathroom. Your builder isn’t going to give you a free bathroom just because you changed your mind. Consider all the construction and new planning that will go into moving a simple bathroom: tare down walls, build new walls, dig holes and install new plumbing, electrical and other infrastructure, buy new materials, allocate extra workers, push back deadlines, etc. Proper planning before building will avoid this. Same with websites.
  • Who would build a better house – you, your neighbor/peers, or a professional house builder? Same with websites.
  • Who would be a better advisor for a custom paint job – you, your peers, or a professional painter who knows about paint, its chemistry, and what paint works with what materials? Same with websites.

These points might make you laugh or roll your eyes, but I’ve found them really helpful for introducing clients to the web world and what to expect, and how to view the project.

WORK STYLE: Maker or Manager

Knowing if someone’s productivity style is a Maker or Manager is really insightful for knowing how they work best, and knowing what to expect from them in your working relationship. Similar to knowing if someone is a strong extrovert or introvert; it will frame your relationship style and approach. Many web/tech professionals are Makers, myself included.

There are two types of schedule, which I'll call the manager's schedule and the maker's schedule. The manager's schedule is for bosses. It's embodied in the traditional appointment book, with each day cut into one hour intervals. You can block off several hours for a single task if you need to, but by default you change what you're doing every hour...But there's another way of using time that's common among people who make things, like programmers and writers. They generally prefer to use time in units of half a day at least. You can't write or program well in units of an hour. That's barely enough time to get started.

- Paul Graham

Another explanation via Sketchplanations:

“In Manager Time a day is neatly sliced up into hourly chunks according to the calendar. Meeting someone is as easy as finding a free slot that coincides. You don’t have to worry too much about what you’ll be doing next as your calendar will tell you.

In Maker Time a day is an open book to get something hard and meaningful done. Even thinking when a meeting might be and remembering to go can distract from getting on with making. Long, uninterrupted chunks of time, not sliced and diced by meetings on the hour are ideal to make progress on hard problems and tackle something new. Even a single meeting in the middle of an afternoon can disrupt that long meaningful chunk into two that make it harder to tackle something big as you have to context switch and pick up where you left off.

Most modern offices operate on Manager Time. It’s great for meetings but comes at a cost for getting meaningful work done. If you’re a maker you may associate with the feeling that to get some real work done you feel you need to do it at the weekend, or in an evening after everyone’s gone home, when you’ll be free of interruptions.

If you’re a manager, consider your makers when you schedule your next meeting.”

Working With Me

In striving to create an environment of mutual benefit and success, here’s some helpful considerations to see if we would be a good fit:

GOOD FIT
  • You are looking for a strategic partner with expertise.
  • Your business/brand is open to tasteful adjustments/redesigns if needed.
  • In honoring my clients and giving them my undivided attention, I do not take unscheduled calls, and you are fine with that.
  • As with any development project (again, think: building a house!), you understand that estimations and time projections are subject to change and impossible to be spot-on.
  • You are comfortable communicating via email.
NOT A GOOD FIT
  • You’re not in the market for web / online business development expertise.
  • You simply need someone to apply your website ideas.
    • This is best for a Virtual Assistant, or a tasker you can hire on sites like UpWork. Like any agency that takes pride in their work and their client’s success, I do not apply ideas that would be a poor decision for the client and their web presence.
  • You need to be able to call at any time.
  • You are looking for cheap, not well done.
  • You often need 24 hours or less turn around time.
  • You have an inflexible budget and/or desire work and results that are realistically outside of your budget.