How to Prevent Micromanaging Your Contractor

October 31 2016

The reasons our clients choose to contract out instead of using staff (or even hiring staff) are many, but two of the most common are:

  • Hiring a contractor frees up your business’s time, personnel, and resources to focus on other things.
  • Contractors have talent and resources many businesses don’t have access to.

But too often this reasoning is dismissed once the work begins, and our clients fall into the trap of micromanagement.

We get it. It’s hard to let go of the reigns. Especially if you’re used to being able to walk into the office down the hall and get a status report or dictate changes at will. But even in the halls of your own business, micromanagement has its detriments.

Business people read entire books on how to avoid micromanaging their own employees, but they spend much less time reading about micromanaging contractors. (We know this, because there are so few resources on the topic.) So first, let’s look at why micromanaging your web development company hurts you, your business, and your project.

Why Micromanaging Your Contractor Hurts

Micromanagement steals time and resources.  You do need to invest time and resources, but do it wisely (see below).

Micromanagement limits solutions according to your time and resources. When you don’t let go and let us do our job, we are limited to the solutions you can develop in your limited time, knowledge, ability, and resources. But when we are able to move in a direction you may not have thought of or had the time or resources to develop, we can develop better solutions.

Micromanagement spoils the surprise. Who doesn't love a surprise? Ok, maybe you don't. And truly if you’ve been part of the planning process, been available to us for questions and suggestions, and followed our updates, it won’t be a huge surprise. But when you walk into the middle of a process, especially someone else’s process, it can look ugly and scary.

How to Avoid Micromanaging Your Contractor

We don’t think you want to micromanage us. We are certain your don’t want to limit us. But we also know how easy it is to slip into micromanagement. So here are some tips for preventing all that bad stuff that happens when you give into the temptation of micromanagement.

Plan

As we mentioned in our articles on an alternative RFP process, the most important part of ensuring a successful product is deciding what you want the solutions to accomplish, not necessarily create those solutions yourself. Focus on the end goal instead of developing what you think will fix a problem.

Invest Time Up Front

Be prepared to sit down for several hours hashing out details of your company needs and goals. It’s possible the information you provided upfront is based on your limitations, and, therefore, isn’t sufficient for the best solutions. Besides, we want to make sure we meet your expectations, so we have to know them!

Be Patient

Not only is a lot of time spent planning before we even start creating, a lot of time is spent in the bare bones of the solution. Building custom takes time.

Communicate

Make your expectations very clear. Not only do we need to ensure we are all on the same page about how to proceed, we also need to make sure our lines of communication are set. Let us know how you would like to be kept updated on the process.

Trust Your Contractor

If you've hired the right web developer, be confident in their process and abilities. If you invest in the planning and process, if you’ve given us your attention when we have questions, there’s no reason why we can’t do better than you expected.  

What concerns do you have about hiring a contractor to help you achieve your goals? Let us know. At the very least we can help you decide if hiring a contractor is the right choice for you.