The WordPress platform allows for a number of users to build business ideas over a number of options. Browsing online or offline (at a WordCamp or a regular WordPress meetup event) we could get in touch with WP developers, designers, writers, system administrators, support engineers and other technical.
On the other hand, small teams are managed by WP managers and team leaders, CTOs and CEOs of WordPress-driven companies, financial managers aware of different aspects correlated with the eCommerce activity status as well.
So, by all means, we have a coherent and cooperative relation between managing and executive personnel, that is supposed to work smoothly and fluently.
Is That All True?
In my opinion, there is some form of miscommunication and misinterpretation of this form of interaction between “heads” and “hands”.
Lack of Specification
It’s a problem for both freelancers and workers, managers and clients. Since a large number of WordPress projects are small and could be built in days, both sides are trying to reduce the number of hours for initial discussions and building a solid specification paperwork. This could be a timekiller having a large enterprise platform project as an example (taking 3 months for standard waterfall setup only) but the lack of a strict definition leads to a confusion, bad implementation or even a conflict between both sides due to misunderstanding.
Providing a development/design service for a project or selling a product – both require a support person being available in a timely manner. Unfortunately, a lot of premium products and expensive websites offer a non-satisfactory service and a low quality support. A product being abandoned is not something that a client would be happy to use, or recommend, or purchase once again. Putting some effort in a product (both in time, money and resources) and leaving it flow further is a bad investment and a common thing to find on theme or plugin markets, in addition to creative studios with no support policy.
Won’t Return an Email
If you find yourself at the open market again, you will find several large WordPress related job boards. In addition to that, most of the serious players have regular openings for WP experts.
Applying for a job however leads to an odd surprise. Some offers are no longer available, even submitted a week ago. Or the communication proceeds so slowly that an expert just loses interest quickly and steps on a more agile proposal.
A standard process should look like this:
- A client posts a job for a position within some time period
- Experts apply for the job with a CV, portfolio or whatever needed
- A client responds in a timely manner (hours to days) to each candidate. Inappropriate applications are closed gently, the rest are notified that they are shortlisted and the choice would be made in (X days/Y weeks).
- Interviews are initiated with the top candidates, again in a timely manner
- Test projects are assigned to best players (optional)
- An expert (or a few) is/are hired
- Non-approved employees are updated and some short text about the future company plans is also shared, such as: “We plan no more extensions in the next 6 months” or “A project has been approached and we would probably need 2 more designers in 3 months”. This creates a tight bond and a professional attitude.
This strict schedule allows the experts to apply for the jobs they like and decide how are they about to proceed further. If no response is ever expected (a mail is lost in someone’s inbox with no coming back or the hiring process takes months, up to a year) then the expert would either reject that risky process (with no guarancy to be hired) or apply for a safe position with no delays.
This is a popular trend on the WP field due to the agile style of work and the number of deadlines and urgent tasks to be done. Sometimes the queue gets so packed up that the jobs mailbox is forgotten and then it’s too late to pick from the quality material as they are all gone.
Some companies ignore job proposals even on phase 2, others delay with weeks or even months as they are waiting for the perfect candidate or no longer need a pro in that field. This builds anything but a trust in people who applied
Once a service or a product is issued (a theme, plugin or a web solution) there seems to be no further interested from provider’s site in the customer.
There are different marketing guidelines out there but all of them suggest several ‘getting in touch’ with customers after a product has been delivered. This includes surveys or short interviews, filling suggestion forms, sending targeted newsletters. Companies or solo entrepreneurs rarely take advantage of these mandatory points being so helpful to both improve their products and user experience and getting in touch with happy and loyal customers.