Freelance Heroes

Hi, and welcome to the "Freelance Heroes" thread, a place where Articulate Freelancers help each other. Got a question about freelancing? Or perhaps you have an e-learning asset that may be valuable to those "doin' their own thing"? This is the place to share--to give.

To start things off, I'd like to share a short list of questions that help me figure out what kind of training a potential client wants. (So often they have no idea what they want.) The list is far from exhaustive, but may be of some help. Looking forward to meeting you. --Daniel  

1302 Replies
Daniel Brigham

Hi, everyone:

Need your advice on "timeline slippage" (projects stretching out waaay longer than they should because of the client missing deadlines).

I am particularly instead on the ramifications of timeline slippage that perhaps written into your contracts (i.e., do your time slippage clauses have any teeth?) I would love to get better at this aspect of my business. Any advice is greatly appreciated. --Daniel

Rick Blunt

Hi Daniel.

Here are some of the "Assumptions: section, right after my Pricing section:

  • Schedule days are Business Days, i.e., Monday-Friday excluding federal holidays.
  • Payment terms are net-30 days from the date on the invoice.
  • Any delays in kickoff or feedback will lead to a day-for-day schedule adjustment.
  • Invoicing will be based on the acceptance of the final deliverable.
  • Work shall proceed after receipt of an official contract or purchase order.
  • The timely and successful completion of all deliverables and tasks identified in this proposal is dependent upon the full and timely participation of XXXXX resources.  YYYYY and XXXXX must identify, allocate and ensure that YYYYY and the necessary XXXXX personnel are able to provide the access, information, feedback, guidance, and decisions required for YYYYY to complete his activities.
  • The technical approach represents a level of effort based on comparable client engagements; expected time allocations required for effectively coordinating XXXXX stakeholders, resources, and tasks; and dependency of YYYYY and XXXXX resource availability. Upon further definition of the specific requirements and/or changes in assumptions that served as the basis of level of effort estimates, any changes beyond initial scope will be documented. After contract award, YYYYY will work with XXXXX to confirm and further define the scope and level of effort, and adjust schedule and price accordingly.
  • Any requirements, requests and or tasks related to this project that cannot be addressed within the maximum level of effort will require a scope change request to be executed.
  • Any changes to the assumptions above will be analyzed for impact on schedule, scope, and cost, and adjustments will be made accordingly.
  • Additional services requested beyond the scope of this effort will be priced on a case-by-case basis at the request of XXXXX.
  • No travel costs and project related expenses have been included in the price quote. Any travel costs will be determined once the required trips are defined by XXXXX. Travel will be invoiced based on actual expenses.

I hope the sentence about delays helps.

Thanks,

Rick

Sheila Bulthuis

Rick, do you ever have problems with that day-for-day approach? Some of my clients will leave a project hanging for weeks, and I can't necessarily pick up where we left off as soon as they're ready (because of other projects, commitments, etc.).  For a short delay (a couple of days) I could see the day-for-day working, but I tell clients that for significant delays we'll have to rework the project plan using "mutually agreeable dates."  Of course I always do everything I can to just move everything by the number of days delayed, but it's not always possible...

Daniel Brigham

Thanks, Rick, for showing us some of the language you use.

I think most of us have language that basically says "Hey, if you miss deadlines the timeline is going to stretch out, and we'll have to make adjustments." It makes us feel better, but I'm not sure it means that much to the client, at least at the beginning of a project when we "say" it.

So to the freelancers: What ramifications do your clients bear if they miss deadlines and stretch the project out?

Anthony Harmetz

Hi All,

I'm in need of one or more freelance Storyline developers to help with a contract project I've got creating a number of elearning courses.  If you might have some time (starting now or at least this month), it would be great to hear from you.

I've done the bulk of the content gathering, and we've got a team of 3 working on the project already but could likely use 1-2 more.  We can work with folks remotely so location isn't an issue.  In some cases we need help thinking through the approach (we're looking for interesting courses using varied approaches) and storyboarding, but the bulk of the help will be with developing the courses in Storyline.

Thanks so much in advance for any interest you might have in connecting and feel free to forward this info to your colleagues if you wish...

Lu Post

Home Care Institute, a leading provider of educational resources for the home health and hospice industries (healthcare at home), is seeking an experienced Storyline developer to assist us in converting a large library of e-learning courses developed with alternate tools to Storyline for cross-browser compatibility. Once this project is completed, we are also interested in ongoing development support for our content development needs. While location is not critical, I would be especially interested in contract developers in the Atlanta area. Please reach out to me personally if you have an interest in this opportunity.

tim giardina

Hi,

We are new to this forum, but we are a foreign language post production company looking to branch out into e-learning translation and localization of Articulate project files. We are trying to locate an individual who has experience dealing with foreign languages and Articulate. If anyone is interested please PM me.

Tim

Koya Olubamowo

Hi,

Is anyone interested in some urgent freelance work creating mobile ready courses using assets from Captivate projects?
You'll be provided with the captivate course to see how it was presented. You'll also have audio files and images and a word document with the storyboard. Courses are about 20 -30 minutes long. Need to be completed ASAP.

Thanks!

Helene Sobelman

We have an oppening for a designer/developer in my office... while this is a full-time position.. and ideally we would fill it as such.. i  i figured i'd share the posting here in case any of you freelancers happened to be looking for a full-time gig..

eLearning Instructional Designer/Developer – Capital Region, NY

This position is with the CUNY School of Professional Studies (SPS) and is located in the Albany-Rensselaer, New York area.

CUNY SPS is looking for a creative instructional designer/developer to join a dedicated and dynamic distance learning development team working in the human services industry. The team uses synchronous and asynchronous learning technologies to create change and efficiencies in human service agencies throughout New York State. Team members have a track record of creating cutting-edge learning experiences and integrating technologies into blended learning solutions.

For more information and to apply visit:
http://www.rfcuny.org/hr/pvn/cgi-bin/show_job.asp?pvn=RIS-1592

Nancy Woinoski

Daniel Brigham said:

Thanks, Rick, for showing us some of the language you use.

I think most of us have language that basically says "Hey, if you miss deadlines the timeline is going to stretch out, and we'll have to make adjustments." It makes us feel better, but I'm not sure it means that much to the client, at least at the beginning of a project when we "say" it.

So to the freelancers: What ramifications do your clients bear if they miss deadlines and stretch the project out?


In most cases if a client slips it just means that you have to work extra long hours to recover the lost time. There are times when it makes sense to push back but you really have to be careful about when to pick your battles.

PJ Babcock

I completely agree with you, Nancy.  We usually end up working the extra long hours to help out a client. I always try to do a debrief with a client a week or so after a course has been developed and posted. It typically more of a casual conversation and I gently let them know what would have saved them money / time or improved the course.  I also willingly accept their feedback so that I can continue to improve.  I have had one client that was always late and the deadlines just too tight to continue the relationship. We parted 'friends', but I expect I will see them again someday

Daniel Brigham

Thanks, Nancy. I'm completely sure about this, but the vibe I'm getting is that not many freelancers get the client to feel the pain of missing deadlines. Freelancers bear most of the burden (having to turn down work because they are not exactly sure when an important client is going to get back to them, working extra hours so they can get back in the game of a project after weeks away from it, etc.), and perhaps that's part of the plan. 

Of course, when we decide not to work with a client because a 30-minute course took a year to build (please don't laugh...sighing is ok, though) perhaps we are making them bear some of the burden.

Of course, there are things we can do minimize timeline stretch -- weekly calls, friendly pestering, letting clients know what happens when they miss deadlines. Perhaps in the end it comes do this: add a nice buffer to your contract (both in terms of time and money), and don't be too surprised when you look at the timeline and start to hum Slip Sliding Away.

Vivek Pandey

Hi -

I represent G-Cube Solutions an award winning e-Learning design company that does a lot of work in the areas of Storyline development. In past year itself - we've produced about 200+ courses in Storyline.

Our team is very large and we have about 40+ developers highly skilled and professionally training in Articulate Storyline with minimum 3 years of e-Learning production experience.

Would love to brainstorm about potential or immediate needs of any group members. 

Thank you,

Vivek (vivekp at gc-solutions.net)

Celestial Holmes

Vivek Pandey said:

Hi -

I represent G-Cube Solutions an award winning e-Learning design company that does a lot of work in the areas of Storyline development. In past year itself - we've produced about 200+ courses in Storyline.

Our team is very large and we have about 40+ developers highly skilled and professionally training in Articulate Storyline with minimum 3 years of e-Learning production experience.

Would love to brainstorm about potential or immediate needs of any group members. 

Thank you,

Vivek (vivekp at gc-solutions.net)


Great to hear!  I'm the only ID at my job and I work with one designer, unless we decide to outsource some work.  In addition, I'm switching gears from corporate to secondary education.  I need to stretch my imagination a bit.  Looking forward to picking the brains of all the folks in this forum.

Bob Sabra

Dear Heroes,

We need some custom widgets developed for Storyline Quizzes. Widgets required such as Print Slide only, Mark Questions for review, Pool Incorrect Questions and much more.
Do you have anyone to recommend to do this work and have the time to start asap because we have very tight deadlines.


Appreciate your help! 

Phil Mayor

Bob Sabra said:

Dear Heroes,

We need some custom widgets developed for Storyline Quizzes. Widgets required such as Print Slide only, Mark Questions for review, Pool Incorrect Questions and much more.
Do you have anyone to recommend to do this work and have the time to start asap because we have very tight deadlines.


Appreciate your help! 


James kingsley already has a print slide only widget on hist site elearning enhanced

Alison  L.

Daniel Brigham said:

Hi, Alison: Sounds like there's confusion/lack of experience on their side. In tricky wickets like this, I'll ask myself, "Do I trust these people"? True, you may not know them well, but you've got a vibe on their trustworthiness. More often than not the answer is "yes," and the problems work themselves out. Please let us know how the project goes.


Umm... So, yah. Back again, hat in hand. I went the "trust" route Via email I got HR to agree to getting my invoice the day after the last day of their work week, every other week (so every other monday).

Invoice #1 Was submitted Monday, May 20.HR Lady sent a "its off for processing" on May 23 saying "let me know if it (the paper based, snail mailed check) doesn't arrive in two weeks... etc."  It did, at exactly two weeks on June 06.

So, following that logic, Invoice #2 goes out June 03, HR Lady email confirms, June 07. Paper check arrives by June 21.

Except that it doesn't. What I do get is an email saying (quote): "Invoice #2 will be paid on July 1st with the next check run. Normally, your invoices are paid the Thursday after they are vouchered however, with quarter end the last payment was June 6th and the next will be July 1."  -- And I happen to learn that their end-of quarter is June 30. So what does an invoice submitted on June 3 have to do with June 30? Now, add on top of THAT, that Invoice #3 was sent on JUNE 17, and HR had not even responded to it. (1 week and counting).

So yes. it could be argued that I took the easy way out, relying on trust, instead of a written contract (and that never doing one before is no excuse).  But, and here's the hat-in-hand part.... Now what? 

Should I not work anymore until a statement of work done up and signed?  (And I have no problem doing up a contract between Lynda.com's newish course on Designer-Client Agreements and AIGA Standard Form for Design Services) Or, KEEP working, and hope that my direct supervisor (A Sales Training Mgr) will suss this out?  Finally, is there a general standard / language saying "If you don't pay my by <> , consequences will be... " -- and more importantly what ARE those consequences?  And, let's throw into the mix that I might have a 2-week SomethingElse I could do in the interim, should I stop.

Quite the sticky wicket, I'm afraid. Anyone  got any solvent?

Much much thanks,

Alison

Sheila Bulthuis

Agree with Bruce, a phone call is probably in order. It doesn't sound like they're planning not to pay you, or intentionally paying you "late," it sounds like they just have some internal accounting processes that impact when they pay vendors, and since the HR person didn't submit your invoice by their end-of-quarter deadline, that affected the timing of your payment - which is pretty common in my experience. 

So maybe your phone call could be focused on understanding their processes and timelines, so you know what to expect, and getting agreement from the HR person to process/"voucher" your invoices immediately upon receipt?  I personally wouldn't have the "you need to pay me or I stop work" conversation over an invoice that's currently only three weeks old and where payment has already been promised within a couple of weeks....  It sounds like even with the mix-up they're cutting checks within 30 days of invoice receipt, and FWIW that's pretty good based on my experience.