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John Peters
John Peters

Posted on • Updated on

When Things Get Rough

In 2019, a new side project came my way. It required me to hire 5 to 7 people for at least three months. Here's what I learned.

1) There was no possible way to know the length of project at the start.

2) Not knowing the duration meant we didn't really know how many people we needed.

3) We should have designated a tech lead from start. Instead we tried the everyone is equally responsible style.

4) We trusted skillsets reported to us by those we hired. Virtually none had what they claimed.

5) We had to redo shoddy work too many times.

6) We had to fire some people.

7) We overshot both the budget and duration.

8) We learned many did not have strong work ethics.

Outcome:

We are languishing to complete, 2 months over budget and down to two workers. We had cycled through 12 people.

Next time we will vet skills in a major way, hire just one tech lead to start. The lead will collaborate with me and new hires picked after vetting and only when needed. The tech leader will make most decisions e.g. who to hire and when; who to fire and to do the low level design.

No fixed job bidding to the customer.

Summary

Project was small enough to recover. Not a total failure, but close. Almost all issues were that I did not manage things closely. Instead I trusted too much.

Discussion (1)

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Helen Anderson

Thanks for writing this up, I don't think there's enough of these learnings out there.

Hope the rest of your project goes smoothly!