Making Apps: Managing Contractors
Go To Blog

Managing contractors is probably the most stressful part of this whole process. Remember that you will be dealing with humans that are imperfect, have families, have issues that come up, etc. However, this does not mean you should allow yourself to be stepped on. You must be polite but FIRM over your agreed upon terms. You should ALSO be willing to walk away from a programmer or designer if they are not meeting their end of the bargain (you have the right to file disputes on your paid milestones if the project is not completed to your satisfaction but NATURALLY you should not pay for a milestone that is not complete to your satisfaction). Just be fair and have a tiny bit of flexibility.

Deadlines: When you post your ads and select your contractors, you will also have to submit deadlines (dates) in which milestones must be completed. It is your job to stay on top of this and manage it well. For example, my game "Bomb Block" took an entire year to make because I had a programmer that didn't have much urgency. I learned from that experience and my next game "Doodle Catch" took 3 months to finish. And my next app, "Making Apps" took only 1.5 months to make. DO NOT allow your programmer to pass deadlines weeks or months past the deadline. If they are late by a week or two, it's not a huge deal but remember that they learn about your urgency based on how much flexibility you give during the first couple of milestones.

Milestones: When your contractor gives you milestone deliverables (files, etc. for you to review/test), you will have to take the time to review everything to ensure it was done right. There will be a lot of going back and forth with files, changes, etc. (testing is addressed in a different blog post). but remember the following; as each milestone is close to being completed, your contractor my start to pressure you to pay ahead of time. BE FIRM!!!! Tell your contractor that "based on your previous experience," (even if this is your first app), "you do not pay before the deliverable is fully finished." If you pay early once, it will be expected every time and before you know it, the contractor will have full payment and you not a complete project.

Making Apps: Managing Contractors