4 Operations Lessons: Automation, Scope Creep and Outsourcing

Over time, clients have beaten me up over invoices (not literally), freelancers have ghosted me, and automation projects have gone off the rails. I’ve gained operations lessons over the years.

Sometimes, the only way to learn a lesson is to have skin in the game and experience failure yourself. Other times you gain from the trials and roadblocks others have faced.

In the 2000s, when I started automating parts of my business, improving project management, and learning outsourcing skills, life became more manageable, and I was happier.

Below are four lessons from my 25-plus years of experience in corporate software development and freelance web design on the side. I didn’t hold back, so you should get at least one good idea out of this article.

Lesson 1 Automate your freelance business

4 operations lessons; automation, outsourcing, scope creep

Automation turns chaos into order, saves time, and gives you peace of mind. Escape the confusion of disorganized client or third-party communications. Something always goes wrong, so it’s best to have a system to handle communications.

Lesson 2 How to handle fixed deadline requests

I got my start in software development in the US Marines in 1992. Over the years, I’ve done and seen thousands of projects, and not a single one finished on the original deadline.

Use these lessons to manage fixed deadline requests.

Lesson 3 How to handle scope creep

You’ll always have to deal with scope creep. As you improve your craft, more clients want shiny new features. Part of the game. It takes a step-by-step approach to handling requests and a software system for Project Management PM.

Lesson 4 How to outsource web projects

Over the years as a software developer, I’ve worked with people from all countries and cultures. I’m grateful for my experiences and many conversations.

You can get anything within reason built, designed, written, produced, or created, and the possibilities end in what you know. You reach out and post projects through RFP, job board, or direct search.

Learn to outsource web projects and your freelancer operations will run smoother.

Operations Lesson Review

I hope you got at least one good idea from this article. Going through lessons yourself isn’t always ideal.

Along the way, I’ve been fortunate to have mentors that have helped me. I haven’t done anything alone, and you shouldn’t have to either.

What’s your next step? Get control of scope creep or brainstorm some ideas for automation. Get out the yellow legal pad and bring the team together – or set up a Zoom and use a SaaS tool to collaborate in real time.

Focus on your business ventures and live a good life.

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