In my earlier post Notes from a Data Entry Gig I covered a few areas related to a small data entry project. There were several areas that were left untouched, one of them – execution control, is worth covering by itself.
There are many things you can do to get execution under control on medium to large scope engagements. Project/program management, account reviews, etc. That’s not the methodology to be used on a small gig such as limited scope web research, data entry, SEO, etc.
Considering that discipline and control issues associated with freelancing have to do with a lot of its Cons I was rather skeptical farming out data entry to a few gals in several small cities in Philippines. One would say “it’s a small data entry, what can go wrong”, yet you and I know the possibilities to screw it up are endless. “And then I saw the tool, Now I am a believer.” [almost from Neil Diamond]
oDesk did a fabulous job giving me – the buyer – tools to oversee and control the execution. The tools in particular applicable for such tasks. Today I can go in my “team” room and see my team working, almost as if they were in the office next to mine.
Maybe even better. The tool gives me detailed time tracking, type / click rates and takes periodic screenshots so I can see what my money are spent against.
No FB browsing or chatting goes unnoticed and frankly for data entry and other similar projects that is a very big deal. Basically I can look over the shoulder of any person on my team and take almost immediate action all the way to termination. Actually not something I can do with local employees / contractors.
There other tools / features that oDesk offers, some probably worth discussion. At this point the ability to crack the whip across 10,000 miles is my favorite.