How Freelancers Can Actually Get Work Done: Waterfall vs. Agile Workflow

How To Actually Get Work Done: Waterfall vs. Agile Workflow

Recent Life Hacks: I finally stumbled upon a method, other than my sticky notes, that will help with project management. I work with and talk to, a lot of freelancers, and it has come to my attention that a lot of us use different project management systems to manage our workload. Personally, I have used the square method, and it works most of the time. However, I stumbled upon two even better methods to help people who work in demanding jobs or run a freelance business and are managing client workflow on the ‘feast-side‘ of the coin. Using one of the methods below can be helpful, and if you’re looking to start creating right away, Trello.com provides an online drag and drop creator’s studio to make your workflow.

The two methods are Waterfall and Agile project management systems. I would recommend researching the models in more depth on your own, but here are the quick meeting minutes for those of us who are on a tight schedule to get projects pushed through.

The Waterfall Method

Freelance career website, Upwork.com, describes the late 80’s/90’s project management system as the “traditional approach” to developing a product from idea to retail-ready.  In this method, the project is broken up into steps that are to be completed in a sequence. In this workflow, each stage must be completed before starting the next. For those of us who are visual, the steps are aligned to look like a waterfall, where backtracking is not an option. You must ‘go with the flow‘.

Photo Via: code95.com, Waterfall Project Management

The Agile Method

The same freelance website, Upwork.com, also describes the Agile method as one of the newer project management systems. The Agile way is more flexible and less costly than the waterfall method, especially when you need to backtrack and make edits, additions, or omissions. Instead of upfront planning altogether, the Agile method focuses on the ability to build and react to change in times of uncertainty and turbulence. This method is packed with an open backlog that you can continuously add to and is positioned in the model to kept to keep track of features and requirements that the clients want. From the backlog, one part of the project is selected and you work on it until completion. It is a way to select a priority and complete it while touching base with peers and making adjustments in a tight window.  After one is complete, then you select the next priority item from the backlog and repeat the cycle through to completion. You get projects completed, one piece at a time with room for edits and revisions. I believe this model is more flexible and reasonable for all those with heavy workloads and a sharp deadline. The website, Agilealliance.org notes that the agile method places an ’emphasis on teamwork, constant user feedback, continuous improvement, and the ability to adapt to changing requirements.’

Photo Via: www.agilealliance.org, Agile Project Management

Both methods are helpful to move projects from start to finish. Challenge yourself to try one or both on your workload, and see how they compare. Work hard today, so you can play harder tomorrow.

Powered by:

 

Write your comments below on what works best for you, we love to hear feedback. 
-Danielle

How I’m Getting Into Blogging With A Corporate Job

How I’m Getting Into Blogging With A Corporate Job

Macbook Pro Beside White Cup And Saucer On Table

What you aim to be good at is what you must set your mind to. For me, my journey is a long one with blogging. When I started my blogging journey in 2015, I had no idea what I was doing. I began writing for a blog but didn’t know how to monetize it. Between being stressed out with paying back student loans, and choosing rent over food, I struggled to concentrate and this has always been something on the back burner, up until now. I have a good job that pays well, and I now can concentrate on blogging and how to monetize both my own blog and how to freelance for others to bring in an additional stream of income.

More and more I feel that the education I received was priced at a hyper-inflated ticket, and the ROI was truly a bunch of B.S. I looked back at some of my colleagues from high school and found the friends that I went to school with who were making more money than me did not, in fact, get a 4 year degree. They went and studied trade skills. They earn more money because they have a practical skill that they can put to immediate use. The rise of trade skills and the opportunity with making your money online is on the rise. I feel like people are starting to get fed up with expensive and greedy colleges and are instead working to build their own businesses.

As much as I hate student loan debt and the poor ROI you get in the job market after investing in your education, it really burned when the same school I took out loans for called me for donations to the school. WTF. The job market only wants to pay you entry-level after school. The return you get is terrible. That is why I chose to blog as a vehicle to set myself free of best. This blog is an account of my journey and also for you to show you that you can do it too.

As a numbers person by trade, I have worked in a handful of corporate accounting jobs, only to realize that my creativity has been stiffed. I feel the only way to make good money is to get creative and learn a trade that you can teach yourself. Learning how to run a business is a valuable skill. My advice to those who have been rung through the college system and are barely scraping by is to learn a new trade or refurbish one that you can put to use, and start finding a way to directly serve your customers. Attaining customers is another topic I will write about shortly. Find something that drives you.

As I write to you know, I am still in corporate America. I do enjoy my job, but at the end of the day, I have big student loan debt balances to pay off. I work extra to build my blogging business, and soon hope to aspire to the ‘big dog’s’ in the business world who create highly profitable businesses and are so flush with cash that they PAY THE SALARIES of employees. Soon to come, also, is how to build a weekly schedule to fit in your freelancing business around your 40 hour week. As a positive to working in corporate America, you can really learn a lot of valuable business skills, like social-politics, being orderly, and being micro-managed. You may not like some things about your job right now, but if you look into the silver lining, you can see all the positives about working in corporate America. Learn what you can, where you are, and make the most of it. If you do work hard at your job, you can get paid even more while building your freelance business.

No matter how much debt you have, and how little your current job may pay, know that the relationship will soon be inverted to higher paying jobs and lower debt amounts. Work hard where you are, save money, and put your nose to the grindstone in both your corporate job and your freelance job. The skills and habits you learn from being a hard and smart worker will benefit you, always. Good luck out there, freelancers and corporate American employees. Carpe Diem!

Danielle
Danielle is a freelancer who works hard to build her business while working in corporate America to learn the skills she needs to become one of the best business owners in the world.

Building A Company? Here Are 11 Things I Have Learned from Serial-Prenuer Men in Business That Can Help You Be A Badass in Business

Photo Via https: www.thedailybeast.com

The American dream is alive and well, and thanks to many business professionals who are serious about their work, we have a guideline on how we can achieve the American dream ourselves. About 2 years ago I started my career in freelance writing. Nothing I have ever done, not even college or my college cycling races, has been as hard, cold, and fast paced as jumping into the world of starting a business. So why on earth would someone get into a profession where you face fast talkers & movers, cold rejections, and long nights of pounding away at your keyboard? Because this is the pathway to becoming one of the elites in America, one of the people lucky enough to have created a seat for themselves in the wealthy class. You have to get into a position of ownership in a company or be in a selling position to get ahead. You will never get ahead in a technical role. Period. That is just you working for someone else, making their dreams happen. You can have your cake and eat it too, so get out there and go get your worth.

 

Part of my freelancing is sales, operations, and marketing.The nights are long, and every minute of every day requires special attention. I have distanced myself from those who do not support me, and encircled myself with supportive people who have become my team. I know many strong women who have been leaders and mentors to me in life, but the truth should be told that many of the skills I have learned about building a business has come from the men I work with and the men who mentor me. I strongly support women in business, but admit I am way too emotional at times.

 

The men in my life have influenced me to use my time effectively, be logical in my operations, and to be fearless when closing a sale and asking for business. Through all of this knowledge I have acquired, I have learned to build my own company here I have began to become somewhat of an expert in digital marketing. In layman’s terms, I get clients pages to rank higher than competition, by strategic marketing on social media and SEO content writing that makes their Alexa ranking increase.

 

None of this would be possible without the guidance of some of my closest mentors and business partners. How can I create results for a client if I do not first have the approval to work with them? It is all about carefully negotiating what you can do, and then proving it. A lot of skills I have learned from men in business have helped me to become the person I am today, and for that I am thankful. Here are 11 things you can learn from men in business:

http://fashion-history.lovetoknow.com/clothing-types-styles/business-suit
Photo Via: lovetoknow.com
  1. Cut the fluff.
    You can beat around the bush and not get anywhere, or you can get straight to the point. Make mini-closes and see if a client is qualified first.

  2. Don’t waste time
    When you work, work furiously to get your projects across the table and out to the client in a timely and quality manner.

  3. Be confident
    Professionals are confident about their services, especially men who are in sales. When you are confident in yours services, your clients will be too.

  4. Do what you say you are going to do.
    Seriously, when I make a promise, I give the clients exactly what they want and keep my word.

  5. Provide more in value than what you receive in money
    Always go above and beyond. You want to wow your clients.

  6. Remember the time, quality, and price matrix
    You can only have two and one will be compromised. Make sure you are clear to your clients about this  on each project.

  7. Don’t waste your time.
    If someone is beating around the bush, ask closing questions. If they don’t want what you’ve got, they do dirty business, or operate on a different level that you are not yet on, or have moved up from, then move on. Your time matters, and it’s important to make the most of it every day

  8. Don’t waste other people’s time.
    People have only so much time to allocate to you, so when you catch their attention make sure you are effective and efficient in talking to them. Do not waste their time, and make sure you bring something of value to them.

  9. Leave emotions out of the mix.
    Business can be personal, but you cannot ever take it personally. Be professional.

  10. Always be genuinely interested in other people.
    This should actually be the first principal for anyone in business. Before you can ever do business with another person, you have to get to know them. You have to learn about them, and to see if what you have is something they actually need. You may become an alliance, and partner with them for business development. If you do not have the conversation of getting to know him or her, you have already started off on the wrong foot. Get to know the person.

  11. Learn the art of follow up, and get good at it.
    People are not going to call you, you need to call people. Leave the ball in the other person’s court, and make sure you follow up using a method that works best for you. Pace with the client, and adapt your follow up accordingly. No method fits all clients, so be open, be aware, and be adaptable.

https://www.thegentlemansjournal.com/article/5-best-dressed-men-business/
https://www.thegentlemansjournal.com/article/5-best-dressed-men-business/



Of course I have learned a lot from women in business, but these are just some of the things that the influential men in my life have taught me. If we leave men out of the mix we are missing out on learning from ½ of our society’s knowledge. The same if we are only women-centric. Learn from men and women, and allow them to teach and support you along your journey. Rock what you got, and go after your goals, make sure you learn as much as you can from others while believing in yourself. You can do it!

 

Cheers,

Danielle

Danielle is the founder of econtently.com, an online blog and digital marketing company based out of Denver, COlorado. She empowers women everywhere, and serves her clients on time with quality, care, and professionalism. Learn more at www.econtnetly.com.