6prog interviews | Brett Delle Grazie

An experienced DevOps consultant with over 20 years in the IT industry. A background in software engineering,dealing with everything from embedded systems through to fully distributed systems. 

Hi Brett, what have you been up to recently?

Hi Andy, I’ve recently finished a three year engagement as DevOps Practice Lead with a large Government organisation, having been responsible for significant portions of their CI/CD pipeline processes adopted by all the various teams.

Can you take me through that journey?

As part of a business change programme, my team and I, were responsible for radically transforming their existing CI processes for multiple bespoke applications into a true CI/CD pipeline giving the organisation far greater agility than they had previously. They went from quarterly releases to two weekly incremental releases with greatly improved idea-to-production cycle times.

In addition to being responsible for the CI/CD processes we were also part of the live support team for the applications delivered upon our platform. Here the use of an everything-as-code, immutable infrastructure and cloud native approach drove improvements as well. We ensured that applications could deploy their own monitoring, alerting and custom dashboards with the application deployment. We also ensured that the tools we used were equally accessible to development teams from the outset, the result was development teams delivering dashboards that had operational as well as business value up-front as part of the application deliverable.

In order to achieve all this we had to engage early and constantly collaborate with our colleagues in Architecture, Security, Operations and Management. Without that collaboration and support none of the above
would have been possible.

How much of the organisation does this type of project affect?

Quite a lot! We delivered software developed for internal, public and business to business use and during my tenure shifted from hosted infrastructure to public cloud as well. All while addressing GDPR regulation
and the usual associated security concerns when moving to public cloud.

What was a key take-away in this project?

I know it’s a cliche but early, frequent collaboration is key. The early collaboration led to a guiding/mentoring behaviour between the teams instead of a traditional policing approach. Experienced individuals felt free to raise concerns or challenge a design or strategy, but were accepting if their challenge was not ultimately accepted.

Over such a long period, scope change is inevitable and strategic decisions once thought immutable may need revisiting as understanding improves and the unknown unknowns become more known. Collaborative behaviours allowed this to happen naturally at appropriate times without people trying to maintain their illusory fiefdoms of control.

How do you deal with challenges?

In short, have a plan and a roadmap, engage early and deliver incremental business value.

Brett

I’m an engineer and I love challenges. I love learning, so researching, decomposing a problem into a workable plan or developing solutions is something I thoroughly enjoy. I’m also not afraid to seek help when needed so I’m always learning.

On the people side of things I strive to listen to all parties, be polite, honest, upfront and operate in the best interests of the client. In my 20+ years in the IT industry, 10 of which have been consulting, I’ve always found this to be the best operating policy.

In my first job as a software engineer straight out of University I had the fortune to be mentored by a senior engineer of extraordinary talent, patience and skill. For that reason alone I try to act as a mentor to Developers or DevOps people that need help. Watching them grow into competent engineers with my help is my way of thanking my friend for his assistance when I was young and green.

What is your biggest achievement?

A few years back I was brought on as DevOps Team Lead for a bank that had a huge engineering team. On my first day observing, I had one team member rage-quit a meeting in what I learned later to be frustration with
the team’s lack of progress and poor behaviour. That team member turned out to be one of my greatest allies in instigating change.

AWARD > the DevOps Industry Awards 2018 "Manager of the Year"

I went about breaking the silos and getting people to communicate. As we helped individual teams with their specific issues, they helped us fix bits we couldn’t do on our own. The results were an astronomical improvement in team interactions and rapid improvement in cycle time for development tasks. That was in addition to some very serious technical improvements to their infrastructure and pipeline processes on their internal and hybrid cloud operations.

On the day of my leaving, many months after, the CEO pulled me aside and said:

“I cannot thank you enough for the work you have done here.

You have made a significant impact that we are all
the better for, thank you”

Client
6prog is a facilitator of freelance contracts and commentator on recruitment in general. For more information reach out hello@6prog.com

6prog Partners | Crunch

Today we are talking with Megan at Crunch.

So, who are Crunch?

Glad you asked! We’re an online accounting service that supports freelancers, contractors, and practically anyone who’s self-employed. We understand that the self-employed life isn’t your standard nine-to-five, and we tailor our services to make your life as easy as possible. 

We combine bespoke, online accounting software with actual human beings, so that you’re always able to access your accounts and seek the expert support and guidance you need.

We offer everything you need for peace of mind in your business’s bookkeeping, from as little as £71.50 +VAT a month.

What do I get for my money?

On our Basic or Plus Limited accountancy packages, you’ll get unlimited access to the expertise of our chartered certified accountants whenever you need it. They’ll deal with HMRC on your behalf, remind you of upcoming tax responsibilities and even help you file your Self Assessment. You’ll also gain access to our bespoke online accounting software and a range of informative, expert business guides.

Then there’s our Small Business package, which is ideal if your business has grown to take on employees and needs extra support, and expert insights to free up your time and help your business grow. You’ll get your own dedicated accountant and bookkeeper, our fastest response times, two Accountancy Healthchecks, in-app chat, and payroll for up to 10 employees, to name just a few. 

Wait, so I get access to your experts as well as your software?

Yup! We believe in the personal touch at Crunch – you’ll always have access to our team of expert chartered certified accountants to make sure you have the knowledge and guidance you need to make the right decisions for your business.

Is there anything else I should know about?

Well, there’s also Crunch Chorus – our very own self-employed community! Membership is absolutely free, and as a member, you’ll be able to get your hands on a range of jargon-free free business guides, templates, and tools. 

We also have a dedicated Facebook page, a friendly hub for freelancers and contractors in the UK. You can join our Crunch Chorus Facebook group and share advice, experience, and make new connections with hundreds of people just like you!

Tell me more about Crunch!

Our CEO Darren Fell started Crunch in 2009. The goal was to combine online accounting software and all the benefits of a traditional high-street accountant to create a game-changing online accounting service – and for less than half the price of traditional firms.

These days our service is much more than just accountancy. We can support you with business insurance, financial planning advice, mortgages and much more. We’ve poured millions into our technology, and continue to find new ways to support our clients and make their businesses a success.

That sounds great! Where can I go to find more information?

Come along to our website at Crunch.co.uk and browse through our services and products.

We’d also like to offer you the opportunity to take up a free demo of our Crunch software and take us for a test drive!

You can also book a consultation and talk to one of our friendly experts if you have questions about our service and how we can best help your business.

Consultations are completely free, and there are no hidden costs – just honest advice that’s best for your business. We look forward to hearing from you!

Making it cheaper to recruit permanent staff

How can I de-risk my hiring?

Having worked in the ‘people’ sector for many years I have seen multiple models for companies to recruit staff.

These include: day rate contractors, fixed price consultancies, apprenticeship programmes and in house recruitment and external permanent hires.

I have not seen anyone making a play that makes this cheaper so I have done it myself. I will explain further down in the article.

Photo by Charles 🇵🇭 on Unsplash
First here is a table of each of the above styles of staffing:
CostsBenefitsDisadvantages
Day rate
contractor
Fee plus agency margin (approx 15%)Focused on one deliverableKnowledge handover
Consultancy
[fixed price
deliverable]
Total fee
[capped and on delivered work]
What you pay
for you will get, or at least it
won’t cost more
Work must be
well defined in
advance. 
The people you hire may have a sales target to
meet.
Consultants will have days off for training.
Consultants
may be swapped
during project.
ApprenticeLow costsKeen to learn,
no baggage,
open to trying
new ideas
May make
‘obvious’
mistakes, will
need training by the experienced members of the team
Permanent
[in house]
Salary plus cost of internal
recruitment
manager
Your in house
recruiter knows your culture
Possible they
have a limited
network.
May also use
agency which increases costs
Permanent
[agency]
Salary plus
agency fee
(approx 25%)
Agency will help you screen.
Usually a fee
refund available if it goes wrong
Quite a high fee to pay and
agencies do not really understand your business so you still do
the screening.
Potential to
miss out on
good people

There are compromises to be made

Really? Must we?

I agree wholeheartedly that each of the above had specific reasons for choosing and businesses should hire accordingly. However, let’s look at combining two of these strategies…

Hire a day rate contractor for three months, and then go perm.

Why would I  do that?

Combining the benefits of these two methods also removes the disadvantages.

Once you have worked with someone for three months you (and they) know if you are a fit. You can plan training and long term progression to keep work interesting. You know you can rely upon them and what their quality of work is like.

Can I do that?

No. Consultancies, Contract agencies and Apprenticeship scheme contracts are usually designed to effect a ‘buy out clause’ when you convert to perm. This is justifiable based on the effort those businesses have made upfront to recruit and train that individual.

So what was the point of this article?

When we developed 6prog we realised that with platform recruitment there would be no benefit in us ‘protecting’ the freelancer population who wish to work with us. Indeed we actively hope that companies will use our services to hire permanent staff because, guess what, when those managers progress they need help to come in and our flexible model is there to help.

I’ll break down the costs:

 Day ratecontractorConsultancy
[fixed
prive deliverable]
ApprenticePermanent
[in house]
Permanent
[agency]
6prog
Day Unit Cost
(annual 220
days)
500/day 950/day 250/day7500075000500 for 3 months then 75,000 salary (9 months)
Additional Costsplus 15%N/aTraining from
colleagues
estimate
20000
Estimate in
house
costs 5000 allocated 
(assume 10 hires/yr) Use of external agency [rare]
20000
18750Plus 3% (for first 3 months)
TOTAL
(year 1
costs)
126,500209,00075,000£100,00093,75028,325 + 56,250 = 84,575

Note that through the article I have not included any currency or made allowances for tax. Clearly these vary country to country. However, I hope I’ve shown that through combining hires initially as contract and then converting to perm you could be realising benefits previously confined to one or other strategy AND it might save you a few pounds, euros, dollars etc in the process!

ABOUT

6prog was started by friends from Brighton, UK and Los Angeles, USA. We had all experienced recruiting, being recruited and working as a recruitment partner and felt that these tasks would benefit from a single solution. We discussed various propositions with a large number of people in our own networks and summarised the following characteristics with this multi billion dollar industry.

• Recruiters spend too much time doing paperwork when they should be networking.
• Freelancers spend time chasing updates which can just be messaged directly.
• Clients want multiple levels of recruitment expertise but would rather not have multiple suppliers.
• Project Managers don’t have the time to read through multiple online profiles (the reverse job board service? “no thanks”).
• Everyone wants clearer communication.
• Everyone wants fair payment and fair charges.

So we designed a workflow that allows members to deliver their function most effectively. Recruiters can be anyone with a book of contacts (it’s more valuable to a PM if you can recruit from people via experience or word of mouth). Project Managers and Freelancers can talk to one another. It’s fine – it really is! Recruiters are paid a fixed fee agreed per opportunity. Also margins should not exist (too many reasons to list!) and therefore the software is funded by the low transaction fee. 

Importantly, our ethos is membership driven. All members are charged in the same way at the same fee. Finally we decided to get a team together in order to build a modern solution for project managers, freelancers and recruiters. We launched in April 2017. 6prog is pushing it’s platform to do even more than it already does today. Become a member and help us on our shared journey to revolutionise how projects, recruiting and on boarding get better.

How can 6prog help what you need to do?
make your valuable network valuable

‘available on 6prog.com’ to LinkedIn

6prog ambassador | The why and the how

No one wants to be an ambassador. It conjures up Ferro Roche images and the concept of being really spoilt. Or at least it does if you watched that advert enough in the days of TV having only 4 channels.

A 6prog ambassador though? Well that’s a different thing entirely. If you add 6prog to your LinkedIn work history you are saying that you are part of a grass roots cause, a mission, where you feel freelancers should have the ability to speak to managers, have contracts and timesheets managed digitally, and in one place. It shows you like modern technology and that you are not bogged down by ‘what has always been will be the same tomorrow’.

[As I write this it sounds (to my mind) akin to a speech made by Henry V (well, Shakespeare) so I ask you now to comment below (with anticipation of five star reviews).] To be frank, what adding 6prog to your LinkedIn profile really does is tells people you might be available for a contract without declaring your hand of cards. It gives you a bit of your own privacy back. And it means the client can work with you at an industry beating price.

I shall also invite you for a coffee. Can’t beat a good coffee and a chat.

So, who is ready for battle?

Who is ready? Photo by junski here on Unsplash

ABOUT

  • How did 6prog start?6prog was started by friends from Brighton, UK and Los Angeles, USA. We had all experienced recruiting, being recruited and working as a recruitment partner and felt that these tasks would benefit from a single solution. We discussed various propositions with a large number of people in our own networks and summarised the following characteristics with this multi billion dollar industry.

    • Recruiters spend too much time doing paperwork when they should be networking.
    • Freelancers spend time chasing updates which can just be messaged directly.
    • Clients want multiple levels of recruitment expertise but would rather not have multiple suppliers.
    • Project Managers don’t have the time to read through multiple online profiles (the reverse job board service? “no thanks”).
    • Everyone wants clearer communication.
    • Everyone wants fair payment and fair charges.
    So we designed a workflow that allows members to deliver their function most effectively. Recruiters can be anyone with a book of contacts (it’s more valuable to a PM if you can recruit from people via experience or word of mouth). Project Managers and Freelancers can talk to one another. It’s fine – it really is! Recruiters are paid a fixed fee agreed per opportunity. Also margins should not exist (too many reasons to list!) and therefore the software is funded by the low transaction fee. 

    Importantly, our ethos is membership driven. All members are charged in the same way at the same fee. Finally we decided to get a team together in order to build a modern solution for project managers, freelancers and recruiters. We launched in April 2017. 6prog is pushing it’s platform to do even more than it already does today. Become a member and help us on our shared journey to revolutionise how projects, recruiting and on boarding get better.
hello@6prog.com

Are you paying more than you need to for IT services?

Money talks

A new client just commissioned a project. The finance manager was rather pleased. So was the project manager. This is why:

Cost breakdown

6PROG

  • Team lead 625
  • Developer 1 500
  • Developer 2 400
  • [plus 3% services charge]

Total 1570 per day

Perhaps unusually they were keen to share with me the other quotes they had (not the suppliers names but just the costs comparison)

AGENCY

  • Team lead 725
  • Developer 1 650
  • Developer 2 550

Total 1925 per day

CONSULTANCY

  • Team lead 950
  • Developer 1 600
  • Developer 2 600

Total 2150 per day

The finance manager has more clarity and a reduction in spend. The project manager was allowed to have a bit more time (additional budget buffer) to deliver the project. A saving of around £500 per day matters.

If you would like to know more click to requestdemo

www.6prog.comThe New Contract Recruitment Process
How can 6prog help what you need to do?
make your valuable network valuable


6prog Partners | IPSE

Contract recruitment made better

Contract recruitment made better

Today we are talking with Peter Thompson who is a Outbound Membership Manager at IPSE

Hi Peter, what is IPSE best known for?

We make sure freelancers, interim managers, consultants and contractors are represented to Government. By producing insightful, hard-hitting research and effective policy campaigns, we fight to create a better environment for the self-employed to run their businesses and ultimately, ensure our economy remains one of the most flexible in the world. 

Ok great how long has IPSE been helping freelancers?

IPSE has been representing the interests of the self-employed since 1999. IPSE was originally formed as the Professional Contractors Group to provide independent contractors and consultants with a representative voice in opposition to the original IR35 proposals. 

Why do freelancers become members of IPSE?

IPSE Plus members receive the following services and benefits

  • IR35 tax and legal helpline for advice
  • Contract templates
  • Tax investigation costs
  • Moneysaving offers and rewards with big high street names
  • Bi monthly magazines Modern Work, My Money, and fortnightly newsletter
  • Events and networking opportunities.
  • IPSE academy – training
  • Government and industry lobbying
  • Guide to being a freelancer
  • Pre-tax investigation costs
  • Up to £10,000 if a client goes bankrupt
  • Up to £5000 for jury service
  • Up to £200 if you are ill or injured
  • Up to £1000 if an agency breaks it contract
  • Up to £500 per day for tax compliance meetings
  • £5000 of life insurance at no cost
Is there a discount for 6prog members?

Yes, £50 off the joining fee if you click click here and write 6prog in as your code.

What is going on at the moment at IPSE HQ?

IR35 is dominating talk though with the new leaders of both the Libdems and the Conservatives we will be lobbying to inform them of the negative impact the legislation will cause

latest news

Why does 6prog have partners?

6prog has built many (many) years of experience industrywide and used most applications and systems. Where we have seen software that hits a number of key markets or has massive benefits to the user we like to partner to give them access to additional markets.

Partner companies are led by innovators who are passionate about delivering exceptional service too.

About

We are IPSE, the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed. Our name is both an acronym and the Latin word for ‘self’ or ‘by oneself’ – a reference to our chosen way of working.

Let us support you IPSE has dedicated Policy, Press and Research teams who work on behalf of freelancers and the self-employed.  We lobby government departments to ensure that you have a voice in party policies and manifestos.

LINKS

Partners

About

Demo Request

  • The New Contract Recruitment Process

ABOUT

6prog was started by friends from Brighton, UK and Los Angeles, USA. We had all experienced recruiting, being recruited and working as a recruitment partner and felt that these tasks would benefit from a single solution. We discussed various propositions with a large number of people in our own networks and summarised the following characteristics with this multi billion dollar industry.

• Recruiters spend too much time doing paperwork when they should be networking.
• Freelancers spend time chasing updates which can just be messaged directly.
• Clients want multiple levels of recruitment expertise but would rather not have multiple suppliers.
• Project Managers don’t have the time to read through multiple online profiles (the reverse job board service? “no thanks”).
• Everyone wants clearer communication.
• Everyone wants fair payment and fair charges.

So we designed a workflow that allows members to deliver their function most effectively. Recruiters can be anyone with a book of contacts (it’s more valuable to a PM if you can recruit from people via experience or word of mouth). Project Managers and Freelancers can talk to one another. It’s fine – it really is! Recruiters are paid a fixed fee agreed per opportunity. Also margins should not exist (too many reasons to list!) and therefore the software is funded by the low transaction fee. 

Importantly, our ethos is membership driven. All members are charged in the same way at the same fee. Finally we decided to get a team together in order to build a modern solution for project managers, freelancers and recruiters. We launched in April 2017. 6prog is pushing it’s platform to do even more than it already does today. Become a member and help us on our shared journey to revolutionise how projects, recruiting and on boarding get better.

How can 6prog help what you need to do?
make your valuable network valuable

6prog Partners | Open Orbit

6prog helps freelancers to find clients and clients to onboard freelancers. If you need a recruiter to help, just ask.

Andy talking with Niranjan, the founder of Open Orbit

What is Open Orbit?

At a high level it is software that mimics a consultant. Helping to empower users to solve their day-to-day business process problems rather than relying on external experts.

Ok intriguing. What does it do for me as a user?

It helps empower the user to reduce the analysis and time taken to diagnose their business processes by between 25 – 50% (often more). With our clients taking a matter of days to understand root causes where (historically) it has taken several weeks of analysis. This brings forward the benefit of improvements, whether that be better customer experience, increased timeliness outcomes, driving efficiencies or reducing costs.

How does it do that?

The platform helps guide the user to choose the most relevant metrics, causes and solutions across their business process. This is both on an individual process step level and across the entire process. Open Orbit turns up the knob on all the dimensions of a transformation project by applying Lean Six Sigma to project definition, process modelling, measurement, root cause analysis, solution hypothesis and benefits tracking. 

Some key features of the platform include:

  • an active diagnostic map or happy path of hand-offs that provides a holistic view of your business process.
  • a live and context-sensitive open knowledge database of insights and best practices, and a connected community forum to drive sustained benefits and engagement. 
  • A Fishbone diagraph that results from inputs to the diagnostic map that tells the story of where problems are occurring across your business process. This can be across six different areas including: people, process, technology, environment, measurements and policies.          
  • Baseline vs target report that analyses the data inputted to prioritise where to focus your resources to create the biggest impact.
  • RPA calculator to identify areas of your business process to automate and conduct a cost-benefit analysis.
  • Solution action tracking to implement solutions that have been prompted by the platform and bring through to closure.

Open Orbit therefore becomes the system of record for improvement projects. It enables agile and anytime governance of a project as well as providing accessible organisational memory and standardisation of approach. 

So the platform is based on Lean Six Sigma principles?

Yes – Six Sigma focuses on reducing variation; Open Orbit has digitalised the thinking of an improvement expert and put it in the hands of the business user. This is in the form of an algorithm that prompts the user to choose the most relevant metrics, causes and solutions across their business process to drive down variation in project outcomes. This enables standardisation across the business and re-use of learnings and insights from employees.

Open Orbit is both a methodology and a software tool. Being a fully cloud-hosted solution, it costs nothing to install, whist being simple and intuitive enough to be used without training.

For enterprises, Open Orbit dramatically increases the return on investment for business improvement. 

Who are your clients?

Our clients are worldwide and range from large corporate banks in Australia and investment banks in the US. Our clients also include one of the top five life insurers in Australia. In addition, we help companies across different industrial sectors including but not limited to:  telecommunications, universities, banking and consumer goods.  

More information on specific case studies can be found here.

Is there a discount for 6prog members?

Yes we will run free initial consultancy to review how Open Orbit could save your business time and money and also give a discount on a pilot.

What is going on at the moment for Open Orbit?

It is an exciting time for Open Orbit, from its origins in Sydney we have grown to cover a range of geographical locations. Including operations in London, New York and Mumbai and helping clients drive business outcomes across their processes across four different continents. 

Who can I reach out to for more information?

Click through the partner pages on 6prog. 

Andy in the UK and Julian in Australia are available to cover all time zones. If you have any questions or would be interested in a demo of the platform, please feel free to reach out:

Julian Humphreys 0423799233 Open Orbit

Why does 6prog have partners?

6prog has built many years of experience industrywide and used most applications and systems. Where we have seen software that hits a number of key markets or has massive benefits to the user we like to partner to give them access to additional markets.

Partner companies are led by innovators who are passionate about delivering exceptional service too.

About Open Orbit:

Open Orbit is ‘software that mimics a consultant’ – it empowers business users to think like improvement practitioners and drive better business. It helps business users become part of the solution to the efficiency challenge, rather than just suffer the problems of bad processes. It therefore reduces the lead time and cost of driving business transformation.

Open Orbit is a methodology that aids problem solving and diagnosis in logical steps. The “Happy Path of Hand-offs” artefact (also called the Diagnostic Map) enables users to document the end to end picture, including from a customer’s perspective, and yet allow for diving deep into the symptoms, causes and remedies to be considered at each step in that happy path. Algorithmic guidance generates probing questions across all aspects thus helping create a robust and comprehensive hypothesis for validation. 

The unique approach of augmenting (and not completely eliminating) human judgment means less dependency on access to perfect data, and blend in anecdotal and tacit knowledge sitting with process experts. Open Orbit amplifies the expertise of a human expert. It helps the problem-solver get to the insight faster, and tell the story better. 

Open Orbit drives faster Process Improvements, sharper insights, stronger cases for change, lower project costs and more sustainable change. In short, it is PI 2.0 as it applies the principles of PI to the process of PI itself.

 “With Open Orbit, everyone thinks it is part of their job to improve how things are done, and that’s when you achieve transformative change”.

Ben Tabell, CIO HSBC Australia

LINKS

https://www.6prog.com/account/partners

https://www.6prog.com/home/about

https://www.6prog.com/account/demorequest

  • The New Contract Recruitment Process

ABOUT

6prog was started by friends from Brighton, UK and Los Angeles, USA. We had all experienced recruiting, being recruited and working as a recruitment partner and felt that these tasks would benefit from a single solution. We discussed various propositions with a large number of people in our own networks and summarised the following characteristics with this multi billion dollar industry.

• Recruiters spend too much time doing paperwork when they should be networking.
• Freelancers spend time chasing updates which can just be messaged directly.
• Clients want multiple levels of recruitment expertise but would rather not have multiple suppliers.
• Project Managers don’t have the time to read through multiple online profiles (the reverse job board service? “no thanks”).
• Everyone wants clearer communication.
• Everyone wants fair payment and fair charges.

So we designed a workflow that allows members to deliver their function most effectively. Recruiters can be anyone with a book of contacts (it’s more valuable to a PM if you can recruit from people via experience or word of mouth). Project Managers and Freelancers can talk to one another. It’s fine – it really is! Recruiters are paid a fixed fee agreed per opportunity. Also margins should not exist (too many reasons to list!) and therefore the software is funded by the low transaction fee. 

Importantly, our ethos is membership driven. All members are charged in the same way at the same fee. Finally we decided to get a team together in order to build a modern solution for project managers, freelancers and recruiters. We launched in April 2017. 6prog is pushing it’s platform to do even more than it already does today. Become a member and help us on our shared journey to revolutionise how projects, recruiting and on boarding get better.

6prog Partners | Tide

6prog helps freelancers to find clients and clients to onboard freelancers. If you need a recruiter to help, just ask.

Today we are talking with Shahree who is a partner exec at Tide.

Hi Shahree, what is Tide?

Tide is a smart business account and app designed to save small businesses time and money. 

Ok intriguing. What does it do for me as a user?

Lots! Manage your cards from within the app, set-and-forget your auto-categories, integrate with your accountancy software, then get back to doing what you love – growing your business.

You can get a sort code and account number in as little as 5 minutes.

A modern business current account that gives time back to people who work for themselves.

Is there a discount for 6prog members?

Yes, get 1 year of free transfers. Sign in to 6prog and follow this link from the 6prog partner page – it will display the code: 6PROG and then click ‘open an account’ to start your application.

Who are your clients?

We work with 90000 small businesses from consultants to cupcake makers, coders to coat makers, glass-blowers to graphic designers, Tide is banking for modern businesses.

If you’d like to find out more about our beloved members we feature their stories in our Member Spotlight

What is going on at the moment for Tide?

We have recently published our Small Business Tips series on our blog to help members start and grow a successful small business. We talk about all things starting a business, marketing and growing your business as well as accounting with a lot more to come. So stay tuned.

Who can I reach out to for more information?

Click through the partner pages on 6prog to find a link or click the above logo. https://www.tide.co/partners/6prog/

IMPORTANT LINKS

Partners

About 6prog

6prog interactive demo

ABOUT

6prog was started by friends from Brighton, UK and Los Angeles, USA. We had all experienced recruiting, being recruited and working as a recruitment partner and felt that these tasks would benefit from a single solution. We discussed various propositions with a large number of people in our own networks and summarised the following characteristics with this multi billion dollar industry.

• Recruiters spend too much time doing paperwork when they should be networking.
• Freelancers spend time chasing updates which can just be messaged directly.
• Clients want multiple levels of recruitment expertise but would rather not have multiple suppliers.
• Project Managers don’t have the time to read through multiple online profiles (the reverse job board service? “no thanks”).
• Everyone wants clearer communication.
• Everyone wants fair payment and fair charges.

So we designed a workflow that allows members to deliver their function most effectively. Recruiters can be anyone with a book of contacts (it’s more valuable to a PM if you can recruit from people via experience or word of mouth). Project Managers and Freelancers can talk to one another. It’s fine – it really is! Recruiters are paid a fixed fee agreed per opportunity. Also margins should not exist (too many reasons to list!) and therefore the software is funded by the low transaction fee. 

Importantly, our ethos is membership driven. All members are charged in the same way at the same fee. Finally we decided to get a team together in order to build a modern solution for project managers, freelancers and recruiters. We launched in April 2017. 6prog is pushing it’s platform to do even more than it already does today. Become a member and help us on our shared journey to revolutionise how projects, recruiting and on boarding get better.

6prog Partners | GroupMap

6prog helps freelancers to find clients and clients to onboard freelancers. If you need a recruiter to help, just ask.

Today we are talking with Paul Skrgatic about GroupMap

Hi Paul – what is GroupMap?

Hi Andy, GroupMap is an effective way to plan, brainstorm, discuss and decide.

Ok great -who uses it?

You’ve probably encountered the usual issues of group decision-making in your meetingsworkshops or classrooms… People who dominate the conversation, quiet folks whose ideas never get heard, and of course all those post-it notes you have to write up.

GroupMap solves this by capturing individual thinking first, then revealing the group perspective, all in real-time. Now that’s true collaborative decision making.

Is there a discount for 6prog members?

Yes a free 14 day trial.

How much does it cost for participants to join?

Nothing, zippo, nada, zilch. It’s always free for participants to join a map.

 

What is going on at the moment for you Paul?

I’m currently helping Figura clients to deliver change for Projects in the Transport and Tourism sectors within Edinburgh. With the move to the gig economy we are finding that a lot of entrepreneurs need help to get new projects started and also keep the momentum up. We use GroupMap to help collaborate on project requirements engaging all parts of our client’s organisation. Also available via 6prog.
Get in touch if we can help you with your change or project challenges. paul@figura.associates

links

https://www.6prog.com/account/partners

https://www.6prog.com/home/about

https://www.6prog.com/account/demorequest

ABOUT

6prog was started by friends from Brighton, UK and Los Angeles, USA. We had all experienced recruiting, being recruited and working as a recruitment partner and felt that these tasks would benefit from a single solution. We discussed various propositions with a large number of people in our own networks and summarised the following characteristics with this multi billion dollar industry.

• Recruiters spend too much time doing paperwork when they should be networking.
• Freelancers spend time chasing updates which can just be messaged directly.
• Clients want multiple levels of recruitment expertise but would rather not have multiple suppliers.
• Project Managers don’t have the time to read through multiple online profiles (the reverse job board service? “no thanks”).
• Everyone wants clearer communication.
• Everyone wants fair payment and fair charges.

So we designed a workflow that allows members to deliver their function most effectively. Recruiters can be anyone with a book of contacts (it’s more valuable to a PM if you can recruit from people via experience or word of mouth). Project Managers and Freelancers can talk to one another. It’s fine – it really is! Recruiters are paid a fixed fee agreed per opportunity. Also margins should not exist (too many reasons to list!) and therefore the software is funded by the low transaction fee. 

Importantly, our ethos is membership driven. All members are charged in the same way at the same fee. Finally we decided to get a team together in order to build a modern solution for project managers, freelancers and recruiters. We launched in April 2017. 6prog is pushing it’s platform to do even more than it already does today. Become a member and help us on our shared journey to revolutionise how projects, recruiting and on boarding get better.

Reasons to build your own flexible workforce

I was talking with a programme change lead recently and what shocked me is the amount of time wasted when they need new freelancers to join their team.

Incredibly this person used to run a consultancy so was very familiar with the concept of having to manage resources.

Reasons to build a flexible workforce

  1. Keeps a good relationship with suppliers
  2. Makes costs more predictable
  3. Reduces costs by selecting in a ‘knee-jerk’ fashion
  4. Removes reliance on recruiters who do not know your business
  5. Speeds up your onboarding time
  6. Retains control of your business

Reach out to learn about how 6prog can help to build your business through a flexible workforce that YOU manage.

Choosing a recruiter in 6prog

I hate contract recruiters.

This is the type of comment spoken between professional freelancers often. They don’t mean it anymore than people who bad mouth car drivers or cyclists … it’s just an industry problem.

So, does this matter? Well we decided it did matter. Some contract recruiters are truly awful and almost wilfully bad. You don’t have to work with them. Others are great and have a good network which you will use time and time again.

Please invite the good ones to 6prog. [tia]

6prog partners with Crunch to give users access to Accountancy Support

Crunch is the official ‘go to’ partner for 6prog members who need advice on tax, expenses, savings and more…

From the 6prog FAQs you can find free information and access a free consultation.

“It is part of our roadmap to offer a full solution to freelancers and for them to be able to access independent advice easily [and] from a company as qualified as Crunch is it very pleasing for me. Clients using the 6prog platform can be assured that freelancers have the support needed so they can focus on the task in hand.”

Andy Barnes – 6prog CEO
Crunch is an online accounting service that supports freelancers, contractors and practically anyone who’s self-employed. They understand that the self-employed life isn’t your standard nine-to-five, and tailor their services to make your life as easy as possible.

Whether you’re a sole trader, a limited company or a freelancer, their simple online software, expert advice and accessible support makes managing your finances easier than ever.
Crunch is an online accounting service that supports freelancers, contractors and practically anyone who’s self-employed. They understand that the self-employed life isn’t your standard nine-to-five, and tailor their services to make your life as easy as possible.

Whether you’re a sole trader, a limited company or a freelancer, their simple online software, expert advice and accessible support makes managing your finances easier than ever.
6prog was started by friends from Brighton, UK and Los Angeles, USA. We had all experienced recruiting, being recruited and working as a recruitment partner and felt that these tasks would benefit from a single solution.

Become a member and help us on our shared journey to revolutionise how projects, recruiting and on boarding get better.

Who likes hidden charges?

We don’t believe in hidden charges, cash-back schemes or multi-layered charging policies. We don’t believe in subscriptions, tie-ins or upfront fees.  We believe in transparency. 

6prog members pay a low service fee of 3% per transaction.

Furthermore, if you invite someone new to join 6prog, any transactions you have with them will be free. Forever.

Seven percent

How much is 7% worth to you? 

What is the most expensive part of running your business? 

People?    Yes – they are a lovely and very necessary part of making a business.

We often use temporary resources to manage peaks in demand and the cost is typically their day rate plus ten percent.

6prog : make your valuable network VALUABLE.

6prog thinks that is too much. 

Through automation, platform technology and efficiency driven recruitment, the price for delivery of your temporary resources is 3% on 6prog.com.

Continue reading “Seven percent”

This company just fixed the most annoying thing about contract recruitment… (hidden margins)

This is not a freelancer ‘sob story’ and neither is this blog about the challenges of procurement leads pushing contract agencies for lower margins.

It’s a story about the human interaction between a project manager and a freelancer.

make your valuable network valuable

Hidden agency margins hurt the freelancer and the manager because neither is able to ascertain what level of work is required or should be expected based on the set fee.

An example:
A project manager hires a developer for 12 months at a cost of £700 per day who is in fact paid £560 by the agency.
For the PM this is a stretch. It is slightly above the ideal budget and now it is a necessity the developer works fast to bring in the work early and come under project budget.
For the developer this is a job taken because of timing and ‘if a better paid job comes along’ it will be hard for the freelancer to reject it.
4 weeks into the project the PM has a one-to-one with the developer to discuss the pace of the work. In theory neither are contractually permitted to disclose the rate. (This only helps the agency and is a policy that is often disregarded).
The PM mentions the stresses they are under on budget control. Casually the freelancer mentions they are also concerned as the agent said budget was a pressure so a low daily rate was applied.
Both sides feel uneasy. Neither side is at fault.

Another example:
A project manager asks an agency to find a developer for a 12 month contract. They do. High fives all round.
The agency supplies an excellent selection of profiles and following some interviews one developer is selected who joins the project a few weeks later.
Unfortunately the management is changed, and the business direction is under question so the project is halted immediately. Two weeks payment is made to the agency and most of this is passed to the freelancer.
All that work for 2 weeks of margin. Is this good trade?

A final example:
A project manager and a freelancer catch up having worked together a few years ago.
As luck would have it, one is in need of a freelancer and the other has just finished a contract.
Procurement policy dictates an agency should be used to manage the papertrail, help on timesheets and invoicing and keep the relationship IR35 friendly.
A call is put in to a known agency … what margin can you charge if I give you a candidate?
(Frankly I’d prefer you offered us the work at our normal margins but) “how about 10%?”
Both sides have done the other a favour yet neither have received one!

As shown by the above it is good news that 6prog designed a platform with managers, freelancers and recruiters’ best interests in mind. An ultra low services charge for paperless paperwork that streamlines the process, a fixed fee for recruitment services (or networking introductions) AND no hidden margins.

Going freelance in 6 steps

6prog Freelancer : Benefits

1/ Decide what you are selling. List out your key skills and accomplishments. Clients will typically want to know about pieces of work that you have started, managed and completed.

2/ Invest in some good kit. If you are a designer you will need the correct hardware. Whatever type of freelancing you do, you will need to communicate; well and often. Make sure your phone, email and social media accounts work. Set your 6prog alerts to ‘on’.

3/ Decide where you are keen to work – internationally or in your home town? What are the laws that dictate how much tax you need to pay and what are the costs of living in that place?

4/ Who is in your network who will help you? Other freelancers, recruiters who know you, and networking sites can keep your business private and also give you recognition and new clients that you are in control of.

5/ Blogs: keep learning. If you have made it to point five you are already doing this!

6/ Select some business tools to help you stay organised. Blog coming soon on some of our favourites.

Continue reading “Going freelance in 6 steps”