IR35. So, you were telling me?

People keep wanting to talk about IR35. It can get a bit boring as I’m not seeing much innovation coming out from the supply side of the industry.

If you will indulge me here is the 6prog 6point action plan:

A fully signed SoW is part of our contractural process

The creation of a 6prog working relationship is based on milestones and deliverables. These are baked into the agreement so all parties understand what their company is signing up to deliver or receive.Why this matters: If you are genuinely acquiring a full service it should be clearly laid out in advance. Any supplier will want to know what they are there to achieve and when (if?) it has been completed. It is simply not sufficient to hire someone on the basis that ‘we will work out what work is on a day to day basis’.Indeed the client should not be controlling or directing the supplier at all.This is why 6prog project layer represents both a way of creating the work order and a way of discussing and editing it before the work is commenced.

SoW can be milestones payment based (not only daily or hourly)

The Statement of Work is between two businesses (not individuals) and it is set up with either hourly, daily or milestone payment terms.Payments made should be tied to deliverables that are in the hands of the freelancer to complete. As a professional freelancer you should ensure you have a reasonable amount of insight on the feasibility of each deliverable. What are the dependancies? Are there any significant risks of failure? 

Named substitutes (not theoretical right of substitution) 

For years we have been told that the supplier should be able to supply a named resource who could be switched if necessary. Given that many freelancers operate as individuals this clause is somewhat farcical.  6prog enables freelancers to build a book of contacts and where needed can be named as substitutes on the statement of work. The right to substitute and the planned option to do so… that’s much more powerful than an extra clause in a contract.

Both parties trading via 6prog pay a service fee 

6prog operates as a connector and ‘paperwork’ enabler so operates more as a SAAS provider than a recruiter. It charges all users the same SAAS fee (3%) based on usage of the platform. I find it hard to correlate the notion of employment with the choice to trade via a platform. We will have to see what HMRC thinks about this in due course. However, I’m certain this is a better setup than being a link in an RPO chain where the freelancer has no control over their engagement with the end client and the RPO holds the cards. 

Freelancers decide payment timescales 

As a benefit to buyers and suppliers, 6prog’s service fee is based on fortnightly charges and payments and this is just 3%.  We will be creating a flexible mode, where clients who want to ‘pay late’ or suppliers that want to be ‘paid early’ will be choosing a higher service fee to be applied. It works the other way too though. The faster the client wants to pay, the lower the service charge and the longer payment terms the supplier selects, the lower their service charge.

6prog partnerships with three main umbrellas so 6prog can be either with ltd co or a PAYE person 

6prog recognises that sometimes the project is not out of scope and so clients will want the supplier to be clearly paying NI as a PAYE member of staff.  6prog suppliers can select an umbrella from our partners and also choose their own. We will then support clients who need to see this by way of reporting who is available for such a set up. 

Furthermore, clients (this includes companies and freelancer suppliers) of 6prog are able to call on our partners at IPSE, Crunch and QDoS for advice and support on the matter.

AND Finally, it is critical that the working relationship between parties is managed correctly. Having set the tone by using the 6prog SoW it is important this is continued in the delivery of the services. 
If you made it this far then I salute you. I’m sure you would like to be spending time on work in hand (as would I) but I hope this was helpful!
Let me know when we can next catch up.
Andy

6prog is a facilitator of freelance contracts and commentator on recruitment in general.

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

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 consultancy agreements and commentator on recruitment in general. For more information reach out hello@6prog.com

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.

Seven golden rules for the perfect business pitch

For a lot of people, the idea of public speaking sends a cold chill down their spine.

For a lot of people, the idea of public speaking sends a cold chill down their spine. Standing in front of an audience, all alone with nothing but your ideas and whatever materials you have to hand… well, let’s just say it’s not for everyone. But when you’re self-employed, pitching to clients is something you’ll want to master.

Making the perfect pitch isn’t as hard as you might think, either, and as long as you’re prepared, anyone can pull it off. So whether you’re pitching to Alan Sugar or Dave the greengrocer, let’s run down the seven golden rules for making the perfect business pitch.

1. Go for the right business

Don’t just pitch for any work. Remember to focus your efforts on the people who might actually be interested in taking you up on the offer. This might seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people seem to believe the scatter-gun approach is the smart move. Spoiler: it’s not.

2. Do your homework

This one should be a no-brainer, really. The better you understand your business, your prospective client, and how you can work together, the more likely you’ll get a yes.

3. Think in headlines

Get your best and most important information into simple headlines – they’ll grab your client’s attention, and then you can add the detail. Headlines are more likely to stick in their minds when the pitch is over than the heavier detail, too.

4. Be concise and credible

“Less is more” isn’t just a slogan. When it comes to pitches, keep it concise, punchy, and memorable.

5. Practise makes perfect

The more you rehearse your pitch, the less likely you are to stumble, forget, or feel self-conscious when you’re talking to a prospective client. Think about your presentation, your clothes, your demeanour. Be well-prepared, speak with certainty and conviction, and the message will land all the firmer.

6. Focus on them 

Remember to use “you” and “your” rather than “me” and “we”. It’s about them, and it’s collaborative – your first duty in a business pitch is to show your client that they are the ones who are going to benefit, so keep it focused.

7. Demonstrate teamwork

You might be making the pitch, but you’re not the only one doing the heavy lifting. Give your talented team the recognition they deserve and highlight the importance of teamwork, collaboration, and a common goal. Even if this is a virtual team, make sure they know the score and that everyone’s on the same page.

If you’d like more information on how to win, woo, and develop relationships with new clients, check out our ultimate business tips for the self-employed article.

 

Finding talent is expensive

Does it have to be?

talent searching?

It is expensive and time consuming putting together a good team of freelancers, right?

So what do most companies typically do when the programme finishes? They ‘hand back’ ownership of that freelancer to the agency who provided them. This is not deliberate, it is not wilfully ignorant, it is contractually imperative.

What if this weren’t the case? What if, YOU, the client, could ‘hold’ the talent. If YOU had a platform to contact, communicate and nurture the team of people who want to work with you on YOUR programmes.

Usually these articles then go on to explain why paying more means you can have a better level of service – surprise – the charges at 6prog are lower than what you are currently paying for contract recruitment.

Take a poll of the freelancers in your office today and ask what facilities they would want. I’ll wager none say ‘an agency’ but many will opt for a straightforward platform.