Distributed vs freelancing

Okay click-baity title, we actually love freelancers and our business runs because of the talented freelancers within our Elastic Teams™️.

That being said, Distributed offers large businesses benefits in flexibility, time commitment, risk and scalability vs hiring freelancers directly.

But we’re not all things to all people.

Here’s what to consider when deciding to use a freelancer instead of Distributed.

Are you sure you know the best solution to deliver the outcome?

Each project is different, simple things can have simple solutions. Outsourcing a simple login page design vs connecting a finance app to a high-street bank lending system require different levels of thinking.

Many customers, while initially sure in their thinking around what the best solution to their challenge is. Leave out best fit technologies, underestimate/overestimate the importance of particular features, and have too many “coulds”, “shoulds” and “ifs” in their briefs.

As projects get more complex outsourcing to freelancers becomes impossible without a delivery team that has experience in getting to the best fit solution. While a freelancer is a specialist in one area that can limit their ability to deliver a solution as part of a wider plan. Leading to Frankenstein systems that become a devil to maintain.

Distributed solves this problem by:

Providing zero cost consultancy and solution design at the start of every project.

Providing zero cost consultancy and solution design at the start of every project.

Using a proven requirements gathering, refining and estimation process that leads to the Delivery, Milestones and Acceptance Criteria (DMAC). Upon agreement of these with the client, those outcomes are then guaranteed.

How sure are you that your freelancer can deliver your outcome?

Hiring freelancers can be a great way to offload work to a specialist. Our Elastic Team and talent pool is made up of experts that provide client’s access to any specialism with an average of 11 years of experience programming. So it’s fair to say that we trust freelancers to deliver.

To get to the level of talent Distributed has access to has taken years. Carefully attracting, vetting and testing our talent pool isn’t something many of our clients can do overnight. They say the proof is in the pudding – and our freelancers have certainly proven to us and our clients they can deliver.

The question you should ask yourself is: If I hire a freelancer for X project, how sure am I they can achieve the desired outcome?

If the answer is anywhere between 90% and zero then you are taking on a risk that the project gets completed correctly.

Distributed removes that risk factor by:

Guaranteeing pre-approved delivery outcomes are achieved

Pre-vetting all developers and selecting them on your behalf, based on best fit to the project requirements = best possible team for the job

Providing a full delivery team – project, technical and QA lead to manage the project outcomes on your behalf

A proven delivery and QA process that means all code is peer-reviewed twice before being committed live

How much time will you have to devote to leading your freelancer to deliver your outcome?

We often think of outsourcing, especially to freelancers as a way of reducing the amount of time spent on something. More often than not though the opposite is true. We spend more time trying to brief clearly, more time trying to manage the developer and more time in QA identifying and iterating on mistakes.

Many of our clients – especially the smaller SMEs who started with one or two freelancers, which was manageable. As they get larger managing those freelancers becomes a more complex challenge. Aligning different freelancers to project goals and outcomes. Making sure each freelancer isn’t overwriting the work of the other, can become a constant management headache. This becomes especially true for our enterprise clients, where managing an internal team coupled with various projects with various different freelancers; is a task that reduces the tech leader’s ability to perform their job well – growing the business using technology.

Distributed is set up to reduce management headaches – we knew this problem first hand and realised enterprises particularly, need access to specialist talent but often don’t have the headspace to manage that talent.

Distributed removes that risk factor by:

Providing a full delivery team for every project – they agree the intended outcomes; brief the developers; select the right team for the job; manage the developers and report on progress adapting the team composition as the project evolves.

Using our proven delivery and QA process ensures all team members no matter how large the team, are singing to the same hymn sheet. All work is double-checked by peer review and by the QA lead.

Hire us once – never need another freelancer. Every project is different with different skills we have a fully vetted talent pool covering almost any programming language. No need to ever go looking for that perfect fit again – we do it for you.

We’ve found this process can reduce time in QA and UAT by up to 45% – that’s 45% more time you’re getting back.

Does your freelancer have the rights skills today, but not tomorrow?

A freelancer’s greatest strength – their specialist knowledge – can become their Achilles heel when it comes to project changes. You go out to market looking for that ruby developer, the python expert and that specialism, while necessary one week – may become unnecessary the next.

That’s where scaling past initial projects becomes very difficult with freelancers. Especially so when teams of freelancers are needed.

Distributed provides the best model for operating with specialists at scale

With a huge active talent pool Distributed can ensure best fit team for the tasks at hand. Swapping developers in and out as the project requires.

As your workload increases or decreases, we can add or remove team members as needed to be most cost-effective

Distributed trusts freelancers. We believe freelancing will become the future of work for many but it needs to be done in ways that work for its end customer. The businesses that need specialist help.

Hiring a freelancer directly works if the project is not complex, you have time to find the right person and to manage the delivery yourself; you’re sure the freelancer can deliver and you won’t need any other skills than those that the freelancer can provide.

If any of those considerations are an issue then Distributed provides a zero-risk way to work with the best freelance talent on the planet.


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