Last month I had to replace a ceiling fan.
When we moved in, this fan sort of worked. It was stuck on ‘low’ speed, and the part of the fan that controls the speed was broken. Parts were not available. So, finally, we ordered a new fan and I went to install it.
Other than the inherent awkwardness, this should have been a simple task. Take down one fan, put up another.
But we hadn’t known about the size mismatch in the part of the trim that goes up against the ceiling and covers the wiring and fan support.
The new fan trim piece was smaller.
And when the previous owners painted the ceiling, they didn’t take the old fan down – we could tell, since they got some on the fan too.
And because of this, it was going to leave a circle of old ceiling color around the new fan.
Suddenly, what went from a routine fan swap, turned into a prep and prime and paint multi-day extravaganza, to get a few square inches of ceiling painted prior to new fan installation.
Which brings me to today’s website related point.
When dealing with any given web site and making changes, some things are easy.
Some things are not.
And some things we think will be easy, and are instead crazy complicated fan swaps.
Recently we’ve been working on integrating Salesforce.com with a WordPress site. There’s a tool for that, and it works fairly well. But the tool doesn’t account for the quality and structure of the data on the Salesforce.com side of things. With secret objects and hidden data and mismatched information and crosslinked elements and more. All of which turned a “hook up the plugin” project into a months-long custom coding and testing project.
So what, you say?
Well, what this all means is, when I am estimating a project, I know to allow for some weirdness. We anticipated some issues with Salesforce, so even with the complexities, we’re still on track within the approved budget.
I try to be very transparent with pricing and estimating and set expectations based on what we know about the website in question. I provide ranges, options, and on bigger projects, what happens if things end up over or under the estimate.
I try to be clear about what is covered, and why, and what might happen if there are some unknown issues. This is also why I often ask for a login before working on an estimate. The more we know, the better we can estimate projects.
Because nobody wants to get a surprise fan-swap-level invoice for what we all thought could be a simple project.
So if you don’t like surprises from your web team – and if you have a fan to swap on your website that you could use help with – contact us today.