For many of our partners we consider ourselves bandwidth boosters. Technically speaking bandwidth is "a person's capacity to handle or think about more than one thing at the same time." And a booster is "a person or thing that boosts, especially an energetic and enthusiastic supporter." So a "bandwidth booster" is "something (or someone) that boosts a person's capacity to handle more than one thing at the same time."
Why do you need a partner to be your bandwidth booster? We have found that there are a number of reasons why our partners come to us in need of help, but two constraints in particular always seem to come up:
- Time - You have too much to complete in a short amount of time.
- Team - Your team is busy working on other projects that need their attention more or you're short staffed because a team member is on maternity leave, vacation, etc.
These types of constraints aren't strangers to any organization. Time and team are always going to be in high demand, but regardless of what your constraint is the need is the same. You need an extension of your team, someone who can step in and fill in without missing a beat in those moments when you just can't turn it around internally. Here are a few things that we think are essential to be a quality bandwidth booster for our partners.
Perhaps the most concerning part about needing help on a project is figuring out who you can trust to do it right. If you lack trust in your partner you may end up spending just as much time and just as many resources babysitting the development of the project as you would have developing it yourself!
It's a balance. Communication needs to be clear and consistent so there are no surprises, without talking every minute of everyday. We set up weekly check-in calls with the project champions so that there is a set time to talk through updates and questions every week. Of course we usually are communicating on Basecamp throughout the week, about small questions or approvals, but the weekly call is a nice touch point that is always on our calendars.
Attention to Detail
There should be no compromise here. Partners who pay attention to detail are organized and thoroughly understand the goals of the project so that when things aren't quite right they notice. And they fix it.
When it comes down to it, what you really want out of a partner is someone who is going to execute what you want. Now I'm not saying that scope never changes and bugs never happen, but at the end of the day, your project is going to be finished. It's going to look beautiful and function
We often describe ourselves as bandwidth boosters. We do many different things in various sizes of complexity and scope for our clients. Our hope is that after we become a bandwidth booster once, we become a bandwidth booster for a second time, and then you start to use our services and connecting with us for larger strategic projects until we become a consistent extension of your team. We have reached this point with many of our clients and it's the most collaborative, efficient, and exciting place to be.
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