Day #19: Quality Control

Now that the project is underway and you are managing the work being, without a doubt you'll run into situations in which your virtual assistant does something the wrong way.  It's okay, it's your job to get them back on track.  Here are some quick tips to do that.

They don't think like you do

First off, 99% of the time you are going find out quickly that your virtual assistant doesn't think like you do.  That means that they will work on things that are not a priority, they'll half-ass things that are a priority, or they'll just plain do it wrong.

All of this is okay.  Here are some ways to nip this in the bud before things get out of hand:

  • Make it clear up front that you expect an end of day report.  Have them tell you what they did that day, what problems they ran into, and what you can do to make their job or life easier.
  • Create a project launch video in which you go over the importance of the tasks, and a brief summary of how each of them are going to be done and what the finished product should look like.
  • Use a task management system like Manymoon and have them upload product revisions to be commented on.

The quicker you can see the work in process, the better the finished product will be.

Keep in mind, some virtual assistants are really good and need little supervision.  However, you should never neglect reviewing the work that's being done.

Have your virtual assistant create a project plan

One great way to know exactly how your virtual assistant plans to complete a project is to have them develop the actual project plan.  In essence, have them outline the project.  This does 2 things.  First, it gives ownership to your VA and let's them feel as though it is their project and ideas.  Second, it let's you see how they think and if they capture the important aspects of the project.

Below is an example project plan that one of my VAs did for a complex Buddypress project earlier this year.  Even though this is for web development, all projects have a similar type structure.

Sample VA Project Plan

Work WITH your virtual assistant

I can't tell you how many times I've heard from a VA that I hired that their last employer never wanted to be bothered, but would get mad when things weren't done.  This is just stupid and a great way to get a poor product.

When you are dealing with work such as creating an ebook or implementing a marketing plan, you NEED to be in the trenches with your VA (at least the first time).  VAs can't read your mind, and while it may seem like it is taking a lot of your time, it's worth it and will take less and less time in the long run.

Action Steps: Create a quality control plan

I want you to create a quality control plan.  It doesn't need to be fancy.  Maybe it's just asking your folks to give you daily or weekly updates.  It doesn't need to be elaborate but it has to help you to maintain control of the product and ensure that the quality of your product is perfect (or close to it).