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Poll: What do you do when a client asks you to specify your own deadline for a project?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 07:09
SITE STAFF
Jun 16, 2014

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "What do you do when a client asks you to specify your own deadline for a project?".

This poll was originally submitted by Edward Potter. View the poll results »



 

Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 16:09
Member (2008)
English to Italian
other Jun 16, 2014

does thi happen?

Sometimes you get the question: "when can you do it?" my reply is: "when do you need it?"
and then I accept (if I can) their deadline


 

Chris S  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Swedish to English
+ ...
First of all Jun 16, 2014

I look out the window and check for flying pigs

 

Kay Denney  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 16:09
Member (Apr 2018)
French to English
It has actually happened to me! Jun 16, 2014

It has actually happened: the "ideal" client who told me his primary concern was quality and so I was to take the time I needed (he also sounded just like George Clooney... what else?).

So the file stayed at the bottom of the pile for longer than he deserved and I finally realised I would have to set myself a deadline, which I then took a fiendish delight in not honouring in order to polish the file just a bit more.

From then on I told him I needed a deadline and I just gave myself an extra day for polishing than I would normally. He paid handsomely and his files were really interesting so he was worth it (sorry, these slogans just keep popping up. Must be Monday morning!)


 

Mary Worby  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 15:09
Member
German to English
+ ...
It depends Jun 16, 2014

The amount of time I give myself is often proportionate to how much I want the project. So I'll give myself an awful lot more leeway for a nasty, low-rate, fiddly job ... sadly this often means I don't get the job! Whereas I'll put myself out a lot more for good payers and favourite customers.

 

Gudrun Maydorn  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 16:09
Member (2008)
English to German
+ ...
As Gianluca Jun 16, 2014

Gianluca Marras wrote:

Sometimes you get the question: "when can you do it?" my reply is: "when do you need it?"
and then I accept (if I can)


[Bearbeitet am 2014-06-16 08:43 GMT]


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 15:09
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Other Jun 16, 2014

I make my calculations, on the basis of 1,500 to 3,000 words a day, depending on the length and complexity of the text, plus sufficient time for revision and proofreading. Then I add on 1 or 2 full days for any contingency and I will propose a deadline that allows me more than enough time to complete the project. In 30 years I have never delivered late and I am known to submit my translations quite often ahead of deadline!



[Edited at 2014-06-16 16:26 GMT]


 

Christine Andersen  Identity Verified
Denmark
Local time: 16:09
Member (2003)
Danish to English
+ ...
I give a realistic suggestion with some leeway Jun 16, 2014

It certainly happens for me quite often, and that is the way it should be!

My regular clients know I nearly always have several things in the pipeline, so when they mail or call me with a job, they tell me if it is urgent. Otherwise they are prepared to negotiate.

They may mention a date, but if I can't do it by then or just feel it is tight, I always suggest when I can deliver. Very often they can extend the deadline a little.

Then I can sit and polish the results and deliver what they want.

It means I have my TMs up to date and can drop everything else if someone sends 500 words, preferably delivered yesterday... But I do NOT live in a constant state of panic.

Like Mary Worby, I send jobs I don't really want to the end of the queue. But that means I might get them anyway! So if I am seriously unwilling to take them on, I firmly say no.

Make clients respect the fact that you need time and you have a life. It pays in the long run.


 

Julian Holmes  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 23:09
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Yes Jun 16, 2014

Chris S wrote:

I look out the window and check for flying pigs


Yes, it is a rare occurrence - like the proverbial blue moon. icon_biggrin.gif

As with all jobs/projects I tack on an extra 15 to 20% timewise to the deadline because the old maxim 'things never go as planned' holds true in a lot of cases. I have had the unfortunate experience of large projects getting progressively complex and more difficult with each passing chapter, which is both time-consuming and incredibly stressful.
So, I assume that the unexpected will happen, which rapidly gobbles up any remaining time and makes the sword of Damocles seem as if it is hanging by an even thinner thread.


 

Alexander Kondorsky  Identity Verified
Russian Federation
Local time: 17:09
English to Russian
+ ...
the loosest deadline Jun 16, 2014

It's simple: if deadline is negotiable, I try to get the loosest possible (usually I deliver early, I want to be secure just in case), and if deadline is not negotiable I either accept it or not

 

Marjolein Snippe  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:09
Member (2012)
English to Dutch
+ ...
easy deadline Jun 16, 2014

I don't accept jobs with a deadline that is likely to be too tight, so when I am asked to indicate how long it will take me (happens to me about once every one or two months) I indicate a deadline with some leeway.
In some cases I never hear anything about the project again, in some cases they agree, in some cases they either tell me 'sorry, that is too late for us' or try to negotiate a tighter deadline.


 

Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 15:09
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Yes, it does... Jun 16, 2014

Gianluca Marras wrote:

does this happen?

Sometimes you get the question: "when can you do it?" my reply is: "when do you need it?"
and then I accept (if I can) their deadline


I have 2 or 3 regular clients who are always willing to wait when I'm not immediately available...


 

Gianluca Marras  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 16:09
Member (2008)
English to Italian
different thing Jun 16, 2014

Teresa Borges wrote:

Gianluca Marras wrote:

does this happen?

Sometimes you get the question: "when can you do it?" my reply is: "when do you need it?"
and then I accept (if I can) their deadline


I have 2 or 3 regular clients who are always willing to wait when I'm not immediately available...


Oh well this is a different situation, and that happens to me too, regular clients who wait if I am busy, but they never say, "ok I need this translation, when can I have it?" they give me a deadline, and if I am busy they ask when I can do it, but they never start without a clear idea of their deadline.


 

neilmac  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:09
Spanish to English
+ ...
Other Jun 16, 2014

Depends on client and my current workload. I usually try to keep things tight, as you never know when the next job will come in, but it's always nice to have some leeway.

 

LegalTransform  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:09
Member (2002)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Usuallly what happens is this... Jun 16, 2014

Wednesday afternoon:

Client: How much and when?

To self: [well, it's Wednesday afternoon, if I started today, I could possibly finish by the end of day Friday if I worked the rest of the day and all day and night on Thursday and then all day Friday, but if I take the weekend that will allow me some breathing room and ability to take my time and not rush, but if I quote Monday, they may ask for Friday, so I'll quote Tuesday and then accept Monday.]

To Client: I can return it to you first thing Tuesday morning.

Client: Oh, we were hoping to get it back Thursday afternoon.

To self: [Why didn't you just say that in the beginning?]


[Edited at 2014-06-16 15:14 GMT]


 
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