Project management… so much to think about as far as what this truly entails. From tracking project timeline and budgets, to communicating client + project expectations to the creative team, to creating healthy client relationships with true longevity, project management has lots of intricacies.
For our clients, we’re always striving to ensure our projects are completed on time and within budget. Simple, right? Maybe so, but we’ve laid out our best project management tips and tricks below.
Creating a solid timeline is definitely the most efficient way to ensure the client’s launch / target / deadline date is met. The best way to do this is down that exact drop-dead date, and from there build the timeline backwards. Including all project details such as when the client will receive first looks, when client feedback is needed by and when final files will be delivered is vital in making sure all players are speaking the same language.
Of course, we know there can be a handful of stakeholders on the client side, and we have to be sure the timeline is flexible enough to accommodate for all needs on their side. So don’t forget to build a little extra padding into the timeline to ensure everyone is able to fit reviews into their schedules and have enough time to provide feedback and approval.
Larger projects with hot approaching deadlines often include multiple pieces that will be running simultaneously. Having this all noted on a project schedule or timeline is key in ensuring nothing slips through the cracks.
Once timelines are fleshed out and communicated to the client, it’s our job as project managers to make sure both the team + the client are adhering to the schedule in order to track along with the overall deadline.
We love working collaboratively with our clients, as this always leads to the best creative + strategic final delivery. Some projects come to be from just a thought or idea that hasn’t been fully fleshed out yet, while other projects are clearly outlined from the very beginning – either way, having consistent + productive conversations about creative feedback, as well as overall goals + strategy allow both the creative team + the client to provide direct thoughts about project specifics, which in turn, lead to a great final delivery.
Our team also loves to collaborate internally – we loop in several designers and art directors on all projects, just because you can never have too many perspectives. We always find that collaboration is the best way to push our creative boundaries that lead to happy clients with a rocking final deliverable (or five).
Above all else, communicate, communicate, communicate! This is definitely the biggest key to completing a project successful project – as project managers, we have many people we must communicate details with, whether it be internally or externally to the client.
It’s our job to ensure we’re communicating client expectations, thoughts, and feedback to the creative team – we’re essentially the eyes and ears for the client, as it’s our responsibility to loop the team in on key notes from the client.
On the flip-side of communicating internally, we also have the job of communicating all project details to the client – this includes everything from expected turnaround time to raising the flag about approaching the high end of a budget. It’s also our job to make sure the client feels comfortable and confident leaning on us as the expert, so communicating clearly right of the bat is the best way to get a foundation of trust in place.
All of this being said, at the end of the day, our favorite part of evert project is working through the process to land on an outcome that everyone, most importantly the client, is happy with. Hopefully these pointers + tips will lead you in the right direction when you kick off your next project.