In the creative design industry, part of the job is to manage and organize several projects at once. Some might see it as a never ending project, with several projects due and others popping up out of nowhere, but there are several ways to stay on task and juggle multiple projects. This is to ensure you meet the deadline for each project while keeping the clients happy and making a name for your business.
Here are some ways to manage your design projects and to make your design career way more enjoyable.
Develop a Plan:
One timeless tactic to manage projects is to create a plan. Write down and make a list of what projects need to get completed, step-by-step. Making a list will help you stay organized and ensure that you to stay on the right track, even when little new projects pop up. Once you get a handle on your projects, the little ones that pop up here and there will no longer be a concern.
Draw Out a Timeline:
Another successful method is to draw out a timeline of when certain projects are due. Not only will this keep you focused and help you to stay on track when multitasking several projects, but will also ensure that your clients timely demands are met. A happy client is a returning client, so do yourself a favor and write down a timeline of when deadlines need to be met, and you will have several returning happy customers. A wonderful (and free!!) software that we use is Asana, quite robust for being free. It’s truly a blessing that prevents headaches and messes!
A vital tool for managing projects is staying open with all communication terminals. This is a given that most overlook on how impactful it really is. Ensure that the client is constantly updated and in constant communication with the project. If there is a lag in not meeting the targeted timeline, a simple message or call to the client with an update will resolve that issue. Honesty is the best policy, and your clients will respect you for it.
Set Realistic Expectations:
Keeping a realistic expectation of how much work you can handle will help resolve any managing issues down the road. Set a goal on how much realistic work you or your team can manage at a time and be okay with turning work away when you have to. Only if time allows it, take on projects if the deadline can be met without hurting the other projects. One of the worst things you can do is overpromise and underdeliver to a client, so setting a realistic goal will ensure your work is quality while delivering a perfectly created project to your client.
Say No When Needed:
We all want to be a people pleaser, but you won’t get far if you let down your clients with false hope. There is only so much time in a day, so saying no to those tedious tasks that take up way too much time is okay. At the end of the day, it is your company and you are the designer, who also is the expert in designing and branding. Be upfront with how many changes clients are allowed on a project in the proposal stage, or what the cost is for each additional change, and that will alleviate some of the time wasted down the road.
If your business is struggling with managing projects and need a helping hand on the design, website, SEO, and/or branding front — Berlin Grey can help you! Contact us today.