Break Your Projects Into Smaller Steps

I break my projects into steps – such as comp, layout, layout revision, and final. And those steps include client approvals in between. I never just count on overall project hours to carry me through the life of a project. Why? Well, you can burn through too many hours at the beginning of a project (been there) and you’re left with either asking for more money (been there too), making cuts to the project or taking a hit on the profit (ugh! been there too!). 

Profit is good. We stay in business when we make more than we spend. A good project manager is aware of everything going on and how it affects the bottom line. They don’t get a lot of love, but they always have an eye on the trifecta of projects: scope, schedule, budget.

We all love going back to the client to tell them it’s going to be late; that they’re asking for more than we agreed to (you did provide a brief didn’t you?); or we need more money to make awesome happen – right?

Therefore, red flags arise quickly when tracking projects broken down incrementally. Any slippage is easy to see, and moreover, you know what caused it. That allows you to learn. Wow.

Getting a handle on how much time (therefore how many dollars) each step in a project should take gives a project manager a better handle on burn rate and provides each employee with expectations.

Oh yes, we set expectations with clients too.

By the way, say thank you to your project manager. They have your back.