What makes a good project ‘great’?

Clearly great design is absolutely vital in delivering a good design project but equally important is that the project is delivered in good time…with effective, timely communication and reporting at all stages, between all parties involved. A client needs to be kept informed about how the project is progressing, to have regular updates and access to the project and to be kept informed that things are on track. From the design side the designer needs to have feedback from the client on a timely basis and needs project assets, such as copy and images, available when needed. All of this should flow through reliably, to meet the completion deadlines that were set and agreed at the commencement of the project. In addition to this, liaison is required with any external suppliers required, keeping everything on time and to budget. The client needs a reliable, accessible contact who they feel will react and deliver when they have queries and need assistance. A good project manager, who delivers all of these elements and brings the project together, is a key component in ensuring that the client has a great experience of the design process. To do this, it is essential that the project manager is involved from the start, with access to the brief, contracts, budgets, timetables and resources. All of this communication and administration takes effort and good organisation, vital skills for any good project manager.

Now offering even better Project Management!

When I joined Will earlier this month to assist him with his project management I quickly discovered that Will is already pretty well organised! He already had good systems in place to deliver great communication and reliable access to the project. This meant he has been really effective in communication and the great comments he has received from his clients are testament to this. Will was already utilising some great project tools such as ‘Basecamp’, a web-based project-management tool developed by 37signals, which features to-do lists, milestone management, file sharing, time tracking and a messaging system. Also, ‘Google calendar’ this is also an excellent free web application. It gives different view modes such as weekly, monthly and agenda, allowing you to quickly see events from one day to another and because the calendar is stored on-line it can be viewed wherever you are. You can add multiple calendars to it allowing it to be shared amongst all parties involved in the project. Keeping everything on track and delivering a ‘great project’ takes time and even the best technology needs input and this can take valuable time away from the designer. A good project manager can be a valuable asset for all parties involved in the project, ensuring that a good project is a great experience for everyone!

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