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Welcome to the Best Management Practices for Digital Projects Part 3. This series was created to help make you and your project managers lives much easier (and your clients much happier!). So far we’ve given you practices to help streamline the project lifecycle, keep clients happy, prevent scope creep, and set proper expectation levels. Today we're going to give you the 5th and 6th BMPs.
5. Quick Wins
Whenever you can, deliver easy products or services that give your clients the “Quick Wins.’ These are all of the little value adding things you can do for clients that only take 5 or 10 minutes of your time. Think of things like:
- A quick dashboard report if you're doing ads
- Setting up an image on a website
- Doing a quick demo on how to edit something in WordPress
- Anything quick and easy that builds value!
In every project, there will be a couple times to deliver quick wins. This can make a huge difference in the long run. When clients ask for some big change outside of the scope you can say, “Sorry that falls outside of the project scope and remember we already did XYZ.” This will help smooth things out and keep clients happy! Just make sure these quick wins don’t take up tons of your time. There’s a fine line between a quick win and scope creep, so make sure you don’t cross it.
(RELATED: Sick of scope creep? So am I! Check out this article with more tips on how to get rid of it.)
6. Over Document
Document everything as much as you possibly can, then document it some more. You may think this seems excessive but it will cover your ass if you do it properly. Begin documenting things such as:
- Billable vs. non-billable hours
- All communications
- Change Orders
- Scope Documents
- Legal Agreements
- Miscellaneous files and documents
Document anything and everything related to the project and make sure it goes through a centralized project management platform. To really cover your ass, avoid complications, and simplify communications I recommend following a single point-in, single point-out philosophy. This means one project manager and one client handle all communications that go through the project management platform. Following this philosophy will ensure that each party is always on the same page. When you have ten different people talking about ten different things it’s easy to confuse clients, through off expectation levels, and get the project sidetracked. So stick to single point-in, single point-out communications.
Keep in mind this is different from documented sign-offs. That is a document that makes the project processes more formalized in the client's eyes. It helps them understand the value of each phase. Over documenting is keeping all information in one spot for both parties to access. If you get into a legal situation, you can always refer back to all of this documentation and as long as you did it properly and thoroughly, it will save your ass.
There you have it, two more best management practices to start following. Following these practices will help create happy clients and protect your agency. Like I’ve said before, I learned these lessons the hard way! So take my advice and start following these before you find yourself in a sticky situation. We’ve only got one part left in this series so stay tuned.
Just in case you missed them make sure you check out the rest of the series:
(NOTE: If you really want to improve your project systems and processes check out our Project Management online course.)