Project schedule delays cause a ripple effect that have hidden impacts on your project, sometimes even forcing your agencies to have to rearrange the freelancers and other resources on your project.
For many years, I have worked in an interesting in-between zone between the corporate marketing and agency worlds. The bulk of my work is in acting as matchmaker, resource-hunter, liaison, program manager, and minutia-herder for corporate marketing folks who need to work with agencies. These folks know what they want to do (usually), and my job is to manage the project to get it done. This frees them from the day-to-day details of the project so they can launch more projects and thus get a lot more done.
Most of you probably know this, but for those who don’t: the corporate marketing and agency worlds are very, very different.
Employees or contractors
In a corporate setting you work with employees who are all generally marching to the same orders and have the same priorities. In some agencies it’s the same thing, but for many agencies — I’d say the majority of agencies — there may be just a core group of employees, but then the resource work is provided by sub-contractors, whether they call themselves contractors, freelancers, consultants, or mercenaries.
Is this a good thing, you may ask? I think it is. I know many extremely gifted designers and programmers who would never consider being an employee. Instead, they work for themselves and provide their services to a handful of different agencies. This means they retain a bit more control over their lives while getting to work on a wide variety of types of projects and staying on the leading edge of innovation. They benefit, the agencies benefit, and the agencies’ customers benefit.
Why does this matter? Or rather, why am I telling you this? Because of schedules.
Schedules are key
Contractors (and freelancers and mercenaries) have to always look ahead. They have to make sure their schedule has work coming up so they can keep busy (and so they can keep food on the table).
When contractors commit to your project, they often do so by putting off or turning down other opportunities, and then blocking time off on their schedule to match the amount of time that was estimated for your project. If x months are planned for your project, then they plan on it taking about x months, and then they schedule their next gig to start after those x months are up.
If your project ends up taking x + y months, this will conflict with the other projects on the contractors’ schedules. And this creates a problem. I know from personal experience how difficult it is when a project lingers on and “leaks” into my next project.
In some cases, contractors have some padding and can afford for your project to take a week or so extra before their other project begins. In other cases, they are able to put in extra hours to finish up your project while they are getting started on their next one–often by working very long days. In still other cases, a contractor may be able to find a substitute for the other project and get out of it in order to stay on your project.
However, sometimes schedule problems mean that a contractor cannot delay and must stop work on your overrun project in order to start on his next commitment. This means a new resource must be brought in to finish your project, which may mean added cost and delays.
Moral of the story
Everyone knows that project slips are sometimes unavoidable and so the agencies have contingency plans for this. But significant schedule delays can be caused by client behaviors like missing meetings, disappearing for long periods, adding in last-minute changes of direction, or taking extra long time for reviews. These delays sabotage a project schedule and can add cost to the project, lose resources off your project, and even affect the agency’s other clients.
Click a tag for related posts:agencies audiences Basecamp blog brand business call to action community computers customer support editing email estimates fonts freelance gadgets graphics iPad job hunting logos mac marketing messaging Outlook packaging planning PowerPoint presentations productivity product review professionalism project management projects recommendations resume reviews self publishing social media stock photography Technology tradeshows web design windows Word writing
- Serious Layout in MS Word
- A Supercomputing vocabulary primer
- Planning categories and tags for an organized blog
- Improving Your Presentations
- 1-minute Photo Improvement
- Why Do You Blog?
- Batch Processing with Affinity Photo
- The Entrepreneur’s 10-Step Condensed Business Plan
- iPad: How Old is Too Old?
- Do I Have Enough to Quit My Day Job?
- Leave Localization to the Pros
- Make Your Calendars Play Nice Together
- Free Graphics Sources
- Mirrored Margins in MS Word
- A Tale of Three Headsets
- Time to Move On
- The Event Plan: a Tradeshow Primer
- GoToWebinar Basics
- Outlook for Mac: So Close!
- From Windows to Mac
- Evernote is Awesome
- Set Up a DocBook Toolchain
- Your Professional Resume
- Stock Photography Tips
- Tricking Your Customers is Disrespectful
- Deadline Management
- Manage To-dos With Basecamp
- The Brydge+ iPad Keyboard
- LinkedIn for Job Seekers
- Week Numbers in Outlook
- Hidden Impacts of Project Schedule Delays
- Getting Started in Self-publishing
- 13 Tips for Your Blog or Newsletter
- Do Religion and Marketing Mix?
- Consistent Color = Brand Power
- Outlook Automation with “Quick Steps”
- Comment Spam: I Give Up
- Good Design Housekeeping
- File Naming Sanity
- PowerPoint Graphics Tips
- Comment Karma
- Comparing Two iPad Keyboards: ZAGG and Logitech
- Outlook Rules 101
- Consolidated Outlook Inbox
- Five Steps to Plan a Website
- Choosing a Domain
- Outlook Productivity: Tagged Searching
- Considering a Switch from Windows to Mac?
- Tradeshow Giveaways & Promotional Gifts
- Why Rush Jobs Are Evil
- Online Printing: Customer Service is King
- Estimate Etiquette
- Getting Organized With Outlook PSTs
- WordPress vs. Weebly
- Comparing 5 Online PM Tools
- Choosing your Next Non-Mac Computer
- Is it Really a Blog?
- Your Laptop’s Video Connectors
- Know Your Graphics – or Look Like You Do
- Add a Keyboard to Your iPad
- Letterhead in an Email World
- Use Simple URLs
- Keep in Touch with Your Customers With Email
- Rolling Up the Feedback
- Keep Agency Project Costs Down
- Merchandising and Your Brand
- Your Email Address and Your Brand
- B2B Social Media: Are you overlooking StumbleUpon?
- Email Marketing vs. Spam
- The Long-copy Sales Page in 5 Steps
- You Need a Writing Style Guide
- Why Reference Cards?
- Lose the Hyphen!
- The Minimalist Marketing Plan
- Your Business Name and Domain
- Trade Downloads For User Data
- Monitor Social Media For Product Feedback
- Take Every Branding Opportunity
- Messaging 101
- Creative Use of Your Customer Service Stories
- Don’t Stop With a Call To Action
- Creating a Text-based Logo
- The Reluctant Social Media Networker
- Save Money With an Effective RFQ
- User Communities and Exclusivity
- Recommendations and Your Reputation
- The iPad As Business Tool