Project Managment Success
Its always nice to feel appreciated by being regularly sourced out by clients for their projects.
In my few years of experience i have set a 3 meeting rule. Following this im always sure not to invest too much time in a project that may never be and to make sure that every meeting counts.
In general after the 3rd meeting, we usually have the final propsal sent, and from there we decide if the client is shoping or an actual job at hand. (or directly translated from my language, buyer or time waster)
At no time do we regret investing our time in the 3 meetings, we make sure were freindly, and kind, and it usualy happens that they always come back, sometimes even years down the line.
- First meeting: Causal and general, we bring no portfolio or profile, just go in there to meet the client, understand what they need and are looking for. We usualy ask loaded questions, and sit back and listen. This meeting should be used to clearly define the clients requirments and set a budget to allow for the preperation of an initial proposal.
- Second Meeting: We now know what the client is looking for, we prepare an initial proposal, including our profile and sample of rellavent work and go there to disccuss this together. We sometimes send the documents before hand to allow the client to review them at their own pace. At this meeting, we try to define the exact requirments, identify any amednments and SET a budget.
- Third meeting: This is the deal closer, any amendments to the proposal are made and sent to the client. We usualy attach a mutual non disclosure agreement which should be signed by now. The proposal sent at this stage usualy includes Time sheet of each stage and its aproxamite time it needs.
Project Life cycle:
- Minutes of meeting after every meeting: what was discussed, agreed, disagreed, amendments, and next steps.
- Written documentation: And this is of EVERYTHING, we dont accept verbal approvals, or request for change, etc… all has to be document and as we all know, email is the way to go.
- Multiply by 2 or even 3: If you think a task or project requires 2 days, say 6 days. And ofcourse, aim to have it in two. This way clients axpectations are always under controll. You can sometime apply this to your pricing as well.
Tools we use:
- 37 Signals Basecamp: We use this for all project managment needs. its great for us as we have members around the globe and this tool realy makes it all easy.
- ThunderBird + Lightning Add-on: You can sync your BaseCamp Milestones to the calander module. and in general Thuderbird is lighter and better than outlook in my opinion.
- MediaTemple & Godaddy for Hosting: Flexible, powerful, quick and cheap.
Thats all for now, hope this helps some.