“I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.” – Author Douglas Adams
As an expert in the creative industry, you are able to relate the basics and even the finer nuances of your chosen profession to others (or, you should be able to). You know what color harmony is, you can code a website using only a text editor, and you know exactly which font to use for a baby-shoes magazine ad. All of this is great. However, if you consistently miss your deadlines, your highly developed skills aren’t worth a carrot.
I understand, believe me. I would much rather jump right into projects and create something that will be applauded all around; however, there is much merit in understanding first your goals—the end result—and how to get there. It is almost too easy to be caught up in a creative tornado, but as one of my first Design Professor’s used to say: “First things first”. So, take a moment to scan through some of the methods we practice here at [io]development to help us deliver what we promise, and when we promise.
Here are some methods you can try out and see what works best for you:
- Discovery phase – Asking many questions and gaining the best understanding possible of our client’s goals and business. The result is a design that is close if not right on the money. All of the integral components that are requested are featured at the forefront.
- Planning – Communication is key. Ensure your team members are aware of the goals and needs and then continue the conversation as you go about production. I’ve provided a short list of planning tools later in this article.
- Testing and Clean-up: Make it a point to comb through websites and projects before the deadline. One spelling mistake could throw-off your client so quality checking is integral to your professional image.
- Lastly, become an expert at planning ahead. You must be flexible and allow time for fitting in new projects and juggling multiple projects.
Just as we keep our creative software up to date, we should also be proactive in searching for other kinds of tools to help us accomplish our (and our client’s) goals. [io]development uses:
- Whiteboards: The tried and true classic. Is someone not at the meeting? Take a quick photo of the whiteboard using your smartphone and text it to them.
- OmniGraffle: Diagramming and visualization software. I mainly use this for creating site-trees. It’s Mac only, btw.
- Asana, Task Management Software: This is new for us and we are loving it. Enter your projects, delegate tasks, and set deadlines.
Remember: Your client needs someone who can do good work hit deadlines. One without the other will leave you client-less.- See more at: http://www.io-dev.com/blog/august-2012/(ideal)-expectations#sthash.FXQGJ4V9.dpuf