Managing a large-scale project can be an overwhelming challenge. You have to track budgets, monitor timings, plan resource, assign tasks and meet deadlines whilst at the same time also ensuring the client is happy with your work.
Key to a project’s success is organisation. The work you deliver may be of the highest standard but without a proper plan and thorough management, a project won’t run as successfully and smoothly as it could.
Here are a few of our top tips for large-scale project victory…
Before you start any large-scale project it is important to understand the project goals and briefs. Ultimately, what are you trying to do and what are you trying to achieve. You need to be clear on:
Understand why the project is necessary and what outcomes are desired.
Determine what you intend to produce and how and when you plan on doing so.
How much budget do you have allocated and how will this impact the overall success of your project?
How long do you have to complete the project? Are there any dependencies around individual tasks?
Determine the process you are going to take to ensure the project is completed to its highest standard and meets any deadlines.
Make sure you know exactly what the client is expecting, how they want it delivered and when they want it completed by.
Determine the overall flow of your project from initiation to completion. Map out each project phase in weekly periods, plotting in any key dates, specific tasks and any meetings within the time frame that you need to consider.
Once you have defined your workflow you will be able to clearly see the steps needed to successfully deliver your project.
When you are clear on the overall flow of the project, you can start to look at each individual task in more detail.
When you are trying to estimate how long each stage of a project is going to take it is important to split tasks into sub-tasks. Breaking the project down will help you to remember all of the things that are going to need to happen within each phase of the project. For example, if part of the project is to create a piece of content, break it down into the following sub tasks:
This way you can identify if any steps are missing and it will make timings a lot easier to estimate.
Once you have defined your workflow and broken tasks down you can start to create your plan. You can use this plan throughout the project to measure your successes, ensuring you achieve the attended results to the highest standard. A Gantt chart is a great way to track and plan your progress as you can clearly map out:
If your Gantt chart is carefully and concisely mapped out you will be able to use it as a point of reference throughout the project. Check it on a daily basis to make sure each task is being completed at the right time, with the right resource and for the right duration.
A big part of large-scale project success is staying on top of your allocated budget. If costs overrun, this can impact the overall profitability of a project. Setting up and running a budget tracker will help you to keep on top of your expenditure, ensuring you don’t overspend.
When planning a large-scale project it is important to allow time for amends and quality checking. If you don’t, you could end up submitting work that contains mistakes, discrediting all of the hard work you have put in.
Whilst we would all love a project to run smoothly from start to finish, this isn’t always realistic. To ensure you are prepared for any obstacles that may come your way, make sure you create a backup plan. Start to consider ‘what would happen if…’ and develop an alternative plan based on those scenarios. Build your project timeline around mitigating against those risks so if they do occur, they are less of an issue.
Your project is complete, you breathe a sigh of relief but it’s not quite over yet… Whilst the project is still fresh in your mind create a project review, looking at what went well, what could be improved and what you would change next time. This way you will be fully prepared for when the next large-scale project comes your way.
Here at iThinkMedia, we have a lot of experience in the management and completion of large-scale projects, particularly under tough deadlines. If you would like any more information simply get in touch and one of our experts will happily chat through any questions you may have.