A good schedule ensures everyone has enough time to do their job well without undue stress. It avoids conflict by ensuring everyone understands expectations.

Ingredients in a good schedule
  • ask your team to estimate the amount of time they think is needed for their part of the process. This many need negotiation as everyone wants more time than is available, but the result will be more accurate than a project manager estimating on their behalf.
  • include a time contingency in the schedule to avoid missing a deadline. While there is not a lot of spare time during the annual report process, building in a contingency of a few days, or a plan for extra help if necessary, can be invaluable.
Keeping the schedule up to date
  • during the process keep looking ahead to judge the impact of decisions early – that way their impact can be assessed
  • identify possible conflict early and get together key stakeholders to diffuse the conflict as quickly as possible
  • ask for extra help if necessary to keep the project on time.
Avoiding delays

A project manager needs an understanding of factors that may cause delays. These could include:
  • additional rounds of author’s corrections to the page spreads
  • delays in one area of the schedule so the next supplier may not be available when the job gets to them
  • photographic shoots postponed because of bad weather or unavailability of key people such as board members.
Download a best practice checklist of actions and the order they should be undertaken.

Timing is everything

Many annual reports are needed at exactly the same time, and that means a busy time for most printers.
When preparing your deliverables ensure that the schedule allows enough time for printing, drying, binding and delivery. And remember some paper stocks take much longer to dry than others, and similarly, some binding methods (like wiro binding) will take longer than the others (such as saddle stitch or burst binding).

Contact Mackay Branson design for advice on allowing the right amount of time for printing of your annual report.