05. Project Management

Managing a project successfully depends on the project manager having a thorough understanding of the objectives and ensuring that each supplier understands their role and responsibility.




Best practice


Key points:
  1. Identify possible conflict early and get together key stakeholders to diffuse the conflict as quickly as possible.
  2. Include 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.
  3. Ensure everyone signs off on the schedule so responsibilities are understood.



Deliverables


Managing a project successfully depends not only on the manager having a thorough understanding of who is meant to be doing what and when, but on each supplier understanding their role in the chain.
Three ways to do this:
  1. write and discuss a detailed schedule with the key stakeholders at the beginning of the project. This means that you can identify any holidays/conferences/commitments that may cause delays
  2. write a roles/responsibilities report for each of the stakeholders. This may be a short email, or a personalised copy of the schedule – either way it should be in writing, and it should itemise tasks and deadlines
  3. think ahead: identify where you think the delays may come from and have a strategy in place to avoid them. 

Getting the timing right
It’s all about juggling the competing demands of a complicated production process. It is critical to identify the stages in an annual report production and get the deliverables sorted out.

Downloadsample Annual Report production schedule fact sheet.

Scheduling


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.

Contracts


Paperwork can be boring, but ensuring that everything is documented is crucial for a well-run project and it becomes invaluable when things turn pear-shaped.

You may not use all of these, but some of the paperwork that should be considered are:
Confidentiality contracts
Used when the releasing of information could be detrimental before a report is published.

Contract of appointment
Used to document roles and responsibilities.

Purchase order
Used to document the description and price of the goods exchanging hands.
The role of the purchase order is to ensure that you get the product you want for the price you expect. It is the one document that binds the client, designer and printer.

Copyright assignment contract
Used to document understanding of what copyright is to be transferred and when.

Model release for photographic shoots
Used to assign full or part copyright of shots from the model (amateur or professional) to the client.