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February 20, 2017

Insights

Realistic Project Timelines

At Antistatic we highly value realistic timelines. We strive to be honest about how long a project or task will take.

In doing so we often hear things like “If the budget is 10 hours, why will it takes two weeks to finish?” or “My proposal says 4-6 weeks, can you be more specific?”.  When you add in client scheduling conflicts, holidays, additional people with diverse opinions, and there can be numerous factors that add to a timeline being drawn out.

Whether we are designing a logo, print piece, or website there is always a timeline. We budget time for kickoff, strategy, concept design, meetings, presentations, revisions…etc. All of this adds up. Typically we allow 48 hours for client feedback and review. This provides time for you as the client to review with fresh eyes after the presentation and discuss with colleagues before reporting back with your feedback.

With action-oriented feedback we can jump right into the next step, however sometimes there are follow-up phone calls and emails required to add clarity to the revisions. This process of design, feedback and revision continues until we’ve received your final approval and begin the delivery process.

As we kickoff a project we are always upfront about realistic expectations and that’s why our timelines are typically fluid. If there is a delay in feedback or scheduling reviews, the timeline is appropriately revised.

How do we protect a timeline? Well, there are a few things we can do:

  1. Always include the necessary decision makers on the project. Without key players on the team, decisions take longer. When assembling a team or kicking off the project we want to make sure the right people are included.
  2. Set the ground rule that delays will change the timeline. Knowing this up front keeps everyone working diligently. 
  3. Determine the feedback loop. As I mentioned, our typical feedback loop is 48 hours (two working days). Understandably, some clients need more time because of their internal structure or outside schedules. Knowing this upfront, we will tailor the timeline accordingly.
  4. Content comes first. Whether we are working on a print piece or a website, content always seems to hold up the process which is why we encourage our clients to start with content. You can engage with us to create it or have your own internal team prepare it. Whatever route you take, it is best to have your content ready as early as possible so that it doesn’t cause a traffic jam.
  5. Communicate. There are always unforeseen circumstances or delicate situations which require communication. We’ve found the best way to handle these is a good old-fashioned phone call. Don’t wait, communicate.

NOTE: highlight past about “additional people with diverse opinions” and link to the unicorn post

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