How do you manage workflow with multiple clients in your writing memoir based business? Your company will eventually have multiple projects going on at the same time, each in various stages of production. How do you schedule multiple clients so that your workflow is manageable?
Manage Workflow–How to schedule multiple clients and projects
Here are several ideas for keeping all the plates spinning!
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- Create traffic boards. Post tasks assigned to you and to other people in the office and to freelancers you work with. Make it graphic and very public. Make it easy to check regularly by “having it in your face.” Maintaining an up-to-date traffic board requires some attention and consistency but there is no other way to organize work traffic during a time when everyone wants a finished product–today.
- Underpromise and overdeliver.“Too much work” is a creative, exciting problem. “Not enough” is a debilitating and exhausting one. Getting through “too much” is made possible by underpromising and overdelivering. Always hedge in some way about early delivery. Give the clients later dates and so give yourself some time for correcting mistakes. (Remember there are two kinds of problems: mine and yours.) If the client has procrastinated in finishing a manuscript, that ought not to be a reason for you to pre-empt your schedule to get the project done on the client’s schedule. By underpromising, if something goes awry on your end, you will have covered yourself by quoting a conservative end date!
Also, it is perfectly okay to tell a client that you can’t possibly start the project until some later date. If the client is buying on your value, the client will wait and you will complete other projects to which you have committed (and you will have a life in the meantime). This is an effective way of managing your traffic.
- Reschedule deadlines that are arbitrarily assigned. Be aware of the urgency of each project and reschedule accordingly. When a client asks for a deadline, we are inclined to be accommodating. Some clients may not have a firm deadline. Others may be very pressed. When you are overscheduled, review your deadlines and negotiate the ones that were assigned arbitrarily so as to give yourself more time.
How do you manage workflow with multiple clients and projects in your writing memoir based business? Share your tips in the comments below!