Project mismanagement can turn an opportunity into a nightmare. A designer can have a great project, for the most amazing client, with a generous budget … and still lose money. Further, that dream job can result in endless frustration throughout the project because the team is disorganized and the client is out of control. Terry Lee Stone’s new two-volume book series, Managing The Design Process — Concept Development and Implementing Design — offers insights on how to take projects from concept to completion, while avoiding common management mistakes.
Project management impacts all aspects of design
Managing a project consistently and well makes projects more pleasurable and profitable. In the long term, good project management means a robust and rewarding design practice. Good project management results in benefits to:
• Costs (fees and expenses)
The most common mistakes in project management
Project management can come unglued in countless ways. Here are five of the most common mistakes graphic designers make:
1. Lack of commitment
This often occurs because so many design firm owners are creative directors. They want to commit to project management, but it cramps their style.
2. Lack of clarity
This usually results from poorly defined goals and objectives … causing confusion, lack of clear-cut action, and mistakes.
3. Poor communication
This stems from not obtaining or disseminating information in a timely fashion to the design team and/or the client.
4. Wrong person
The project manager doesn’t possess the skills or temperament for the job. Even if the design firm owner is on board with the concept of project management, he/she has hobbled the work by hiring the wrong person to implement it.
Project management is about identifying and assigning the components of the design project, and that means keeping a lot of details in order. Whether it’s personal or companywide, disorganization is fatal to project management.
Terry Lee Stone is a Los Angeles-based creative manager and writer. She teaches the business of design at Art Center College of Design. The author of several books on design, her recent series is called Managing The Design Process, published by Rockport Publishers. Visit her website; buy her books here or at your favorite bookseller.
Chart graphic by AdamsMorioka from Managing The Design Process: Implementing Design