It is not far fetched that the rate some graduates are now taking up the role of project writing as a job to make ends meet is drastically increasing.
However, apart from the necessary skills to learn, many do not know how to deal with their clients and manage numerous projects effectively.
Challenges relating to time management, customer satisfaction, meeting of deadline, quality control, project planning and project management cause clients not to return again. Moreover, dissatisfied customer who otherwise would have potentially become a refferal agent will certainly talk ill of your business. Hence, the need to learn how to deal with client request and adopt best practices. This post will help you to become well organised and efficiently effective – other things being equal.
The following are key principles to imbibe:
1. Clarify requests and structure your approach
2. Use of variety of sources & methodologies
3. Minimise the risk of not delivering
4. Step back regularly to assess if what you do is useful to the client
5. Step back regularly to assess if your approach is the most effective (see the analytical loop below)
6. 80% priority focused and 20% perfection (this is a time management skill)
7. Involve your clients and team.
The following are things you should never do:
1. Don’t plan to finish at the last minute
2. Don’t overpromise
3. Don’t rely on others
4. Don’t send only the final draft to clients
5. Don’t share responsibility on any task
6. Don’t copy-paste
It is important that you put yourself in the clients’ shoes. Ensure you answer all emails, and always remain factual. Communicate always and think before acting. Most of all, meet deadlines!
Dealing with Client Request
Whenever you get a project work, the following are the six (6) areas to consider in relation to client request so you do not end up dissatisfying your clients:
1. CONTENT: Are concepts clear? and is the research feasible?
2. APPROACH: Any suggestion from client on approach? Agreement on the format of the deliverable?
3. RESOURCES: Any information from client? How many resources can be staffed?
4. DEADLINE: Is there a clear deadline? Are there interim milestones/check points planned?
5. INTERACTION: Is he explicit on how he wants to interact with you? How often?
6. PRIORITIZATION: What is the level of priority vs other tasks? Is it a means or a result commitment?
Evaluating the Time to do a Research
1. Breakdown to individual tasks
2. Evaluate time needed per task
3. Loop back and review initial assessment; measure first attempt done against planned time and re-assess total time required.
For quality work, ensure you engage in what is called the ‘Analytical Loop’ when implementing all tasks.