Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Successful Project Management: Using Time Management Tools

Project management with time management tools ...

"Your talent is one factor that contributes to your being able to start or build a successful UX agency—and achieving the freedom that brings—but talent is not enough, especially not in the current economic environment. Getting your hands and mind around the myriad facets of running a UX agency—and the processes that ensure you consistently deliver high-end results that reflect your talent—is a rewarding, but difficult task. How, then, can you manage, learn, grow, and profit—all while keeping your talent in high regard?

In this introductory column, I’ll discuss time management and some ways in which you can use quick-reference sheets and project-management tools to help you maintain some semblance of sanity in your busy life.

Learning to Fly

Unless you’ve had prior experience running a UX agency, succeeding in your endeavor to run a new agency or become a full-time freelancer will require countless hours of experience, a lot of learning, and a little good fortune.

Through interviews with the leaders of forty UX firms in the Boston area, over a period of seven months, I’ve gained many insights into how to run a UX agency. During these interviews, I consistently asked questions about the hardest learning curves the leaders of these agencies had to overcome in their quest to stay afloat. The responses varied from business acumen to general accounting, but the overwhelming response was time management.

What are these leaders doing to help them manage their teams’ time more effectively? One creative director noted that his team had not given enough thought to the balance between internal creative reviews and client feedback on their project plans. In an effort to change this, the creative director became more involved in the project planning process. Another leader, who runs an agency in Vermont, said they no longer travel for any project with a value of less than $20,000. They now handle calls, their sales efforts, and the discovery phases for smaller projects by phone."    (Continued via UXMatters, Keith LaFerriere)    [Usability Resources]

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