6 Importances of Project Planning and Management

Introduction

Planning and managing your freelance projects is no easy task, and it can quickly become overwhelming. There are often several moving pieces at work during any given project, which means you may be working with more than one freelancer at a time.

1. Working with several freelancers at once

  • If you want to create a website, you would hire an expert in web design to create the theme, look, and layout that you have in mind. This includes colors, text, banners, borders, and functional design.
  • You would also work with a website developer who can build your website and integrate the necessary features that you require. This may include social network icons so that your readers can share your page, subscription options, plugins, advertisements, and interactive maps.
  • You may also decide to hire a graphic designer to create a logo for your website, which means that you would have to relay messages and information between them and your web designer who would work on integrating the logo into your web page.
  • In addition, you will probably hire at least one content writer to come up with material for your website, and you may also choose to hire a content manager to keep track of the flow of information as it is presented.
  • To promote your website and gain traffic, you may hire a marketing expert to come up with a strategy for introducing the public to your work or business.

Planning and managing your projects is no easy task. Working with several freelancers needn't be hard.

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Importance of Project Planning

This means that you are working with at least five freelancers on the same project who are each dealing with separate and sometimes unrelated tasks. These freelancers may be from different areas of the world with conflicting schedules, and they may even speak different languages. How can you tackle a project with so many different parts and with all of your team members working independently of one another?

2. The importance of planning

Although this scenario seems complicated, it can actually be made simple with a little bit of planning and efficient management. Planning in particular is a crucial step that should not be overlooked in the outsourcing process. However, it differs from projects that deal with in-house employees who can communicate and have direct contact between each other.

With outsourcing, you are typically the only person who interacts with your freelancers, and you are the only one who brings their work together into one finished product (e.g., your website). For this reason, the planning is a little bit more complicated and you will be required to break down the steps and phases of your project even further to accommodate for the fact that you are delegating to several freelancers separately.

3. Responsibilities and timing

When a project is planned well from the start, each freelancer knows exactly what his or her responsibilities are and when they need to hand in their work. Timing is also a crucial aspect in project planning, because if one piece is missing or one freelancer is late in delivering their work, the project cannot be completed. This can cost time and money, and it can create stress for you and the rest of your team. For this reason, it is important that your projects are both planned and managed well and that everyone in your team receives adequate guidelines for completing their portions of the work. 

4. Project management

Once your project plans are established and the first tasks have been given out, the next thing you need to focus on is project management. This entails keeping track of your freelancers and the timeline of your project.

It is important that your projects are both planned and managed well, your freelancers will appreciate your efforts.

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When outsourcing, one of the best ways to manage the progress of your work is to utilize contracts to your advantage and assign milestones.

Contracts can help you establish the work that needs to be completed by the freelancer and can further clarify the guidelines of the project. This will make clear what each of your freelancers is responsible for, and it will also serve to protect you from data theft or other fraudulent activity. Utilizing milestones can serve to help you and your freelancers keep track of upcoming deadlines as well as break the project up into its different phases.

Milestones can also be used to manage the dispersal of funds to your freelancers to ensure that everyone is paid for the work they do and to keep them motivated to finish the project to the end.

5. The importance of plans and strategies

Managing regular employees and managing freelancers is not entirely similar, and handling outsourced projects requires a different set of skills and strategies. It is important to create plans and develop management strategies prior to beginning these projects to increase your chances of success and to prevent yourself from getting overwhelmed by the responsibilities of the project.

There are a number of errors that you can make when trying to carry out a project that is being outsourced to multiple freelancers, and failing to manage properly will make these unavoidable. However, when you are adequately prepared, the project goes smoothly without any mishaps or costly mistakes, and your interactions with your freelancers are clear, structured, and pleasant.

Assigning milestones to manage the progress of your work with your freelancers works brilliantly!

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6. The importance of good management

Good management is crucial to the success of outsourced projects simply because you are the one in charge and nobody else is going to catch mistakes as they are happening. In a traditional setting, you may have a team of employees working together where they can fix each other’s mistakes, see where their work needs to change to fit the mold of the project, keep each other in check, and remind each other of their deadlines.

Project Planning Steps

The outsourcing situation eliminates any of these possibilities because your freelancers work independently, so they are not able to see the bigger picture and therefore are not able to notice mistakes that other freelancers are making. In addition, with their inability to see the project coming together, they may not be able to self-monitor or see what they need to change to conform their work to fit the final outcome.

Since you are the only one who can see these things, proper management techniques will immediately bring mistakes to your attention and keep any situation from spiraling out of control, regardless of the communication between your workers.

Summary

It goes without saying that great management is supremely important in any business, whether it is food service or running an online enterprise. Poor management will leave your project or business in shambles and order will be difficult to restore once it is gone. However, with the proper knowledge and materials, managing your freelancers and your outsourced projects can be easier to do, and you will never be in a situation where you are out of control if you take charge from the beginning.

With proper knowledge and materials, managing your freelancers and your outsourced projects can be a lot easier.

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We hope that this overview has piqued your interest for considering whether online outsourcing is right for you. If you're ready for the next step, check out our books and the many​ freelance marketplaces to explore how freelancers can help.

If you liked this article or have anything to say about any of the points made, please leave a comment below, we would love to hear your views. Thank you.

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  • Nicole Briggs says:

    Very insightful Steven! Planning and project management are interrelated. How to complete the project within time that framework is a plan.

  • Peter Ascot says:

    Yes, I agree. Some time spent planning will make a big difference to a project.

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