Chronological order timeline template, As a marketing consultant, you know that time is everything. To maintain your consulting engagements on track, you want a fantastic job management strategy centered around a good job timeline. However, as many advertising consultants know from experience, developing and sticking to a deadline can be rough. Many marketing and advertising consulting engagements seem to have multiple moving parts – from recognized team members to altering marketplace priorities to technology constraints – that may create complications and delays. Nevertheless, job timelines constitute an important first step in time management planning. More than that, they are an excellent job management tool you may use to educate your customer about how you are working to maintain the engagement on-time and on-budget.
At first, developing reliable timelines can be challenging. If you’ve ever started a consulting job with a program beforehand, only to encounter reverses that push your job off-schedule, committing to a deadline may feel to be an exercise in futility. But if your deadline is only a rough estimate, it is still a useful tool for time management planning. It gives your client a visual aid for understanding the way the job will flow, and demonstrates that you have a crystal clear vision of the steps that have to happen to attain specific project milestones. And, it may protect you against control consulting liability by helping you educate your customer about the impact of potential project delays that are beyond your control.
The more experience you gain in working with timelines, the easier it will become to develop them. Be sure to continually track your progress against your timelines, and note the origin of any job delays. You may review the resulting historical project management information when estimating time for future marketing and advertising consulting projects, producing your job management system more accurate and efficient with every project.
One way to help make sure that you stick to your timeline would be to build in a little extra wiggle room. By way of example, you might decide to develop two timelines: one for your own use, with more positive deadlines, and yet another, together with later deadlines that you discuss with your client. Afterward, when you hit your very own internal deadlines, you actually come out ahead of schedule at the customer’s eyes. This job management method helps compensate for less-than-perfect quotes and unforeseen events.
No matter how hard you try to keep a project on track, the fact is, there are situations when you will need to adapt your project timeline. It typically occurs when you or other group members run into something you did not anticipate, such as an insurmountable technical glitch, funding reductions, operational restructuring or personnel turnover. It may also happen when client priorities shift mid-stream because of changing market conditions, or when the customer realizes that what they have requested for represents just a small part of a larger goal. By producing a realistic project timeline, and monitoring progress against it within an overall project management strategy, you’re more inclined to keep your management consulting project and on-budget. Even in the event that you fall behind, a timeline gives you a handy and impressive tool for maintaining your client informed of progress and the causes of any delays. And an educated and informed client is more likely to be a loyal customer.