High level project timeline template, As a marketing consultant, you know that timing is everything. To keep your consulting engagements on course, you need a good project management plan based around a good job deadline. But as many marketing consultants know from experience, developing and adhering to a timeline can be rough. Many marketing consulting engagements appear to have multiple moving parts – from overbooked staff members to altering marketplace priorities to technology constraints – that can cause complications and delays. Nevertheless, job timelines constitute an important first step in time management planning. Over that, they’re an excellent project management tool you may use to educate your client about how you are working to keep the participation on-time and on-budget.
Creating dependable timelines gets easier over time. Initially, many advertising consultants spend hours creating programs for their consulting jobs, simply to have unexpected setbacks push the project off-track. Even if your timeline feels like it is just a rough estimate, keep in mind it will continue to be handy for time management preparation. Project timelines give your client a clear picture of how the project should flow, and shows the client that you have a solid grasp on the process required to attain specific project milestones. Your deadline may also help protect you against marketing consulting liability since you can use it to explain to a client the impact of potential project delays caused by factors beyond your own control.
The more experience you gain in working with timelines, the easier it will become to develop them. Make sure you continuously track your progress from the timelines, and note the origin of any job delays. You may examine the resulting historical project management data when estimating time for future marketing and advertising consulting jobs, producing your project management system more accurate and efficient with every project.
One approach to help ensure that you stick to your timeline would be to construct in a little additional wiggle room. For example, you might decide to develop two timelines: one for your own usage, with more optimistic deadlines, and another, with later deadlines that you share with your customer. Then, when you hit your own internal deadlines, you actually come out ahead of schedule at the client’s eyes. This job direction method helps compensate for less-than-perfect quotes and unforeseen events.
However hard you try to keep a project on track, the simple fact isthere are situations when you’ll want to adapt your project deadline. It usually happens when you or other group members encounter something you did not anticipate, such as an insurmountable technical glitch, funding reductions, operational restructuring or employees turnover. It may also happen when client priorities shift mid-stream due to changing market conditions, or when the client realizes that what they have asked for represents just a small portion of a bigger goal. By producing a realistic project timeline, and monitoring progress against it as part of a general project management strategy, you’re more likely to keep your management consulting project on-time and on-budget. Even if you fall behind, a deadline gives you a convenient and impressive tool for keeping your client informed of progress and the causes of any delays. And an educated and informed customer is more likely to be a loyal client.