As a freelancer you’ll know that managing a project can be tricky. There’s so many things to keep track of; deadlines, deliverables, milestones etc. However, for those that can manage this successfully means: very satisfied clients, more positive reviews and an increase in earnings!
If you want to learn more about how to achieve this - keep reading!
If only there was a way to manage projects more efficiently from the convenience of the Freelancer.com platform?Well now there is!
A better way to manage your projects to ensure success every time with our new Tasklists.
A new productivity feature that allows you to organize your work more efficiently, without having to rely on external tools.
What are the benefits of using project management best practices with Tasklists?
• Structured projects: Creating tasks will help the client to understand what you are working on and what will be delivered. If you need something from the client, assign a task to them.
• Clear priorities: Ask the client to prioritize tasks. Aligned priorities will ensure less stress and better client satisfaction, leading to better reviews for you.
• More tasks: Proactively add tasks for potential improvements, upgrades and follow-up projects. The client will appreciate seeing your suggestions and they’ll turn them into milestones when the time comes.
• No missing deadlines: You can create to-do tasks in your projects to prevent you from missing a deadline, or forgetting specific clients' instructions.
Don’t know where to start? Here are some guidelines to help you use it!
How to manage projects like a Pro
A project is a sequence of tasks that lead toward a specific goal. Each task and phase of the project typically has a Due Date - this ensures that everyone works in sync and that everyone has aligned expectations on the project timeline. Each task also has an Assignee - this ensures accountability and clarity on who is responsible for the task’s completion.
Most projects have 4 phases: Initiation, Planning, Execution and Closing. Let's have a look at each one of these phases in some more detail.
In this phase you agree with the client what the project scope and goals are. Make sure you understand the client’s expectations and agree on deliverables.
For simple projects you can do this via chat. For more complex projects it’s recommended to schedule a call - this will allow you to get all the details and it will give the client more confidence that you understand what needs to be done. (Note that offsite calls are against Freelancer.com Terms & Conditions. You can use our built-in video and audio calling, or contact support for permission to call offsite if that’s not working)
At this stage you should also try to outline any possible risks, so that these can be transparently communicated in advance and mitigated if necessary.
Once the scope and requirements are clear, it’s time to break the project into tasks - smaller, more manageable pieces.
Tasks are temporary activities with either a defined duration or a deadline. This is why each task should have a Due Date. Setting Due Dates will also make your client more trustworthy of your deliverables.
Each task also needs an Assignee - the person who is ultimately responsible for completing the task. You can assign tasks to yourself, your team members or to clients. You can easily share Tasklists with anyone on your team, so that you can assign tasks to them.
Each task should include important details, that’s what the Description field is for. This is where we usually include the requirements, notes and reference links.
To ensure that the tasks are worked on in the correct order, you need to prioritize them. Typically the most important or the longest lasting tasks need to be worked on first. Using our Tasklists, you can prioritize tasks by simply dragging and dropping them - moving the more urgent tasks to the top of the list.
Make sure to also create a backlog of ideas for potential future tasks and improvements. Anything that comes to your mind that the client could benefit from. Log it in Tasklists, so it won’t be forgotten, then discuss it with the client later on.
In the execution phase you start putting the project plan into action. The work on the project begins. There’s always some planning that keeps happening during the execution phase, that's normal. But the focus should be on executing the plan and completing the tasks.
In terms of project management, your main responsibility during this phase is to keep the Tasklists updated. Mark tasks as done when they’re completed.
Create new tasks when needed - even for ideas that may be out of the scope for now, but could benefit the client in the future. This can be an opportunity for you to suggest new milestones or projects.
Make sure to keep everyone in the loop. Ideally you should run “daily standups” - every morning give a quick 3-point update to the client: what you did yesterday, what you will do today, do you need anything from the client. And provide a weekly status report. This will be highly appreciated from the client.
In the closing phase it is time to hand over all deliverables, provide any instructions or documentation and agree on any maintenance work - if required.
This is also a good time to discuss any improvements or future projects, so make sure to review remaining tickets with the client and discuss how you can help in the future.
That’s it. Becoming your own project manager has never been easier!
Add a Tasklist to your project today and reap the benefits. Open a project, go to the “Tasklists” tab and start creating tasks.
Try it now!