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Making a Tight Schedule Work

By Fastspot

Category Project Process

Date Published February 16, 2015

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Accelerated Schedules: Making sure all of your hard work pays off that much sooner!

From time to time here at Fastspot we are involved in projects that have what I like to refer to as “accelerated schedules.” These types of projects are always challenging in ways that our general projects are not. By adding into the mix a feeling of being pressed for time, the process can be that much more of a undertaking.

Although compressed timelines are not ideal for a major web redesign project, they’re not impossible.

And the silver lining: All of the hard work pays off that much sooner!

When the heat is on and the clock is ticking, having an efficient process and a few guiding principles can really save a few precious days here and there. There are some general rules of thumb that should be followed with any project timeline or schedule, but here are a few recommendations that will come in handy when you are working without the luxury of time:

Read, know, love the schedule.

Having an understanding of the deadlines and deliverables that are approaching, and what they are trying to accomplish, will be a huge help and will save time in the end. Ultimately, the better you know your schedule, the more prepared you’ll be to discuss and respond to deliverables, internally or with Fastspot.

Understand the actions required for each deliverable.

Make sure you know how to read each document, understand what feedback is required, and ensure that you're clear on its purpose in the overall project. Many deliverables, like the IA or content strategy, tend to be complex and dense. With these types of documents it is especially important to be clear on what actions you should be taking.

Lock in milestone meetings on calendars well in advance.

Coordinating a time and date that works for everyone involved in the project is a greater feat than you may think - and the more people involved, the more difficult coordinating can be. Start working with your team to schedule important meetings earlier rather than later. It saves time in the end.

Start organizing content as soon as possible.

One of the most important items of a successful website is great content. Having new content ready to go when the content migration phase begins is incredibly important. Throughout every phase of your project, we’ll be handing you deliverables that in some way inform how you should be generating content for your new site. Use these documents as tools for preparing and organizing new content. This preparation will pay off so when you begin migrating new content, you won’t be starting from scratch.

Address any questions or concerns your team has before entering a different phase of the project.

Having to reverse the momentum of a project to go back and address concerns on a deliverable that has been approved can add significant time to the schedule. Never feel like you can’t ask a question or voice your concern while we’re in a particular phase of the project. We welcome your questions! Sometimes revisiting an older deliverable is unavoidable, but getting all concerns out in the open sooner rather than later will ensure we all continue moving forward.

Maintain weekly check-ins and calls.

Having a weekly scheduled call with your PM is even more important with an accelerated schedule. Checking in each week will ensure everyone remains on track to meet project deadlines. These meetings will also help in keeping important questions, outstanding items, deadlines, deliverables, and follow up top of mind.

Working with an outside party on this project? Be sure to connect Fastspot with your contacts sooner rather than later.

There are certain projects where Fastspot will only be involved in a portion of the project while working with a third party on implementation. The sooner we can start communicating with this team, the better. We all have our ways of working and our own process, so the earlier everyone involved can set up a system to communicate and work together, the smoother the transition will be when it comes time to start handing off work.

There are multiple ways to ensure an accelerated schedule stays on track and the project launches without major delays, but

the underlying theme with the guidelines above is to be sure there is consistent communication between all teams involved.

Hiccups and minor bumps in the road are to be expected, and can never be predicted, so it’s important to be in constant communication with the Fastspot team in order stay on track with everything that we can control.