In addition to professional project managers working at full capacity in full time roles for organizations, many freelancers also work as project managers. This could include working as independent contractors from home, or as solely online entrepreneurs, or even as sole proprietors under an official DBA. Regardless of how you work as a project manager, here are some project management tips for freelancers that will change your life.
- Gather project data and customer information. While some project managers are freelancers, not all freelancers are project managers. However, even if your freelance or independent role doesn’t have anything to do with functioning as a project manager, there are some takeaways that you can gather from project management and utilize them in your own role and work.The first is gathering project data. This involves understanding the project scope, or what is really behind what the product is meant to accomplish. Understanding and diving deep into customer requirements makes for better relationships with clients and delivering quality deliverables. This will also help you to function as a better freelancer or “project manager”.
- Implement efficient documentation methods. After determining the project scope, the second step should be documenting project specifications. Most professional project managers work with other team members or offsite vendors, therefore, the need for documenting specifications and other instructions isn’t as pertinent for freelancers. However, it’s still a good idea to get into the habit of documenting all client intake information, policies, as well as project instructions. You never know when you may need to call in an extra hand to help out with a time-consuming or lengthy project. It’s also a great way to show clients how detailed, organized, and efficient you are.
- Set and maintain project schedules and milestones. If you’ve been working as a project manager or freelancer for some time, you probably are already accustomed to doing this. You probably have your own system of tracking and monitoring projects, tasks, and deadlines, however, it’s also a good idea to set your own schedules and project milestones. You can do this by using certain types of project management software, task-tracking tools such as various apps, or even spreadsheets.
- Keep quantitative data. Although this may the least-liked project management task, it’s still an essential one that project managers or freelancers should take advantage of. Keeping quantitative data, such as risk analysis, budgets, expenses, or even other specification impacts, etc., may seem like more trouble than what it’s worth, but it can provide a lot of helpful information on projects, help project managers and freelancers to track expenses spent on each project or for a business as a whole, or even which projects may incur more risks than others and how to respond to them.
Finally, whether you work as a project manager or freelancer, you can utilize these project management tips for your day to day tasks and projects. Sometimes the simplest data gathering, organization, and documentation tasks can help freelancers become more organized and efficient and look extremely trustworthy and professional to clients.