Freelancer Project Management

Project Management Advice for Productive Freelancing

Project Management Basics: What we mean by a ‘Project’?

A project:

* Is a piece of work with a defined beginning and end

* Has a specific goal or objective

* Takes place within a pre-arranged timeframe

What makes freelancing so appealing is that freelancers are usually hired to work on a project-by-project basis and get the satisfaction of a completed job, rather than work the routine day-to-day slog so many salaried workers complain about.

Examples of projects:

1) A freelance documentary director is hired to work on a one-off documentary about hats.  The objective is the finished documentary.  The project runs from the time the director is commissioned by the producer, to the day that filming is wrapped (or whenever their services are no longer required).

2) A wedding planner is hired by a couple to plan and organise their Big Day: that is the objective.  The project starts when the couple hire the planner and finishes when the wedding day is over (or shortly after if the planner is dealing with the photography albums etc).

3) A graphic designer is hired by a company called ‘Kitty-Kat Industries’ to design a logo for the launch of their new product, ‘Eco-Kat’.  The objective is delivering the logo to the required specifications.  The designer’s project would be finished once the logo and any associated material has been delivered.


Multiple Projects:

Of course, many wedding planners, writers, artists, PR consultants and other freelancers may take on several projects at once.  This is where being able to effectively manage your projects really comes into its own.


Exercise: Writing a Project Statement

Your project statement can help you focus on what is important and should be agreed by you and your client before you begin.  You should be able to define your project in one sentence.  Keep referring back to your project statement if you are getting bogged down in the details of your project.

Unlike in the world of big business, you most likely won’t sign off on the statement, but it will form the basis of your contract.  It is more for you to help condense the project down into its essentials.

The project statement defines:

  • the objective
  • the budget
  • the timeframe
  • the quality expected, if appropriate

Example: The graphic designer’s project statement might look something like this:

“The project is to deliver a new logo for KittyKat Industries’ ‘Eco-Kat’ product launch by 1st May 2011 for $500, to the industry standard specifications.”

Have a go at defining your project in one sentence.


3 responses to “Project Management Basics: What we mean by a ‘Project’?

  1. Pingback: Project Management Basics: The Project Scope « Jennifer Kentmere

  2. PM Hut January 24, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    Hi Jennifer,

    This is a good post. I would like to publish it on PM Hut under project management for beginners where it’ll get the exposure it deserves. Please either email me or contact me through the “Contact Us” form on the PM Hut site in case you’re OK with this.

  3. Pingback: Projects vs Tasks: How to Break It Down and Get Back In Control « Freelancer Project Management

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