Project Management for designers - get organised and stop scope creep | Malin Lernhammar | Skillshare

Project Management for designers - get organised and stop scope creep

Malin Lernhammar, Co-founder at Kayla

Project Management for designers - get organised and stop scope creep

Malin Lernhammar, Co-founder at Kayla

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7 Lessons (18m)
    • 1. Class intro

      1:29
    • 2. Creating your workflow

      2:48
    • 3. Class project 1

      1:20
    • 4. Exploring setups

      2:36
    • 5. Tools

      4:19
    • 6. Managing a team

      2:04
    • 7. Class project 2

      3:30
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About This Class

Welcome to this class on project management for designers!

Working in a creative field, you probably love the work itself but might find yourself a little surprised by all the time and effort that goes into managing projects. Your contact with clients and collaborators is one of the most important factors for growing your business, so we want to make sure it runs smoothly, that you look professional and that it takes you as little time as possible so you can get back to creating. 

In this course, I will show you how to create your own custom workflow and set up your project management system to run almost automatically. We will look at some great tools that I have used a lot in my branding agency and that will get you excited about project management (well we can hope, it did for me!).

I am here if you have any questions at all and I hope you find the course hands-on and helpful. See you there!

The tools we mentioned:

Kayla

Notion

Trello

Toggle Plan

To head over to the Notion template for class project 1, go here!

Meet Your Teacher

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Malin Lernhammar

Co-founder at Kayla

Teacher

Hi I'm so happy you are here!

I'm Malin and I help creatives get more freedom with a clear process and great tools

A little bit about me, I started in the creative field by running a branding agency together with my husband - helping sustainable companies reach more people. When we realised that collaborating with clients and other creatives was such a big part of every day, we built Kayla to make collaborating smoother.

Here in Skillshare, I share my favorite ways to create workflows and setups that make your life a little easier, and your clients happier! 

I look forward to seeing what you create!

See full profile

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Transcripts

1. Class intro: Welcome to the class on project management for designers. In this course, we're going to have a look at how you can level up your business with a really solid project management structure. The goal of project management is to make sure that the brief is delivered on time with high-quality and that everyone involved in the project from you to your team and your clients know exactly what's expected and are actually completing their tasks on time. We also want to make sure that everyone involved feels really supported and know exactly what they need to do when so that they have a really great experience in the project and the whole process. So in this course we're going to learn how to save time and your business. Avoid scope creep Bergen, and learn how to look professional to clients with a really clear workflow. We're also going to learn how to get more firms from MY business because your child's are much more happy with the process and they're happy to recommend you to someone. And at the end of this process, you're going to have a business that you love working in, but also importantly, that can scale and grow with you if you want to add more people to your team or just have a better experience day to day in your business. To do this, we're going to have a look at creating a workflow for your business. The tools that you're going to need day-to-day and different options for you depending on the way that you prefer working. And we're also going to have a look at creating templates so that you can automate things and your business and make sure that you can spend your time on the tax that you really love doing, and not so much on the things that just take up your time. So I look forward to seeing you in the class. 2. Creating your workflow: So the goal of the project manager is to make sure that your clients, your team, you, everyone involved, knows exactly what they need to do when they need to do it by and feel comfortable and supported doing it. So for this to work, three things need to happen. First, you need to know all of the different tasks that need to happen from the initial lead when a client approaches you to handoff support the whole project process. So you need to know all the different small tasks that need to happen. You also need to schedule all the different tasks so that if something needs to happen before something else that's clear and organized, and then you need to let both your clients and your team, and of course, yourself know when all these different tasks need to be done by that, when people have a scheduled to follow, they can easily plan their days and they'll feel really happy doing it because there's no stress or, you know, late nights trying to cover something that you missed in the process. Lastly, you need to check in on people. If something changes, let's say your client wants to change the scope of the project. Then you need to talk to your team, work through your workflow and see how you can actually work with the schedule and the test that you have left to alter that so that everyone's happy and nothing gets to bundled up to become really stressful. Everyone's kind of creative process can be a little bit different. But I find from experience that there is always the same kind of steps that keep coming up in the overall project process. The first thing that typically happens is that a lead comes through your door. They want to work with you and they want to discuss this project with you. So you have some form of initial meeting to see if you're a good fit. Once you have the go-ahead, you need to onboard your client and let them know what to expect any deadlines and invite them to the project management tool that you've decided to use. And we're actually going to be talking more about tools later in this course. Then you get into the design stage. We typically have something like discovery, concept meetings, iterations, and finally, handing off the project to the client when it's finished. Your workflow also contains all of these little tasks that help you get from one stage to the next. These can be things like creating the presentation to show to your client or for your clients descend you content for their website, for example. So here are some examples of steps that you might want to include in your workflow as well. Things like collecting and good brief is really important to make sure that the project runs smoothly. Contracts and invoices, very important. Collecting content from clients and collaborators. Things like if you work with freelancers, for example, and you need a certain piece of work before a deadline. And of course, collecting feedback for you work. There's lots of great tools for this, and we're gonna be looking at that in the tools section as well. 3. Class project 1: So for this first class project, I have created a PDF that you can go download. The PDF, it has different fields where you can add in your different stages and then you just fill out all the different tasks that you need to compete for that specific stage. You also fill out how long it will take you and who should be doing it. So don't forget to add in the tasks that you clients need to compete as well. Like giving you feedback, for example. Because this course is all about making your life easier. I've also made an interactive template for you in notion that you can use if you prefer this over the printed pdf. And all you have to do is click the link in the about section of this course and duplicate the page. Once you've done this, you can actually start adding in the tasks in the template right there. And to set how much time something should take, just add a new property and call it time needed. Just like I've done in this example card that you can see here. You can also allocate the tasks to the right person right away. Or you can hold off unless until we've done class project too, where you're actually putting it into use. And to use this tablet, you do have to create an account with notion which is free. But if you don't wanna do this, you can just stick with the printable PDF. 4. Exploring setups: When we think about project management, there's a couple of tried and tested methods or structures that you can use. And so to make your life a little bit easier and to help us use some of the tools that are out there, I'm going to be going through three different ones. It's going to be the combine method, the Gantt chart method, and calendar planning. The first setup is called Kanban. And here you have different categories for your different tasks. Typically things like remaining in progressed and completed. This gives you a really good overview of the process of the project. And so if you use this setup, makes sure that each task also has a deadline and that it's allocated to the right person. If you don't have that risk ending up with a sort of giant to do this. And no one really knows what they should prioritize and when they should be doing what. One tip that has worked really well for me is to setup each stage of your workflow as a column, rather than having those three traditional categories of remaining in progress and complete it. This way you can see what needs action right now, and you can really easily see what is next. The next step is called gantt charts. And Gantt charts are a great way to get a clear overview of multiple projects or team members. So each project or task gets a start and an end date and it's allocated to a certain team member. This way, you can easily move tasks and deadlines and you can see how they affect each other. I really like the setup because it gives you such a visual overview of all your projects at once, which is perfect if you're a designer of it and a visual thinker like me. So last but not least, I also want to talk about calendar planning. So you can use it yourself or you can use it together with any of the other two setups. So the Kanban or the Gantt charts. One problem I've noticed running my own business is that if you just set deadlines and tasks, but you don't allocate a time for each of the items in your schedule, you can very easily end up with this massive to-do list without priorities. So Calendar planning means that you add each task to your schedule. So if something doesn't fit in, you schedule, you either need to delegate it or you need to decide if you can remove it from your to-do list. So to use any of these setups, you will typically take all the tasks that you wrote down in your workflow for class project one, and then add them to your setup. So for this, it's great to use online tools. So that's actually what we're gonna be looking at next. So once we know more about the tools class project two will be all about creating your own setup in a way that works best for you. 5. Tools: Even if you're someone like me who still allows pen and paper and notebooks and whiteboards, you will still be working with a team. So even if that team as you and your client, you still want to make sure that everything is easy to collaborate on. So now we're going to be having a look at some different tools that you can use. They make automation much easier. They make the whole structure and setup much easier because you can actually create a template in these different programs that you can then reuse for each project. So that's what we're going to have a look at. Now, if you think any of these tools look interesting, then you can go to the About section for this video. It's just below the video. And I'm going to linking all of these different tools right there. The first tool that I wanna talk about is one that I actually built. It's called Kayla, and it helps you collect files from clients on time. And I built it because about 75% of creative companies experienced some form of scope creep. And it actually cost us about 11% of our profits, which is just way too high. So with Canada, you can onboard clients by setting up the requests for the images, text, and other files that you need well in advance of when you need it. So that way everything will be ready for you when you need to start working. So there won't be any delays in the projects. So here we can see that we've set up at one request for each stage of the design process that we looked at in our workflow. This way, the client will see this and know exactly what they need to send you when. And you can also assign different contributors to different requests. And this is perfect if let's say you're making a website and you need the copy from a copywriter, the product shots from a photographer, and maybe the brief and the feedback from your clients. My favorite part is that Kayla actually reminds your clients for you. So everything happens automatically without you having to think about checking in or chasing down files. So it just makes it really easy. And once something is submitted, you can just approve the files or ask for new ones. So Kayla is kind of an accessory tool that you can use with any of the other project management setups because it deals specifically with the content collection process that you usually want to integrate as part of your workflow. While we made Qaeda, we knew that besides making it nice to use for designers, clients also need to love it as well, otherwise they won't use it. So that's really, really important. And that's why we made sure that it's super easy to submit files in a way that feels very familiar to clients. Another great tool is notion. Notion is maybe the most flexible tool because you can create your own structure. You saw how we used notion when we created our class project one template which was super helpful. And you can also set up templates and even embed other tools like envision or Fichman projects. I like to set up a homepage for each client and this makes it really easy to navigate between different projects. And you could always find everything that you need even after a project is finished. And so this is perhaps that the client facing interfaces necessarily, but maybe more what you have for you and your team to keep track of everything that you need. If you like, the Kanban method of moving tasks from not started to finished, tremolo is a really good option for that. You can invite your team and I like to set up one board for internal tasks, like for people in your team, and another board for each client. And that means that the client only sees what happens on their board. And you can structure with one column for each stage of the design process. So the easier it is for your clients to understand the steps of your design process and what to expect next, the smoother your projects will run. And we're going to have a look a little bit more about this and how to structure it in class protective for grid to lay uses, Gantt chart setup, you can try toggle plan. You might already know toggle from their time tracking tool, which is really awesome. But they also have a project management software that uses Gantt charts. And as a bonus, you can even choose to create both a kanban and a Gantt chart setup for each project. So you don't actually have to choose. Now that we know a little bit more about the different setups that they're out there and some different tools. We're gonna talk a little bit about managing your team and managing your clients in your projects. 6. Managing a team: When you're managing teams, we want to make sure that the managing aspect of it doesn't become someone who was a hawk sitting, staring at people and using a web browser on a carrot. So what we want to think about is working together as a team, you as the project manager, is just as much as part of the team as the rest of the people working in that company. So we wanna make sure that when we create the structure that we're working on now and the setup, it shouldn't just work for you, issued work for your whole team. So don't be afraid to ask people what they kinda programs. They already know the type of the way that they prefer working. Or if there's anything else that they think is important for you to know. This is also really important if you think about when you want to set how long something should take. You as a project manager might have an idea that let's say the concepting stage should take three weeks. But make sure that you ask the people that are going to do the work is three weeks realistic. And this way, you're actually making sure that the schedule that you're creating is going to be followed much more thoroughly and much more easily with people being happy and excited or work. Another thing to think about is, how do people actually like to work in your company in terms of getting your company culture. So do people want to have face-to-face meetings all the time, or do they want to use them via chat room like Slack, for example, to get a lot of the communication done so you don't have to meet in person. So a lot of these different things are important for making sure that people feel included in the process. And if you don't have a big team, you can still do the same thing with your clients. So ask your clients, what kind of programs are they comfortable with? You know, are the most comfortable having a phone call using email. Maybe they already know a lot of these project management tools that we've already had a look at. And if they do, that's great. If they don't, maybe you need to onboard them about it. So make sure that everyone feels comfortable, excited. And this is a great way to not only make things more efficient, but also made your company culture and much more friendly and happy. 7. Class project 2: Awesome. So now we've made it all the way to class project two, and this is the last video. So here we are now taking everything that we've learned in this class. And we're going to take the workflow that you created and cast project one. And we're going to create those templates and the setup for your project management system. And what I suggest you do is you have one homebase, which is essentially like a wiki for your company. Here's where you can access all the different projects. You can access the different templates and then will set up one template for internal. So what your team or you need to complete and one way your client is invited where they have a great overview. The first thing you want to decide is what type of setup that you would like. And this really comes down to personal preference. Kanban, Gantt charts, calendar planning. Think about, if you prefer more of an overview or a very detailed plan, and just pick the structure that you think will work best for you. Next, we're going to start with the setup for your team, your internal board. You can either create a section for each project or you can go with the tried and tested remaining in progress and done, adding all the tasks that you want only your team to see. So things like discussions on design concepts, maybe send the invoice is internal meetings, things like this. Once you've added everything that you need, saved this section as a template and just copy it whenever you have a new project. When you start the project, assign each task to someone in your team and set due dates for each of the tasks. That's a very important step. Next, we're going to have a look at setting up a board for client projects. And the goal of this board is to help your client get a clear overview of your process and the tasks that they need to complete themselves. I also like to add in a few tasks for my team that involves sending the client some sort of information. So here's an example of what my template client setup looks like for the first three stages, you can see that I can easily add the signed contract and other helpful information. So the client and I can always find it. A bonus tip that I want to mention is to add a link to the finished designs once you complete the project. If your client wants to share the work with a team member and they want to print it. And they want to send it to a web developer or someone after, you know, maybe they just want to find it themselves again because they forgot where they saved it. They might start looking around for a link in an email which might be really confusing if you send it this way. And chances are they're just gonna start writing, you have to ask you to resend it. So to save yourself some time, you can just add the link to the board and then both you and them always know how to find it even after the project is wrapped up. Once you're done, save it as a template and just duplicate it when you have a new project. The last thing to keep in mind is to test out your new workflow and set it up for about one to three months and then review what worked and what can be improved. You might want to slightly alter your template. Maybe you want to try a different tool, or maybe ask your team to suggest ways to improve this. And I really hope that you enjoyed this class. Don't forget to complete the project. And I'm here if you have any questions and if you want more tips or things along these lines, check out our Instagram and I would love to hear from me there. Have a great time and good luck with your projects.