When you start your new interior design business, it will more than likely start slowing and you will probably be managing one project at a time. As your business grows, you will need to have a proper process in place on how to manage more than one project at the same time.
Regardless of whether you are managing one project or a few, you need to make sure that each project is managed efficiently, effectively, and in a way that ensures the client is updated timeously and that the project is concluded successfully.
Having proper project management processes in place is very important to ensure the effective management of each of your projects and this can always be improved. We have put together a few tips and ideas for how you can improve how your projects are managed.
1. Goal setting is essential
When you set clear goals that your interior design team and the client are happy with, everyone knows exactly what they are working towards. The goals you set can be weekly, monthly, or quarterly, but the important thing is that when you set these goals, your team are encouraged to complete tasks that not only benefit the company but contribute to building overall morale. When you give yourself a clear objective to reach by a set date, you make sure that the project has a purpose and a direction and once the project has ended you will be able to measure the results.
Setting goals is one thing but it is important to make sure that you hold yourself and your team accountable to the deadlines for each project. If you don’t do this, it will defeat the purpose of setting goals. Setting very specific, quantifiable outlines give you something to work towards, but it also ensures that you keep records and monitor performance.
The setting of goals for your interior design project also helps you to manage project deadlines with your team, your various vendors and supplies, and the client. It also allows you to prioritize tasks to make sure that the client is happy, and the project is completed on time and to the client’s standards.
2. Communication is important
When it comes to interior design, you will probably be interacting with the client often, but it is important to not take this for granted and make sure that communication is open and transparent at all times. Maintaining regular communication is essential to running your interior design project successfully. Clear communications are important when it comes to understanding exactly what the client needs and wants for their project. When it comes to problem-solving, communication is the single most important way to ensure any issues are sorted out timeously.
Effective communication can include making sure meetings are scheduled correctly, checking in regularly with your team and the client and making sure that suppliers, vendors, staff, and clients are updated on the project progress. It is also important that your team feel that they can raise any concerns or issues around the project.
Communication is important in any industry but more so when it comes to interior design projects. Everyone on the team needs to feel comfortable and confident with discussing all aspects of the project. When you have open lines of communication that include regular feedback you can track success and improvement.
3. You need the right tools.
Project management is made so much easier when you have the correct tools at your disposal. It is not possible to manage more than one project simply by having handwritten notes or a variety of emails – you need to organize everything in one place. Managing your project using a project management tool designed with interior designers in mind, helps you to collate all the information in one place. More important than that, project management tools allow you to assign work to your team and track progress easily. Being able to track workflows and get an overall snapshot of each project is essential to the overall success of the project and it rests largely on having the right interior design management tools in place.
It is also important not to forget to make sure you have tools in place that help you keep track of the budget and project finances.
4. Stay organized
This might seem obvious but staying organized is essential to running your interior design project. This means that each part of the project needs to be organized – it can be organized physically, or you can have a digital archive of documents. It is also important to make sure that all client projects are organized and filed correctly including invoices, spreadsheets, supplier information, and any other information that is relevant.
Exceptional organization skills are crucial for effective project management. The reason for this is so that you can easily see exactly where you are with the project at any given time, and it means your team is not confused or unclear. To make it easier, it is worthwhile to invest in tools and software that can help you stay organized.
5. Project debriefs are important
Every client is different. Not only are the projects different but clients handle things differently. Once your project is complete it is important to have a team debrief with the team who worked on the project. Even if a project went really well, it is important to debrief and talk about how you can take those successes and include them in future projects. There is always something to learn, even from successful projects. Similarly, if the project didn’t go exactly to plan, it is important to understand why and how you can prevent those things from happening in the future.
During this process, it is also important to evaluate client feedback. Listen to the feedback they have given, there are so many learnings that can come from client feedback.
Combine these five tips together and you will successfully manage your interior design project ensuring your project success and happy clients.