We have been talking about what happens post project and how to make the most out of your last job in order to get the next one. Next I want to talk about reviewing a past project so it can help you improve future projects.
You Won’t Review
The truth of the matter is 80% of you reading probably won’t review your past projects for the simple fact that you’ll be too busy either pitching for new work, or on your next job. Reviewing takes time and often you may feel like it’s a fruitless task, but only by stepping back and examining a project and the various stages throughout can you find ways to improve.
What Was The Brief?
Probably a stupid question, but it’s interesting to look through the initial brief and compare the finished product. Its key not to address WHAT was delivered but IF it met the brief. Even if a client is happy, sometimes you can identify better ways in which you could have addressed the brief and met expectations.
Above and Beyond
Reflecting on the brief, this is also the right time to think about not only if you met expectations, but if and where you went beyond that. I’m not necessarily talking about project delivery or late nights here, but upselling opportunities for related services and/or products. If they wanted a website could you have upsold PPC or SEO services? If they wanted a brochure design, could you have upsold the social media assets too?
Wherever you have a chain of people, it’s important to go get individual reviews of how they thought the project went. This is not done to put them on the spot or point fingers where there’s been issues, but moreover as a learning exercise and also to highlight people’s roles and inputs. You don’t want your team to feel as if they are writing a school report so it’s key to keep things as short and manageable as possible.
One of the core skills of working for yourself is in dealing with feedback. This can sometimes be quite harsh! It’s important to try where possible to remove yourself from the situation when reviewing a project.
I would breakdown your project into phases to better evaluate it. I would include prospecting, conversion (of the prospect into an actual job) brief, planning, during project, and post project. We’ll look at the sort of questions it’s useful to ask in more detail in the next lesson.