Written by: Sheila Thigpen
Managing client work at IG means that we’re constantly “making a list and checking it twice”. I’ve been in this business for a few years now and although my thought process around project management is much the same as it was when I started my career, the tools we use have evolved into the digital world. Not to give away my age, but when I started my career and was managing more than 20 nationally distributed custom publications, we were in the era of typesetting, wax galleys, and paste-up. Needless to say, my tracking methods involved spreadsheets and over-sized paper job boards.
Fast-forward 20 years … design is now primarily computer-based, we’re delivering information not only in print, but also as animation and mobile apps, and the tools we use to track our operations have also evolved. We’ve done away with the traditional “job tickets” and “job boards” – we literally used to move magnetic tiles around on a huge white board to make assignments – and now use online tools to communicate with our internal team and to keep our clients updated on larger projects as well.
Seeing that IG is a visual company — and because I like making lists — we’ve found that an internal Trello board is one of the best ways to keep an eye on production (pun intended!). The entire team can track projects through the process and message questions or updates right on the board. We make assignments and set deadlines on individual project cards and then watch the progress as project cards are moved across the board. We’re literally – and digitally – making a list and checking it twice.
In much the same way for larger projects, IG often creates a private individual project board and invites the client to join, giving them up-to-date visibility on our progress. Understanding busy schedules, we particularly like the convenience Trello offers to IG and our clients for keeping up with project task information either online or via the Trello mobile app. It’s all sort of like a virtual whiteboard with post-it-notes, which makes my list-making self a happy project manager.