I have strong project management skills, honed from many years of working across a range of government, business and industry settings. I am highly regarded by clients for my commitment to first-rate quality products: this means I must be efficient and organised.
As the Director of my company, I require excellent time management skills in order to complete projects on time, every time. Frequently I am juggling multiple contracts simultaneously. However, with my own project management tools and systems, I can ensure that all key milestones are delivered in a timely and effective manner.
I maintain both a detailed status schedule, listing tasks for every project, as well as an aggregate status report, which highlights priorities and imminent due dates. This ensures that I can devote myself to whichever project I am currently working on without being distracted by the status and due dates of other work. It also means that I can easily keep clients updated on the status of their project and quickly respond to work queries, such as whether I can accommodate a new project in my schedule. Above all, being organised leaves me more time to get the work done!
Product initiation and communication
When taking on a new contract, whether writing or editing, it is essential to ensure that you share with your client a solid understanding of the project’s goals and scope, together with their requirements and expectations. For larger projects, I usually produce a written report with my detailed understandings of audience and purpose, together with my proposals. This saves time, effort and money, for both me and my client.
For a writing contract, I prefer to work closely with the client or a reference group throughout the project. This means having regular scheduled meetings at each key milestone. Once I am clear of intended audience and purpose, I begin by creating a rough outlined structural map of the proposed manuscript to submit to the client for their feedback. I then work through a staged process by injecting ever greater detail across the manuscript to ensure that a balanced structure is maintained. When this has been discussed and approved by the client, it is time to begin the detailed work of creating a complete manuscript.
When editing a large body of work, I write an editorial review. I complete this after my first read through of the manuscript. It includes not only my understanding of the project, but also any concerns I might have regarding overall structure (meta editing) and any structural or substantive issues within the text (macro editing). I also include a hierarchy sheet of heading levels which demonstrates the structure visually. If there are structural issues, I construct a proposal of a revised structure: I am a great believer in offering solutions to any problems I might uncover.
This is also an excellent opportunity to pose any questions or requests for additional resources in order to undertake the project. I find that once the editorial review has been completed and discussed with the client, it becomes far easier to determine the overview of the phases and processes required, as well as the sequence of activities and a project schedule. The editing then progresses both swiftly and smoothly.
Managing and making change
My clients value my lateral and inquisitive mind which allows me to embrace change and manage ambiguity. I am respected for my skills in critical thinking; creative solutions; analysis and simplification of complex concepts; attention to detail and accuracy; pursuit for continuous improvement; and my easy writing style. As both an experienced writer and editor, I bring a greater suite of proficiencies to every communicative text than if I had skills in only one sub-set.
Working as a team
Quality for the client is paramount. For this to happen every time, collaboration is the key, both with the client or reference group, and with other contractors working on the project. I have established good relationships with fellow contractors, whether IT professionals or graphic designers. In particular, I have a strong and long-lasting working relationship with graphic designers, she creative and mkgd.