Estimating Project Management

Question: How do I estimate how much time I will spend on project management?

First, let’s define “project management” (PM): The administrative activities associated with managing the delivery of the content.

Project managment tasks include the following:

Attending meetings
E-mail communications
Scheduling and facilitating reviews
Obtaining bids from subcontractors
Controlling costs
Information transfer to subcontractors (illustrators, translators, video producers)
Delivery of content
Facilitating production

Estimate project managment as a percentage of the total time spent on the project. For most projects, PM is 10% to 20% of the total time estimate of the content deliverable(s). Add or remove time based on your understanding of project risks (e.g. changes in scope and expectations).

To keep PM time to a minimum, use these techniques:

Establish one contact at the client who serves as an internal project manager.
Know the project roles and risks
Provide a task list to include in a client quote. See the article by Mark D. Hall in the December 2004 Intercom, “Expose Your Writing Tasks”.