I have the good fortune to work with a wide range of companies and individuals. The more I get to interface and work with people (via the phone and email the majority of the time), the better we get at collaborating with each other. I’ve always been of the mindset that there are two main roadblocks I need to overcome in order to get the process moving and in doing so, waste as little time as possible. I’d recommend that whether you are the one making the request for project work or are on the receiving end of the request, make sure you look out for these stumbling blocks before you start spinning your wheels.
Vague and confusing requests. When I do a project for someone, it always starts with an official request. I prefer to get all the information I need to complete my tasks up front, so my team knows exactly what their responsibilities are and what the final product will look like. Whether we have to meet to flesh out ideas or do a few back and forth emails to gain clarity, avoiding confusing requests saves everyone time and effort.
Never ending iterations and reviews. I’m perfectly fine with feedback. In fact, I welcome it. But vague feedback, or conflicting feedback, can stall project work. What I prefer to do is to specify exactly what I want feedback on and a deadline so our team can continue to move forward – not backwards or laterally. Again, with improved clarity at the beginning of the project, there is less ambiguity about the results. As results are analyzed, feedback should be brief, cogent and specific.