“Teamwork makes the dream work,” said John C. Maxwell. We’re all familiar with this quote, but did you know that the second part of the sentence reads “but a vision becomes a nightmare when the leader has a big dream and a bad team”?
It’s easy to scoff at quotes like this but a recent project I’ve been managing has really brought this home to me and I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes a successful project.
I sometimes think that editorial project management is often overlooked when we are (quite rightly) celebrating the razor-sharp skills of the proofreader or the thesaurus-like mind of the copywriter. But we really ought to spare a passing thought (and often a pack of paracetamol) for the quietly diligent editorial project manager.
Take, for example, the well-designed space-saving Billy bookcase from Ikea. Ikea claim that one Billy bookcase is sold every 5 seconds somewhere in the world but this much-loved model would be nothing without the trusty Allen key.
Some projects appear to run themselves (especially to an outsider’s eye) but there is always a need for some element of editorial project management. And, I would argue, just because you don’t see the project manager, it doesn’t mean they aren’t there in the background.
At Accuracy Matters, we always value the role played by the editorial project manager. At the start of a project, it’s the editorial project manager who acts as a knowledgeable sounding board to the client, helping to determine the right kind of editorial help for each project and working out how best to organise it.
It goes without saying (though perhaps it shouldn’t?) that we help to co-ordinate clients’ schedules, briefs and processes in order to get the end deliverables right, on time and in budget. But we also oversee all our editorial professionals’ work, carrying out quality assurance and ensuring we’re working to a consistent set of guidelines and principles.
Fast forward to the publication of the error-free annual report, or the launch of the succinctly worded campaign leaflet, and it’s our editorial project managers who calmly review each completed project – whether big or small – to make sure it meets the brief.
If you’re considering commissioning some editorial services work, but aren’t quite sure what you need, or who to start with, just give us a call. Whether you’re beginning a new editorial project from scratch, need some editing or a final proofread before you go to print, our team is here to point you in the right direction. And even easier to find than that elusive Allen key; just email firstname.lastname@example.org.