Chapter 18Craft That Schedule You Need to Create

When people ask me to describe The Art of Client Service, I say it is a book of how, as in, how to run a meeting, formulate a creative brief, develop a scope of work, and contribute to new business. I like that the book is practical, not theoretical, given that client service is about executing consistently and near flawlessly, day in, day out.

One of those hows has to do with figuring out a production schedule, something that often is included in a scope of work, but in many instances lives independent of it. Everyone should know how to do a schedule, right?

At some larger, more traditional agencies, this might be the domain of the traffic department, the project management group, or the production team. But in smaller agencies, and in shops that don't necessarily define themselves as agencies, so much of what gets done, gets done by account people, especially young, just-starting-out account people. People like some (or possibly many) of you. While I could assume everyone knows this stuff, I am going to assume some of you don't, and need help, which I am going to try to provide.

Before you begin to connect tasks with dates, let's start with a few observations and suggestions on schedules and their idiosyncrasies.

  • Not all schedules are created equally. A schedule for a television spot is a world apart from website design, which in turn is a world apart from a print ad, which is a world apart from a social initiative. Each of ...

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