Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Want to learn more about Beyond the Chaos and how we work? Below you’ll find answers to the questions we get asked the most. If you don’t see your question listed, just contact us and we will gladly help.What is chaos?
If you’re currently reading this page, chances are, you are already feeling it. Chaos means having to work every weekend or not having time to spend with your family. It means struggling to fulfill promises and obligations to your clients and employees. Chaos is overwhelm. This is a great list to help you identify other signs of chaos in your business. Our project management services work to get you beyond the chaos.
What is project management?
Project management is the art of organizing the details of a project: WHAT is going to happen, WHO is going to do it, and WHEN does it need to get done. It keeps projects on time and within budget. When your projects are completed within budget, you can avoid scope creep and maintain profits, thus growing your business. Examples of our project management services include: running your status meetings, creating new operational processes and implementing new collaboration software.
What's your project management philosophy?
We believe that project management should facilitate the team’s and clients’ end goals. It should not be invasive or bureaucratic. The structure we create should set you free, not bog you down. We view ourselves as the neutral diplomat, serving as an extension of our clients’ small business. We understand that your business is extremely personal to you, so we’re nurturing, but we won’t let drama or chaos consume you or your business. While we help you complete the projects how they were scoped, we also listen to you and the pain points of your business. We provide a clear and simple path to solving your problems and repeating your successes. We listen to your frustrations and provide insight and suggestions based on our experience working with so many other small business owners.
Are you Agile or Waterfall?
We are not one or the other. We are familiar with both, but we do what the client and project both need.
Are you PMP certified?
Nope! And that’s intentional. We love structure and understand contingencies, but PMPs can sometimes be more invested in making the method work, rather than making the project work. Gantt charts and reports can be beautiful, but we want to be working alongside you and your team to figure out how to make things happen rather than drilling down into the minutia of project planning itself and slowing projects down. Our team has a combined 100+ years’ experience in project management, so you’re in good hands. (And full disclosure, we do have PMPs on our team, but we work really hard so you can’t tell we do.)
What project management tool do you recommend?
We are tool agnostic (well sort of, we really love Teamwork and are a Teamwork partner). Overall, we work with you to help you choose a project management tool that best serves your business and project needs (like Teamwork, Basecamp, Asana, etc.). Then, we help you create processes and structure around the tool’s use before implementing it to your business. Additionally, we can also review the tool you’re already using to make sure it’s doing its job. This even includes clients’ home-grown solutions!
Where is your office located?
We work in a virtual environment – so we can help you manage chaos from wherever you work. But, the owner works out of her home office in McKinney, Texas, and we have project manager consultants all over the US.
Do you talk to my clients on my behalf?
Absolutely, we can! We serve as an extension of your team. Many of our clients’ clients have no idea that we aren’t employees of our clients. It’s not uncommon for our project managers to have a separate email address under our client’s company and serve as their main project manager across all projects.
I didn't plan for project management in my budget - how can I afford this?
Good news! Project management is billable. You can bill this time back to your client. It’s not uncommon for us to hear that that project management is overhead. But think about it this way – someone is probably already doing the project management work (whether it’s your developers or creative team) – so your clients are already paying for it, but it probably isn’t being done that well. Project managers allow developers and creatives to focus on what they do best. Meanwhile, the project manager supervises the scope, timeline, and budget to help keep clients happy. That’s how project management reduces the overages on your hourly billing estimates.
What if I already have a project management team or processes in place?
That’s fantastic! Then you already have a head start on understanding the value of project management. We can still coach your team to produce more efficient time management and client communication results. And if you already have existing project management processes, we can review them to make sure they are working effectively across the team. We are also available to help out if you need a quick ramp up for a special project, are between project managers, or to help you manage through a long absence. And keep in mind, project management is billable, and you can bill this back to your clients.
I don't want to manage my projects - can you do that for me?
Totally. Read more here about our project management services, and how we manage your projects for you.
How can you manage a technical project without technical knowledge?
We are not software developers, architects, graphic designers, or accountants. But we do understand “geek speak” and can communicate well with developers. We have 135+ years of experience working with creatives. And, we can also communicate with clients. Being able to bridge that gap reduces misunderstanding and frustration.
Not being developers also helps us through the testing process, as we see the user experience through the client’s eyes. Our team can sit back and see the big picture, rather than work in the weeds of the technician, which is a huge benefit to the project. We don’t try to figure out how to solve the clients’ problems. We try to figure out how to make the solution that the expert comes up with work within the project.
Am I required to buy a minimum amount of hours?
Usually we start with a block of 20 hours. However, we are open to discussing smaller minimums. Keep in mind that project management can definitely be billed through to your client. We recommend at least a minimum of five hours a week in order to make an impact.
How do I get started?
Just send us a note through this form. Tell us a little bit about yourself and challenges, and we’ll get in touch to discuss your needs.