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Poll: When you have several pending projects, in which order do you complete them?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff
ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 03:16
SITE STAFF
Oct 9, 2006

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "When you have several pending projects, in which order do you complete them?".

This poll was originally submitted by Reed D. James

View the poll here

A forum topic will appear each time a new poll is run. For more information, see: http://proz.com/topic/33629


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Inga Jakobi  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:16
Member (2006)
Chinese to German
+ ...
Can there be any other criteria than the delivery date? Oct 9, 2006

Hi,

in my opinion, this is clear. Given the situation that you have 2 jobs at hand. One is around 1000 words, delivery date is the next day. The client is one you work with rather seldom, but still once in a while. The subject of the job is not your favourite one but the rate is ok and the client reliable.
The other job is 8000 words, topic and rate are ok. It is for your very favourite client, the one you have worked with ever since and who is very friendly.
Which translation would you start with? Assuming you don't want to loose any client, I would definitely start with the smaller one to be delivered the next day.

Regards,

Inga

[Bearbeitet am 2006-10-09 15:51]


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:16
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
You sort them by size, then? Oct 9, 2006

Hi Pirily,

Then, if I understand you correctly, you principally sort them by size, rather than date? You deal with the smallest first?

Astrid


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Thomas Pfann  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 10:16
Member (2006)
English to German
+ ...
Mix of all, but in the end it's the due date which is important Oct 9, 2006

Often it is probably a mix of all options, but clearly the delivery date usually dictates the order in which things need to be done.

In cases where there are several pending projects and they all have the same deadline (and can all be done by that deadline), then I might do the trickiest or most difficult one first - otherwise I might find myself under a lot of pressure if I leave it to the end and then need more time than expected to look things up or research the subject matter.

In other such cases (ie. several pending projects with about the same deadline), I might even do them in parallel - especially when the wordcount is high. Say for example, I have a 10,000 word translation of a boring, but very demanding technical text and another 10,000 words of a more general nature and an interesting subject (or anything which promises to be a joy to translate) - both of which need to be delivered in three weeks and there is no particular rush with any of the two. In that case I might well work on both projects at the same time (maybe one in the mornings, the other one in the afternoons), just to save me from being worn out and bored by working on that difficult translation for a whole week. Sometimes an interesting translation job in between can give you more energy to carry on with the less interesting stuff.

[Edited at 2006-10-09 16:34]


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biankonera  Identity Verified
Latvia
Local time: 12:16
Italian to Latvian
+ ...
depends Oct 9, 2006

well.. it depends on many aspects, however if I had lets say 2 or 3 jobs with the same deadline Id sure start with the most interesting one as it would save me some time (if its my specialist field). The second option would be to chose between the outsorcers - I sure would start with the client I know and have good work relations with. But thats just me you know.

Stella


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Inga Jakobi  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:16
Member (2006)
Chinese to German
+ ...
I sort by date Oct 9, 2006

Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:

Hi Pirily,

Then, if I understand you correctly, you principally sort them by size, rather than date? You deal with the smallest first?

Astrid


Hi Astrid, sorry for that misunderstanding. The sizes were not that important. I wanted to say that you should defintely sort by delivery date, although maybe the small job doesn't seem that imprtant and although you may think, that you can still do it in a rush a few hours before delivery. I think it's better to get the most urgent once finished first.

Regards


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Deadline is everything! Oct 9, 2006

No matter what is my relationship with the client -- old or new, or document size or topic or else, to me deadline supersedes everything.
For that matter, with all due respect to the poster, this is a moot question to me.
I will take up the most urgent one first. Luckily I have not forced to make such choice very often.


[Edited at 2006-10-09 20:57]

[Edited at 2006-10-09 20:59]


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Inga Jakobi  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 11:16
Member (2006)
Chinese to German
+ ...
I agree with Susan Oct 9, 2006

Susan Koyama-Steele wrote:

No matter what is my relationship with the client -- old or new, or document size or topic or else, to me deadline supersedes everything.
For that matter, with all due respect to the poster, this is a moot question to me.


That is what I thought, too. Not working on the projects according to their deadlines doesn't make much sense to me...


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Fan Gao
Australia
Local time: 21:16
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Could have been phrased better... Oct 10, 2006

In my opinion this whole business revolves around meeting deadlines so of course that is always going to be the priority.

I think the better question would have been: "If you are faced with several projects, with the same deadline, which order would you complete them in. Size, client, subject matter etc."

Assuming that all of the projects, whatever the size, were manageable in the time given, I would do the largest first to get it out of the way and keep the most interesting one till last. Who the projects are for is irrelevant to me as all clients are equally important and as long as everything is delivered on time then everyone's happy.

Mark


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:16
English to Spanish
+ ...
All in the Air Oct 10, 2006

So you have so many balls in the air, you just catch them as they come down. Often when working on an urgent project, other small ones will come in that are also urgent, or maybe not so urgent, but if they're small, you get them out of the way then continue on with the big one.

It comes in and it goes out. You just don't miss deadlines.


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Nicole Wulf  Identity Verified
Switzerland
Local time: 11:16
Member (2005)
French to German
+ ...
Not only deadline, also difficulty Oct 10, 2006

Of course I keep all my deadlines. But within that deadline I sometimes do smaller projects first to have them out of the way ...
AND very often I do more difficult projects first. I can easily calculate the time I will need for easier projects, but the difficult ones can be really time consuming, as you all know. So I do them first (and a few night shifts if necessary). I am afraid that if I leave it for last, I will not finish in time because there are problems I can't solve in a short time. If I need to ask my customer - for example - I can wait for his answer while working on other projects.


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Fabio Descalzi  Identity Verified
Uruguay
Local time: 07:16
Member (2004)
German to Spanish
+ ...
A good management of time - our main capital! Oct 10, 2006

This is an interesting topic. Thanks for proposing it.
From my point of view: time is everything! The most unvaluable good we have.
"You may find someone able to give you money as a present - but who could ever give you time as a present? No one at all! Not even a single second!"
So one must be extremely careful when promising delivery dates. When the whole "avalanche" of jobs comes up after a long "dead period", then you have to start seeing through how long the projects are, how complex, what a real hurry the client has, etc. And accordingly, you promise "this project for today, the other for tomorrow, another for next week, etc."
BUT: once you HAVE ALREADY promised delivery deadlines, you MUST keep them.
Of course there are some clients who are more flexible than others - and, say, if you have a car accident and lose a whole day of work, then you must hurry to explain the situation to the clients whom you promised delivery deadlines: some will understand better than others. It's always like that.
Nevertheless: don't forget that "the client has always the reason", and "time is gold"!!!!!


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