From drawing up schedules and work plans for books, annual reports, and other complex publications to checking the print quality of flyers as they come off the press.

Moving documents from conception to completion can be a multitasking extravaganza, requiring familiarity with editing and production, acute organizational capabilities, and finely honed interpersonal skills. For many organizations, bringing in an experienced editorial project manager can be the difference between an effective publication produced on time and on budget and a mess of a publication that drains resources, annoys the staff, and misses the target.

In addition to scheduling and press checks, my editorial project management activities include addressing timing issues with clients; interacting with designers, authors, web developers, artists, and printers; hiring and supervising contract writers and editors; coordinating review and signoff; and communicating with management and other stakeholders.

An editorial project management plan is most effective if executed early, when a document is under discussion. Nevertheless, skilled editorial project guidance also can help after an editorial project has started, particularly if the project has stalled due to lack of manpower or has strayed off track.