Did you ever build a budget or a timeline for a project that you’re not moving forward on until next year? I know; no one wants to deal with it even when they have to, so what on earth would compel anyone to do it when the numbers won’t mean anything for another eight or ten months?
The reality is that it’s a good practice to follow. In fact, not only will your outside business partners appreciate it (or at least they should), it is a great way to keep ahead of the internal project budgeting process.
Moreover, the project is now not only on your radar, it’s on your business partner’s radar as well. When the project time nears, much of the groundwork will already have been put in place. It may be necessary to re-check numbers or update availability, but you’ll otherwise be ready to move to the action phase of the job. Programming or production time can already be accounted for, delays can be limited or eliminated, and intermediate steps such as database testing or product samples completed.
My clients seem to appreciate the concept when I tell them that it’s never too early to start on next year.