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Becoming More Efficient with Task/Project Management

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Marketing is difficult and is very important for the success of your organization, no matter if it is a law firm, a non-profit or a B2B technology company.  Every marketing activity is a project or task (event, campaign, piece of content, etc.) that needs to be managed efficiently including their various stages.  This post will talk about the resources, tools, benefits and what needs to be done for efficient task/project management.

PM System

All successful marketing teams need a task / project management (PM) system in place such as Basecamp, Wrike, JIRA or at a minimum a spreadsheet.  Keeping productive and staying agile will be assisted by a PM system.  At a company I worked at we identified 29 specific tasks that needed to be done to complete a client case study.  Many of the tasks were about the promotion of the case study once it was completed. A PM system really helped in managing those 29 tasks.

PM System Benefits

Using a PM system has many benefits including:

  • tracking task and project progress
  • communicate easily task status in real-time
  • great way to keep track of activities that might need to be done in the future
  • way to uncover workflow and process problems so they can be solved in order to deliver satisfying results more quickly and smoothly
  • organizes the task chaos as well as assisting with prioritization and focus

Hand Off Points

Hand offs are points at which someone else has to take over a task and sign offs are points at which the person doing the work asks for confirmation that they are doing it right.   For example, there are points in the case study project where the manager will need to review the case study such as after formatting.

Context-switching

A major source of waste is context-switching.  When you have too many tasks being worked on at the same time, that means more switching between tasks and less focus on finishing them.  You want to maximize the rate at which tasks get finished.  Limiting the amount of tasks that can be in progress at any time, discourages team members from wasteful multiple tasks, reduces switching costs and encourages collaborations and cross-training.

Project Resources

It is important to assign one owner to a task but mention who else will collaborate on the task which could include:

  • owner of a case study would probably be the Marketing Associate assigned to the specific product or services
  • case study writer
  • manager (or editor) who should review the case study
  • graphic person who would format the case study
  • web person who would post the case study to the website
  • social media person who would do the posts about the case study

What Should be Done

  • For any new project, especially one of a type you have never done before, get the team together, brainstorm what tasks are necessary in a marketing activity, choose who is responsible for the each task, put them in order of completion and create the workflow.  Feel free to visualize your project workflow by white boarding so that you can view what is included and how projects get done.
  • Write down the process and get the tasks entered into the chosen PM system.
  • On a regular basis, review the status of the tasks.  Where are the bottlenecks?  What tasks are blocked?  Who is spinning multiple tasks?  Which tasks seem stuck?
  • At the end of a project have a project review meeting with team and document what could have been done better so it can be done better the next time.  For example, maybe the writer was late in delivering the 1st draft of the case study, so discuss if a new outside writer needs to be found.

A marketing team needs a task/project management system in place so that it can be efficient in its marketing activities.  The whole team should be involved in what tasks are necessary and the order to complete the tasks.

Hope that this post was an assistance for your team.  Let me know your thoughts.

 

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