When it comes to managing your marketing efforts, some people think that as long as there’s a process in place, you’ll be fine. Process, however, isn’t a silver bullet. Even with processes in place, marketing projects can be derailed very quickly and negatively impact your business.
Here are some quick and easy ways to keep your projects on the right track.
Communicate, communicate, communicate
One of the biggest challenges to a good work management system is how you keep everyone in the loop. Know your communication channels and how to use them effectively. If you don’t have a defined process for how to use communication tools (such as Slack, Workplace by Facebook, Google Hangouts, or email), you’ll easily become frustrated by the lack of consistency.
A basic communication process could be:
- Email – need response back during the same day
- Slack, Hangouts or Workplace – need response back in an hour
- Text or Face-to-Face – emergency, drop everything, need answer now
You also need to make sure that you’re communicating with your team as efficiently and effectively as possible. A small change in scope, budget, or schedule could affect team members right away or push back the project’s delivery date. Knowing when to bring the right team members to communicate the right information is key.
It’s also important to develop a process for where communications for the project will be stored so that everyone on your team has visibility. This could be done through a work management software system or by using a shared spreadsheet that shows timelines or high-level status updates.
Using resources the right way
How well do you know your team? Do you know their areas of expertise or their skill level? Do you know what their bandwidth is? If you don’t, you run the risk of accidentally assigning tasks to the wrong people that they can’t complete them because of a lack of skill or time.
Likewise, if you ask your team if they feel like they are either responsible or accountable for their assignments, and they respond with blank stares, there’s an issue there too. You might feel like a member of your team should be accountable for a task, but they don’t feel like they have the authority or autonomy to make key decisions to drive the task forward to completion. Sometimes, you might run into multiple team members who feel accountable for a task’s completion. This can cause unnecessary conflict within your business, and take time away from the work at hand until it’s resolved.
At the beginning of large projects or initiatives, it’s a good idea to map out a RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Communicate, Informed). That way everyone has a clear idea of what their role is.
It’s about time
Have you ever had a project or initiative not deliver on time? Be honest, there’s no judgement here. More than likely you’ve experienced it once or twice.
The idea of time management goes hand-in-hand with resource management. In order to get work done on time, you need to understand how much time your team have to devote to the project.
If you understand your organization’s workflow and the steps that have to take place to complete a task, that’s a good first step. If you don’t, sit down with key leaders and stakeholders and begin to map those steps out. As you do, ask about the typical duration of those steps. It will be a guess without any real data behind it, but it will be a great first step.
As you kick off projects, talk to your team about how much time they think they’ll need to complete the work, and make note of it. You’ll start collecting data and have a better understanding of your team’ capabilities and bandwidth.
When projects are delivered or completed, circle back with the team. See how they compared against their estimated time. Do they feel like they spent more or less time? Do they feel like they were creating the best work of their lives? What would they have done differently?
By instituting practices like this, it’s not about micromanaging but about leading better. Having these conversations can create a closer bond with your team and create better output.
There’s several great work management software out there that can help with each of these areas.
If you’re looking at trying to implement some of these ideas, but unsure where to start, Huck Marketing is available to help. Our team is skilled at providing training and solutions to your brand’s marketing department. Get in touch with us today to find out how.