Whether you love or hate project management, it has to be done. Maybe you’re apprehensive based on experience — or you might just want to improve your process. Either way, project management is a crucial part of any marketing operation.
The good news is that you can make it much easier on yourself. You might even find that your team becomes more efficient and effective as you go. So, do you want to find out how you can better manage projects?
Let’s get into it.
What About Being a Large (15+) Marketing Team Makes Project Management Hard?
Some challenges can affect any marketing team, while others are specific to large teams. Let’s cover some of the more specific issues before covering some tips, tricks, and solutions.
Many large marketing teams work on projects that involve different stakeholders. These stakeholders have specific objectives and goals, which can make it difficult for team members to focus on the same goals.
Large teams also incorporate more complex workflows. While this is necessary in most cases, it can also cause more problems. Planning and execution can suffer if every team member isn’t on the same page.
Content and Assets
Besides complex workflows, large marketing teams deal with a lot of content and assets. This puts organization and focus at risk, which can derail progress and set a team back.
These challenges can get even more out of hand when teams comprise members across the world. Communication, timing, and collaboration become more difficult if a team doesn’t account for geographical distance.
How Do You Solve Those Pain Points?
The challenges described above can spell disaster for any team, no matter how capable each member is. Luckily, you can take some steps to avoid and even solve these problems.
Communication and Collaboration
Communication is important in every aspect of life, and project management is no exception. You can use project management tools to ensure consistent communication, but nothing is as effective as diligent interaction among team members.
Templates and Checklists
A goal might as well be a pipe dream without well-laid plans and accountability. Take advantage of templates and checklists to ensure that team members stay on track. This can help everyone complete all necessary steps in the correct order.
Content and Asset Systems
As projects become more complex, marketing teams will deal with more assets and content. Create systems to manage both of these. This will help with organization, which means it’ll be easier to find what you need when you need it.
Essential Project Management Tools for Large Teams
Without the right tools, you put yourself at a serious disadvantage to competitors. There are countless tools out there, but here are a few you should consider for your team.
Communication and Collaboration Tools
Communication and collaboration tools can facilitate or bolster teamwork. There are many options, like Slack, Basecamp, and Google Hangouts.
Project Management Software
From planning to execution, team members might not know where to start or how to proceed. Software like Asana, Trello, and Basecamp can keep everyone on the same page.
Content Management Systems
You don’t have to spend so much time trying to get your assets and content in order. Use a content management system like WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla instead. These systems keep things organized and easy to find.
Project Management Frameworks Especially Beneficial to Large Marketing Teams
You and your team have put in the work to get to this point, so why not take advantage of what you’ve learned? One of the best ways to do so is through project management frameworks.
If you need to define roles and responsibilities in your team, RACI is a good choice. The acronym stands for:
The steps in this framework ensure that each team member knows their tasks and their role in the team.
Imagine being able to see what has been done and what needs to be done, so you can measure your progress. Well, that’s what Kanban allows for.
Six Sigma facilitates improvement by increasing efficiency and quality. As your team grows, this framework can help you continually improve your processes.
How to Make Sure You Aren’t Creating Silos Within Your Marketing Team
Silos are great for food production but not so much for project management. The last thing you want is a team member that doesn’t or can’t integrate with the rest of the operation. So, what can you do to avoid silos?
Open Communication and Collaboration
The project management tools we covered earlier come into play here. Use them to make communication and collaboration among team members easier and more direct.
Even though some people come from different disciplines, there’s no reason they can’t collaborate. Encourage your entire team, not just those who share skill sets, to work in unison.
Encourage team members to keep each other up to speed with team lunches and brown bag sessions. You can even use knowledge-sharing platforms like Yammer to stimulate communication.
Try to inform team members of their strengths and weaknesses so they know what to work on. Regular team meetings or tools like Google Forms work well for this purpose.
Tips for Working With Other Teams Outside of Marketing
Managing a marketing team is complex — and that’s before you add other teams to the mix. Still, collaboration is a necessary part of project management. Here are a few ways you can make that process a bit easier.
Define Roles and Responsibilities
The biggest roadblock here is team members being unclear on their roles and responsibilities. Make sure everyone has a clear picture of what they need to do to avoid that.
Set Up Regular Check-Ins
Have team members check in, so everyone knows what they need to do. This can help you avoid oversights and problems that become more severe over time.
Be Open to Feedback
When everyone improves and learns from each other, the results can be exponential. Keep the feedback flowing to maximize this effect.
Tips for Quickly Onboarding New Folks (Freelancers or FTEs) Onto Your Project Management Tools and Processes
Adapting to changes can make or break a project (and even a team). Onboarding new team members (including freelancers) may be the only solution at times, but you have to do so quickly and effectively.
Set Up a Training Session
Team members aren’t very effective without training, so set up a session as soon as possible. You can do this in person or online depending on your time restraints and the new team member’s location.
Create a Training Guide
Even though you’ll be training new hires, you can speed up the process with a comprehensive training guide. Include step-by-step instructions on all your tools and processes for the best results.
Make Yourself Available
Make sure no new team member feels lost. Ensure that you’re available to answer questions and troubleshoot issues. Taking this step will benefit your entire team.
Example Project (Multi-Channel Campaign With Content Creation, Social Distribution, Email Distribution, Tracking, Etc.)
The best way to manage a project is to understand all the moving parts. Below is an example of how you might approach a project with multiple channels and content creation.
- Define the project scope. What are the goals? What does success look like?
- Assemble the team. Who will be responsible for each task?
- Create a project plan. This should include a timeline, budget, and deliverables.
- Execute the project plan. This is where the rubber meets the road.
- Track progress and results. Make sure you’re on track to meet your goals.
- Adjust as necessary. If something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to change course.
By following these steps, your project is well-managed and has a higher chance of success.
Get More Done When You Manage Projects
It’s no secret that project management can be complex, and that complexity only increases when your team gets larger. At a certain point, you might feel you’re in over your head.
With the information in this article, though, you should be prepared for whatever the next project brings. Some methods may not work for your team, while others will give you the edge you need. Click here to learn more about Verblio and how we can help you grow your business.