It goes without saying that every marketing project is different, the same way that every client is different. Understanding the best way to approach each one and what common pitfalls to watch out for is the key to successful project management.
1. Not assigning the right person to the task.
Knowing your team and who is an expert in each task is vital to having your project go as smoothly as possible. This may seem like a basic project management skill, but understanding your team a little bit more will pay off in the long run. For example, during resource allocation, choosing the person with the most availability isn’t necessarily the right decision. If the person who is an expert is able to finish the task in less than a day and the person with the most time isn’t able to complete the task for two days, your entire project timeline will be pushed back. Knowing who the right person for the task is helps keep you within your budget and on time.
2. Not getting the team behind the project.
Every so often projects are doomed to fail from the very beginning. The most common reason for this is not having everyone on the team fully behind the project. Some key steps to ensuring you have the backing of your team are making sure everyone’s role is clearly defined, clearly communicating what the final payoff is for the team and creating a sense of urgency. Calling the team together prior to the start of a project and setting expectations can go a long way.
3. Lack of communication.
It’s so easy to get lost in the mix of everything going on that you forget to let your client know how the project is going, or fail to communicate key milestones to your team. Without regular communication your project can very easily fall apart. To help with this, pick a time every week to have a quick follow up with the team. Not only with this help with getting some of the roadblocks cleared more easily, but it will help your entire team see the bigger picture. Checking in often will help with the stumbling blocks people often run into during projects, and will allow you to help with overcoming them.
4. Putting too many projects into the flow at once.
Knowing your team’s workflow is extremely important. It’s far too easy to schedule multiple projects with similar end dates to begin at the same time. Multitasking ends up slowing people down and inevitably delays the project. Reducing the back and forth between multiple projects will help your team stay on budget and in your timeline.
5. Not being flexible.
Most importantly, stay flexible. While it may be easy to look at your project plan as a script to be strictly followed, this can inevitably hurt you in the long run. Listen to your team, see where their stumbling blocks are and do what you can to help them. Don’t become so involved that you can’t see the forest for the trees. Taking a step back will help you see what could be moved around to help your project stay on time and in budget. This does not mean you need to throw away your plan every time, but it does mean it doesn’t have to be written in stone.
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