Project management plays a vital role in achieving organizational goals and ensuring successful outcomes. However, managing projects effectively can be a challenging endeavor, requiring a combination of skills, strategies, and careful planning.
In this blog post, we explore Highbrid Media’s very own project manager’s tips for success for marketing project management. Rain Singh goes over some practical advice like overcoming disorganization and relaying deadlines. She also gives her advice on setting a foundation and a structure for your project management plans.
We need to understand project management as both the blueprint and the insurance for all the plans we take. Ultimately, because things can fail, get delayed, or go wrong; project management is an important part of any business that can pick up the pieces of past deadlines or failed delivery, etc.
Rain is a very important team member at Highbrid Media. She uses a project management platform called Asana to set tasks for us, create reports, and track team member progress on tasks, milestones, and projects. All of this is a lot of work! So Rain is going to break down how she manages it all (and us)! Rain has given her top 3 tips for project management success
Tip #1: Find Easy to Use Project Management Software
“The right fit for project management software and your team is of utmost importance, if you are unable to have a clear bird’s eye view in one place, it will be difficult to know where the team is in the project. Signs of good software is that it will help you keep track of your projects and agendas, organize tasks and activities, quick to learn and understand for any team member, communicate effectively with your team, and manage risks and issues. “
Here at Highbrid, we use Asana as our project management software. It is relatively easy to use with a really great user interface. We can organize tasks by project, priority, collaborators, and much more. It keeps the team on the same page, which is important when working with several clients at a time.
Tip #2: Keep an Eye Out for Potential Delays
“Anticipating common barriers and keeping a cool head when the team inevitably runs into one is essential. One way to handle them is to keep a flexible schedule. When following a fixed schedule problems escalate very quickly; having a schedule with some deadlines that have flexibility, others may be rigid. Keep a list of dates that cannot change. This allows you to meet external deadlines with set timeframes while allowing for flexible deadlines in other areas.”
Any business knows that, sometimes, deadlines come and go and the work isn’t finished. And this can happen for a variety of reasons, a variety of very good reasons! So, we need to make sure that we are prepared for team members to need emergency time off or for even customers to potentially cause delays. When a deadline is passed, leaving it as simply “past due” can allow important tasks to fall into a sort of abyss. To prevent that, our project manager Rain adjusts due dates when tasks don’t get completed on time. This way we know when the project is going to get done (hopefully) and we can reasonably plan our day/week around it.
Tip #3 Adjust to Communication Styles and Track Them
“Knowing how both your team and your clients best communicate will be very helpful when you need to get quick responses, updates, and generally keep everyone informed and satisfied.”
Knowing how both your team and your clients best communicate will be very helpful when you need to get quick responses, updates, and generally keep everyone informed and satisfied.
Rain also allowed me to interview her on project management style:
What makes a good project management strategy?
“There is a cycle each project goes through. Making sure to have processes in place for each cycle so that you know what comes next is very helpful for keeping projects to their timelines and producing the best work for your clients. A typical cycle for our projects at Highbrid look like this:
- In this phase, you should take a look at a project realistically. Estimate how long the project should take, resources needed, and other factors that would eventually determine the baseline budget and timeline for the project.
- Here is where you should utilize your Project Management Software to analyze technical details, assign tasks to the right team members, and identify risks/potential delays associated with different parts of the project.
- Where preparation meets action. You and your team kick off the project and follow the plan set in the previous phase.
- Proactive Monitoring:
- This phase is focused on meeting those deadlines. While you and team are carrying out the work laid out in the plan, you are actively monitoring progress and keeping an eye out for minor delays that can snowball into major delays. By proactively adjusting your timeline and taking appropriate actions to mitigate those obstacles you can effectively keep your project on track.”
Organizational skills are important for project managers. What are some ways people who lack great organization skills can tackle project management?
“One way I keep organized is following Eisenhower’s Productivity Matrix. It helps to prioritze tasks and keep my mind sane.”
The Eisenhower Productivity Matrix is a time management tool that categorizes tasks into four quadrants based on their urgency and importance:
- Urgent and Important: Tasks that require immediate attention and have significant consequences if not addressed promptly. Prioritize and take immediate action on these tasks.
- Not Urgent but Important: Tasks that are important for long-term goals, planning, and personal development. Schedule dedicated time for these tasks to ensure they receive attention.
- Urgent but Not Important: Tasks that demand immediate attention but have little long-term value. Minimize or delegate these tasks whenever possible.
- Not Urgent and Not Important: Time-wasting activities and distractions that provide little value. Eliminate or limit these activities to maximize productivity.
How do you incorporate agility into your project management plan? As you know, deadlines and deliveries sometimes get pushed back, how do you prevent that from causing the entire project plan to fall apart?
“By having a list of tasks with hard due dates, meaning these tasks must be completed by this date no matter what and allow the rest of the tasks to have a due date but if that deadline becomes compromised I can reorder a few of the other tasks to meet our timeline needs.”
Project management is an essential part of any business. Whether you have a project manager on your team or the team does their own project management, we can all benefit from staying more organized and prioritizing our most important tasks.
By building a comprehensive plan and organizing a team of competent professionals that you can rely on, project management becomes a little less complicated.
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