If you’re a time-pressed marketer, project management is essential. In fact, project management may be much more critical for you than for other professionals.
That’s because if you don’t keep track of your initiatives, they can quickly spiral out of control and consume significantly more of your time and budget than you anticipated.
Outstanding project management skills can ensure a successful project and keep your project goals aligned.
Marketing project management can be intimidating, especially if you don’t have the know-how, making stress management a part of your daily job. Nonetheless, whether you’re a marketing project manager or not, you may need to take on leadership tasks.
Let’s go over some techniques for managing projects effectively, even when you’re short on resources.
What Is Project Management in Marketing?
Project management is the process of planning and managing a project’s resources to achieve specific goals. It includes everything from creating a project plan and setting deadlines to tracking progress and troubleshooting issues.
Project management aims to ensure that all aspects of the project are completed on time, within budget, and to specification. The project manager ensures that these objectives are met.
In many ways, project management can help you save time by:
- Planning your work more effectively and reducing downtime
- Staying organized and tracking progress so that you can identify and correct problems as they arise
- Delegating tasks and ensuring that everyone on the team is working towards the same goal
- Monitoring results and optimizing your efforts for future projects
Over the last year, marketing teams have reported being asked to do more with fewer resources. To keep campaigns on track, it’s critical to understand what it takes to be effective: where to save time, how to motivate team members, and how to master time management.
Marketing project management is the process of planning, organizing, executing, tracking, and optimizing a marketing strategy.
In other words, project managers (PMs) supervise projects from beginning to end, ensuring that their teams meet all deadlines along the way.
While the responsibilities listed above are, of course, those of a designated PM, they can also be assigned to other marketing team members. Marketing project management is more than just a job title; it is a set of responsibilities.
Regardless of your job title or responsibilities, remember that micromanagement or total control are not required. A good marketing project manager:
- Promotes productivity without micromanaging other professionals
- Does not attempt to make decisions on their own but instead seeks buy-in from their team
- Embraces the project management process to lead your team to success
What Are the Five Stages of Project Management?
Most project management methodologies comprise five stages: initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and controlling, and closure. Each step has specific tasks that must be done for the project to reach fruition.
Initiation is where the project is first conceptualized and defined. The initiation phase helps the project manager identify what needs to be done and how it will be achieved. Project information and project scope are compiled in a project charter to document the goals and specific objectives.
The planning stage is where all of the project details are worked out. The project manager determines who will do what, sets deadlines, and creates the project budget. Planning is critical for successful project management because you can’t provide good status reports if you don’t have a detailed plan to start.
A Gantt chart is a visual project management tool used to map out the project schedule. Throughout the lifecycle, the project manager uses the schedule to track progress and communicate dependencies to project team members and stakeholders.
Execution is where the work actually gets done.
The project manager ensures that everyone knows their role and stays on task to complete the project. Periodic check-ins with project team members ensure everyone stays on track. These updates also enable you to detect resource constraints before they cause delays.
Monitoring and Controlling
When monitoring and controlling, the project manager verifies progress, including:
- How much work has been completed
- Changes need to be made
- Any problems with any part of the project
Status reports and metrics are presented to stakeholders based on monitoring and controlling activities. The project budget is reviewed during these status reports to ensure costs are aligned. The project schedule is presented to show senior leadership the progress made.
If there are problems, a good project manager escalates concerns to management to maintain control. For successful project management, it is crucial to raise concerns early to avoid more significant issues later down the road.
The closure stage is where everything comes together. At this point, a project manager will look over all aspects of the project and determine if project goals were met.
All five stages are essential in project management because they ensure that your project is running smoothly and efficiently at all times. Skipping a step is detrimental to project management success.
What Are Best Practices in Project Management?
Several project management best practices will help you succeed. Creating a project plan, effectively delegating tasks, and communicating with team members will get you on the right track.
Create a Project Plan
Creating a project plan is critical for any project. A detailed timeline and budget for all project deliverables should be defined. Setting project task deadlines are also essential so that everyone on the team knows when to finish their work and plan accordingly.
Tracking project progress based on the plan is critical because it allows you to identify problems quickly and take corrective action before they become a significant issue.
A comprehensive project plan manages budgets, tracks costs, and ensures priorities align with organizational goals. Risk management is also part of the project plan to anticipate potential threats to a successful project.
One person cannot do it all. Delegating tasks involves assigning activities based on the strengths and skillsets of different people on the project team. Ensure buy-in with team members on deliverables to avoid delays and resource constraints.
Maintain Clear and Effective Communication
In any project, communication is essential. You must be clear about your project’s goals, the resources required, and who will be in charge of each deliverable.
If you have a large group of people working on a project, make sure everyone understands their responsibilities and project dependencies. It’s also critical for team members to see the complete life cycle and how their roles impact each other.
Project Management Tips Time-Strapped Marketers
While marketing jobs are complex, introducing the digital marketing sphere and keeping up with everything that happens by the minute can be a struggle. So now that we’ve covered project management basics, let’s discuss tips and tricks for time-strapped marketers.
Prioritize Your Tasks
For a successful project manager, it is essential to prioritize the tasks that need to be completed first to move forward. This means focusing on the most urgent tasks or tasks with the most urgent dependencies.
Use Project Management Software
Many project management tools are available online to help you stay organized and track project progress. These include Asana, Basecamp, and JIRA.
Software tools give visibility to help project team members stay in the loop on other pieces of the project. New project managers can get up-to-speed more quickly when project information and history are centralized. Standardized templates can help streamline activities for your next project.
Automate Daily Activities
Not everything can be automated. There are specific tasks in project management that should always be done manually, such as project planning and resource allocation.
However, there are also ones that can be handled automatically to save time and money. Here we’re going to see what they are:
Communication Among Teams
Automated workflows streamline handoffs between team members. Project management tools provide the functionality to create and assign tasks with dependencies. This way, as activities are completed, workflows will progress to the next step and alert the appropriate team members.
Most project management tools have a reporting function. Creating templates, automated metrics, and dashboards will save you time (and sanity). By automating tasks in your marketing project, you’ll be getting the visibility you need when you need it.
And remember, if something can’t be automated yet, it doesn’t mean it can’t be in the future! Always staying ahead of the curve is a top project management skill.
How Interrupt Media Can Help You Project Manage Your Next Digital Marketing Campaign
Here, at Interrupt Media, we want to help you manage your project. We know that digital marketing is not an easy task, and it’s even harder when you have to run your business.
There are many things to consider: What content needs to go on the website? How will people find our website online? Will this project be profitable for my business? And so much more!
That’s why we’re here – let us handle all of these questions for you as your marketing project manager. You’ll have peace of mind knowing that someone has everything covered.
We want to help your business grow and succeed! Contact us today for a free consultation to see how we can manage your next digital marketing project from start to finish. You won’t regret it!