Whether a marketing professional only has a few years’ experience in the field or sports a decades’ worth of marketing expertise, it’s essential to understand the importance of project management. Properly managing marketing projects is the lifeblood of the marketing team. Unfortunately, there are endless ways a project can veer off track and end up coming in over budget, and past the deadline. This can leave everyone involved with a marketing project management hangover.
Let’s talk about eight marketing project management mistakes that even seasoned marketers make, and how to avoid them.
Failing to Outline Each Person’s Role
Vagueness is the enemy of successful project management. If the individuals involved don’t understand their responsibilities, the project will end up getting mired down in details, which causes delay. Lay out everyone’s part of the project during the initial planning stage, and the manager should check in periodically to make certain each person involved is maintaining his or her focus.
Assigning the Wrong Person to Manage the Project
It takes a person with special skills to oversee a project from beginning to end. A manager can make or break the success, and is one of the main aspects of keeping a project on track. It’s essential for management to select someone with leadership and organizational skills, and a complete understanding of the project’s goal.
Dropping the Ball on Laying Out the Stages
Simply throwing the project in its entirety out to the team will yield confusion, frustration, and ultimately, failure. This happens quite often because everyone is eager to get started. Hold up! Before the initiative begins, the project must be broken down into manageable pieces, with timelines attached to each. Small projects within the bigger project will keep it on track and progressing.
Not Making the Time for Collaboration
If each section of the project management team functions as a silo, the project will be disjointed, and the end result will suffer. It’s vital for the team to communicate across the different aspects of the endeavor for it to flow and progress. Management should adopt a collaborative system, so every participant can share their thoughts and ideas in a cross-channel environment.
Overlooking an Effective Review and Approval Process
Disaster looms large on projects that are not consistently monitored and reviewed. If it goes off track early, entire sections of work may end up being useless. An organization’s best practice is to implement an easy-to-use review and approval process that functions across all avenues of the project cycle. Constant access to a review platform will enable project managers to approve the project, as well as quickly identify areas that need to be reworked.
Allowing the Project to Go “Off the Rails”
Speaking of a review process, one of the biggest mistakes is when a project gets so off track it’s completely off the rails from the initial goal. This is a big risk in longer running, multi-faceted projects, but can happen at any time. The cost in time, money, and customer dissatisfaction when this occurs is large. To combat this hair-pulling experience, project managers must reinforce the goal and review the stages so that all parties involved remain focused on their portion of the initiative. With a close review, if the project veers off track, the project manager can guide it back as fast and with as little time wasted as possible.
Executing Too Many Projects Simultaneously
Let’s back up to the planning stage for a minute. Often, we want something done NOW. Then the next thing comes along, and we want it NOW, too. It’s an enormous error and consequences are steep when there are too many projects going on at the same time. On the front end, management must lay out a timeline for each project, and then ensure the parties involved can complete their section of each project in the allotted time frame. Biting off more than you can chew with too many projects can derail them all, which costs big money and makes unhappy customers.
Forgetting to Keep the Client’s Needs at the Forefront
Focusing too much on each piece of the project bogs down the end result. While it’s important to manage the details, every piece of the process should productively build toward the outcome, which is successful completion. A strong project manager will reiterate the overall goal of the project throughout the process, and encourage each person involved to perform their portion with satisfying the client in mind.
At first glance, project management success may seem like a roll of the dice. Productively managing a project and progressing it forward from stage to stage requires several consistent aspects from beginning to end, and there are many pitfalls that can easily cause it to derail. With thorough planning beforehand, and strong collaboration and review during, a project manager and team can achieve success within the confines of the budget, in a timely manner.
How do you avoid the marketing project management hangover? Share your remedies in the comments below.
The post The Hangover: 8 Marketing Project Management Mistakes You Will Regret In the Morning appeared first on ProofHQ.