How to Grow Your Company Using a Project Management Software?
Whether you are a marketing agency, consulting firm or a software services company, you need more projects to scale. Projects are broken down to tasks (some dependent on each other and some not), and these tasks need to be done by someone on the team. Successful completion of these tasks moves the project forward. The project gets stuck, or clients get annoyed when tasks are not done or delayed.
How do you keep this from happening? Every company, in my opinion, must adopt an easy to use, “single source of truth” system so that it can run like a well-oiled machine. As they say:
“What gets tracked gets done.”
Let’s take for example a marketing agency. There are lots of pending tasks, feedback loops, deliverables, collaboration, due dates and content push every week. Sometimes you need to loop-in clients in conversations and the other time you need to make sure your remote team (working in different countries) have access to the right documents and files.
How are you to process all of this while being productive and making sure your business is scaling without putting a strain on your current resources? Your predictable marketing project management system should let you step back and see the bigger picture as well as zero-in on things that need your team’s attention at any time.
It is 2018!
Email or spreadsheet-based project management is not the right way to work. At Brightpod, we are big fans of setting systems and here are some of my points on how a company can scale (regarding work and people) with ease, confidence, and calm. The following ideas have now become actual features in Brightpod, the project management software that we have designed.
1. Less email
Email works with 1 or 3 projects. More than that and your collaboration as a team is headed for a meltdown. How do you know which is the latest document that your client has sent your team? How would you know who is working on the LinkedIn campaign and if it’s complete? What if that person is traveling and you need to send back the logo image to your client? How would you get updated on the progress of the SEO optimization project? Has the client been informed about the recent changes?
Email completely breaks down when you have a lot to delegate, collaborate and track. It is great for getting notifications or one on one communication but not for team collaboration. We use a combination of Google Docs and Slack to complement our project management software.
A system, process, a checklist is what every business needs. Here is how Apple maintain giant checklists for all their processes. The key to your company’s creativity, speed and success lie in following, tracking tasks that make up your project or campaign. It is human nature to forget critical steps when implementing a plan. Human errors lead to project compromises, annoyed clients, and delays by your team.
In your project management software, create task lists (think of it as a checklist) and let your team re-use them for everyday projects. For example, every website that you create for a client should go through a “speed & optimization” process. The checklist is a list of tasks that are saved in a workflow and re-used for each of the website design projects.
Workflow and lists free your team from worrying about if they are getting all the steps correctly and so they can concentrate on being creative and focus on their core abilities.
3. Setup projects
Setting up your projects (client work or anything internal) and keeping them separate helps you and your team step back, zoom-out and check if your projects are progressing as planned and deadlines are met. The last thing you need is a surprise and a disgruntled client.
4. Delegate tasks
With so many projects its evident that delegation is paramount in getting work done on time. Delegation is not about just telling someone to do something. It needs to be written, and each task requires to have a deadline associated with it. It is then only you can see what is holding your projects behind and what to do about it.
Working on multiple projects and tasks every week is chaotic. What is needed is a better way to focus and a system to help you refrain from multi-tasking. Work on a few things every day.
In Brightpod, Focus, as its name implies, is designed to help you focus on just some of your tasks. You can’t work on everything at once. So, go ahead and mark some of your tasks as “Focus” and view it on a separate Focus page.
A successful team is one which is in-sync and knows what they need to do at every step of the project. If you are the CEO, then you might need to review client reports. Being the marketing manager, you need to evaluate your digital marketing campaigns. If you are a content writer, then you might need to research and write that article that needs to be published next week.
With so many tasks in multiple projects, it is easy for the system that you are using to break down. In Brightpod, we came up with the Me page — The Me Page will you zoom into stuff that matters to only you:
• Overdue Tasks
• Upcoming Tasks
• Tasks Delegated by you
• Files that you uploaded
Now, all you need to do every morning is to log in to Brightpod and head straight to the Me page to know what you have to work on or who you need to nudge.
With the correct system in place, managing and tracking multiple projects should not be a daunting task. Wake up each morning feeling calm and in control. Trust me, it’s a great feeling when you know what everyone on your team is doing, people are working in harmony, and your business is scaling up smoothly. There will be hiccups growing a business. But at least this way you have a system to depend on when something goes wrong!