Project plans and other project management tools are not only for large-scale technical, construction, and manufacturing projects. But they are also a necessity for marketing campaigns, big and small. Essentially all projects have the same basic management needs. You may have heard the excuse with regards to the management of a marketing campaign; “It’s only a small project or it’s not techincal, it’s not worth the time and effort of putting together a project plan. We can just use a spreadsheet”.
However, this approach has massive risks. Bringing a marketing campaign to life on schedule, within budget, and with resources who still want a life, necessitates careful project planning.
Successful Marketing Campaign Execution requires:
- Estimating team work efforts accurately and recognizing dependencies
- Managing scope change through analysis, options, opportunity costs/trade-offs, and formal communications with the stakeholders
- Anticipating risks and devising contingency plans to manage them
- Meeting project financial targets
- Reporting project status accurately, transparently, and in a timely manner
- Creating open channels of communication and ongoing collaboration
- Administering basic project tasks such as project setup and status reports
- Ensuring that work is delivered within the established timeframe and to a high standard
In addition, use a common workspace such as a Microsoft SharePoint site that is accessible by all stakeholders to post documentation, schedules, issues, and the project plan. Contact me for additional ideas and recommendations as well! Happy, successful marketing!
Spring brings out the need to clean and organize. So why not spend some time going through your files on your computer, creating an archive, backing up your data, and removing files you no longer need?
This will save you hours of time in the long-run and a little cleanup will make your worklife so much more efficient and stress-free. Need some tips?
Following are a few must-do’s for computer spring cleaning.
1- Backup everything! Upload all photos, files, favorites, videos, and music to an online backup service. Every anti-virus company has one and there are several options on the web. I use my Microsoft Skydrive for photos, vidoes, and non-confidential documents. I use iTunes for music. And Shutterfly and Facebook for my favorite photos. All work-related files I post on team SharePoint sites. Then I backup my entire computer on 2 different external hard drives in case 1 ever breaks. I put them in a safe for protection against water, fire, or theft. I do this religiously every 2 weeks. It takes about 2 hours one evening while I read or watch tv and gives me total peace of mind.
2- Export important emails to PST files. If using Microsoft Outlook, it is easy to do! Save the PSTs in a folder on your hard drive and back it up. Delete duplicate folders or emails you will never need. Delete all deleted emails and all sent mails that are more than 45 days old.
3- Go through all work folders and create folders named “archive xxx project”. All old files can be dragged into the archive folder and backed up or deleted. Only the files that you are using or that are most recent should be in your project folders. Too many files with similar names can cause version control issues and result in time wasted opening and closing old files to figure out which file is which. ALways make sure you are using the latest ones.
4- Think about how best to organize your folders and files. Does your current structure make sense? Are the names of folders helpful or should they be renamed?
5- Finally, create shortcuts for the folders and files you use the most so you can access them within Windows Explorer in 2 clicks or less.
This should reduce the amount of time you spend searching for content and make you feel so much more organized. Hope you have an enjoyable, stress-free, and orderly spring!
Now in April 2012, deadlines for programs at Microsoft are fast approaching and planning for FY13 has begun. All companies are working hard to complete projects before summer breaks as well. As pressure builds, hiring someone short-term to help you out is an attractive idea. Be careful not to let your teams rush, skip steps, allow scope creep, or become too overwhelmed. And don’t forget, everyone should take a break for a walk in the Seattle rain at least once in a while. All work and too much stress is not healthy for you, your projects, or your organization. Let’s take a walk and see what I can do to help.
Here I am at the Microsoft Project Conference in Phoenix meeting other great project managers and learning the latest and greatest about Microsoft Project and Project Server! I love Microsoft Project and want to share what it can do with clients, friends, and fellow marketers. There really is a better way to manage resourcing, costs, issues, status, and timelines. Cheers to Microsoft Project and Project Server 2010.