Engage University Ep. 7: Project Management Tips
Lauren Devens: Hello and welcome to Engage University episode seven! Please be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for future videos in the world of marketing, web design, development, and other hot tips to help you manage your campaigns. My name is Lauren Devens and I am here today with one of our wonderful Account Managers, Brent Cannon. And today, we are going to be discussing how to effectively manage multiple projects. So, Brent, I will kick it over to you for a brief intro.
Brent Cannon: Sure! So, my name is Brent Cannon. I have been at the company for almost four years now. I came from another agency previously and am now an Account Manager here at BNP Engage. A large portion of my job is working to maintain relationships with clients and making sure everything is being delivered internally as we want it to be. So, just overall being the liaison from the client to internal.
Why is effective project management important?
Project management is important for teams because it helps manage a few key components for success of the projects. A large part of the role is to ensure projects are completed on time, on budget, and to client satisfaction.
Having multiple projects ongoing at the same time can sometimes be a big headache. Project management helps keep all of those moving pieces on track, keeps us internally aligned, and keeps everyone satisfied at the end.
What are some useful project management tools?
We utilize Wrike internally. I find Wrike really helpful for setting up dependencies, full tasks, and subtasks. Everything can just be in one place at one time. We can get a full view of every active task within the agency going on at once. It helps us get a purview overall on who’s working on which projects. This helps us prioritize internally which projects need to be completed by X time. Wrike also keeps communication clear within tasks and projects, so everyone’s on the same page.
We also use Harvest for time tracking and budget management. Harvest tracks employees’ time against each project so we can see how we’re performing in terms of budgets for all clients in one snapshot. It also breaks down who’s completing work and who’s using the most time. So, when we’re scoping projects for the future, we have a clear indicator of whether we scoped projects correctly for the next one.
Another project management tool that we use is Forecast. Forecast is actually something that we use in tandem with all of our tools. Forecast helps us understand which team members are working on which projects at what time. So, if we have X team members working on our project for 25 hours, we’re going to plan for that. We know when we’re tasking out other items, we make sure that we’re not inundating a team member because now we know they have a large project on their plate.
Do you have advice for anyone struggling with workload management?
Day to day, workloads can change all the time. Sometimes you do just have to go with the flow. But some things that help me with workload management are:
- Setting priorities. What are my due dates? What are the priorities for the day? What meetings do I have? I sit down in the morning before other team members get on and plan out my day so that when I’m getting questions or getting called by clients, it’s not throwing me off. I’ve already had that time to sit down, make a plan, and go.
- Utilizing project management tools is a huge thing I think everyone should do. It keeps everything clean. Sometimes when I have a large task list, I break that down into maybe smaller tasks so that it’s not just one task that might take me hours to complete or days. So, I feel a little bit more accomplished at the end of each day even though the task isn’t done. I’m completing smaller pieces of it, so it’s not so inundating.
- I’m also a big proponent of taking breaks. Take the mental break when you need it. Walk outside. I have a dog, so I’m always outside. Getting that break and fresh air can help!
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I know people are sometimes afraid to ask for it, but it can help you get things done quicker and maybe think about things in a way that you wouldn’t have if you were keeping it to yourself. Asking for help and delegating tasks are going to be something that I think could be successful for people that are managing and juggling multiple projects. Just knowing when to raise the flag – red, white, yellow, green – whatever color you’re raising, raise it before it’s too late.
Our Director of Marketing, Jennifer, recommended giving yourself a 15-minute limit. If you’re still searching for an answer within 15 minutes, ask for help. No one’s gonna get mad, and it just helps keep things moving. I don’t think that you should just sit there for hours and stare at a blank slate of paper because, at some point, it’s going to be due. So, if somebody has a different idea that could even get yours rolling, I do think it’s helpful to reach out and ask for help.
Take control of your projects
Thank you so much for your time today! Please be sure to subscribe for future episodes of Engage University. If you have any questions about effectively managing your marketing campaigns, contact us and we’ll be happy to help.